Following the airing of Alex Trebek‘s final episode of Jeopardy! last week, the long-running game show returned to air this week. A permanent replacement to take over the hosting reins has not yet been named, but in the meantime, the show will continue with guest hosts, starting off with Greatest of All-Time champion Ken Jennings. Though the quiz master found himself in some hot water recently (both of his own doing and due to his “Bean Dad” colleague), Jennings graciously took the podium, but not before giving a heartfelt tribute to Alex Trebek. You can watch it below.
Ken Jennings Tribute to Alex Trebek
As Ken Jennings took the stage, announcer Johnny Gilbert made sure to introduce Ken Jennings as the guest host of Jeopardy! since a permanent replacement is still being determined. As soon as Jennings arrived, he began by paying tribute to Alex Trebek. The former champion said:
“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life. Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, charm and grace.”
Jennings got choked up a little bit as he held back tears and added, “No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”
Stepping up to the podium after the legendary Alex Trebek is no easy feat, but Jennings did a decent job hosting the game. Though there’s a certain warmth and charm missing without Trebek’s soothing voice, there’s no doubt that Jennings knows how to do this job. But as executive producer Mike Richards announced after the passing of Trebek in November last year, the show will be taken over by guest hosts for the foreseeable future, including news anchor Katie Couric taking the stage for a week of episodes.
As for the possibilities for a permanent replacement, Ken Jennings is certainly in the running, but names like LeVar Burton and Anderson Cooper have also been mentioned as hopeful candidates. Other prominent Jeopardy champions such as James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter have also been tossed up as possibilities, though the latter already has another show on ABC called The Chase, so that might not work out. It’s too early to know for sure, and the guest hosts being lined up are likely a good way to test the waters on potential replacements, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
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