Ken Jennings is finally settled in his role as host of Jeopardy!‘s day-to-day broadcast. In a new interview with Vulture, Jennings is opening up about the year of uncertainty surrounding the show after Alex Trebek’Trebek was a cultural icon and his passing is a reminder of the struggles that were faced in filling in.
‘It’s Going To Take Two Of Us To Do His Job’
Alex Trebek died in November 2020. Jeopardy! He had already spoken to Ken Jennings about his replacement. Jennings was well-known at the time. Jeopardy! Fans consider him the untouchable star. No contestant can match his trivia brilliance, which has seen him win 74 games straight. However, producers weren’t ready to hand over the reins just yet.
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Jennings was then removed from the show in favor of Mike Richards, an executive producer. Jennings returned to the race after Richards was fired for making insensitive remarks. Jennings would split hosting duties with Richards. The Big Bang Theory Mayim Bialik is an actress. According to His sit-down dinner with VultureHe also understands the reason producers delegated hosting duties between them.
“The virtue of it is that Jeopardy! has a huge audience and a really diverse one. Young folks, old folks, red states, blue states. It’s a weird TV show today because a huge swath of the country watches it and hosting style is largely a matter of personal taste,” Jennings explained. “I wish we had some unifying Alex Trebek type that everyone agreed was perfect for the job, but in his absence, it’s going to take two of us to do his job.”
Jennings explains How ‘Jeopardy!’ Stays Neutral
The interviewer suggested then that quiz shows are one space that politics has yet to invade. Jennings said that Trebek was aware of this fact.
“He took that very seriously and so do I. Alex was this cipher who did nothing but provide trivia clues and responses every night for half an hour. It’s going to be very hard in today’s polarized environment to find someone about whom you know nothing politically,”The host elaborated. “When I’m on Jeopardy!, I absolutely think it’s a show that brings comfort to so many people. You shouldn’t be aware of something jarring like politics or ideology when you’re watching Jeopardy!. That’s your time.”
Jennings however recognizes how Jeopardy! Important because Rather than despite it, the political climate should be reflected in it. “It’s representing facts and knowledge in an age when that’s sorely needed, but it’s also giving people an anchor in their day. Some comforting quality TV that the families watch together, that friends watch together. It’s a real bonding thing.”
It’s true that there are very few programs on TV these days that don’t sow some sort of division. Thankfully, Jeopardy! Recognizes the importance of a show that is accessible to all and will hopefully continue that trend for many years!