‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Dr. Oz on What He Learned From Watching Alex Trebek (VIDEO)
“I didn’t have to even pass Go, collect $200 or think about it for more than a second,” the physician, author and television personality tells TV Insider. And while he is a fan of the game show, he says “I became close to Alex Trebek over my career in television, not just because I used to play the game as a younger adult with my kids but also because I respected what he was able to do as a host of the show.”
In fact, he used to watch Trebek host from backstage. “I would marvel at how he made it look easy — which, by the way, it is not,” Oz shares. “I can attest to you, having hosted the show 10 times now, that it’s a bit of a challenge and you need a little training.”
And it was in watching Trebek that he learned the most important message about hosting Jeopardy!: “You need to make the contestants feel comfortable.” Trebek did that very well, thanks to what Oz calls his “very calming demeanor.”
For Oz, walking onto the set as a guest host was “almost eerie,” he admits. “It doesn’t feel right. First, Alex should be doing it. But also you don’t think you’re in the right spot at the right time.”
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The team behind Jeopardy! helped him feel comfortable, but Oz also had to learn to make adjustments from being a viewer of the show and listening to the contestants’ responses to hosting it (“oh, it’s so cool, he got the right answer” versus “correct” and moving on. “I get caught up in the game sometimes,” he says.
Watch the video above for more from Oz about hosting Jeopardy!, Trebek, and HealthCorps, the charity that will be receiving a donation matching the cumulative winnings of the contestants competing during Oz’s time as guest host.
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