‘Jeopardy!’ Offers First Look at Ken Jennings as Guest Host (VIDEO)

Ken Jennings Jeopardy

“Here is the guest host of Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings.”

So begins the January 11 episode of the hit game show, as glimpsed in a new promo (below). It likely will be a strange one for fans of the game show, the last episode of which starring the late Alex Trebek aired on Friday, January 8.

“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings says in the sneak peek. “Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much.”

The show also released a video with Jennings talking about guest hosting. “It goes beyond nervous. It was a very intense and nerve-racking experience to be behind this lectern,” he says. “What I learned is just what an impressive, perfect job Alex Trebek did behind this lectern for 36, 37 years. … It’s a very demanding job, and he was just the best.”

Watch the video below for more from Jennings about Trebek.

The January 8 episode with Trebek, who passed away after battling pancreatic cancer in November 2020, was originally slotted to air Christmas Day. In it he shared a message asking people “to open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19” to kick off the week. While there was no farewell from him, his final episode did close with a tribute to the host.

Jeopardy! hasn’t announced Trebek’s permanent replacement yet. Instead, Jennings, who has made some controversial statements of late, is just the first of a series of guest hosts “from within the Jeopardy! family,” according to a press release.

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“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement when Jennings was announced as guest host. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”

Jeopardy!, Weekdays, check your local listings