Over the last few months, several guest hosts have taken turns hosting the game show, including award-winning journalists and distinguished figures. Meanwhile, the show has given back — with a contribution to a charity chosen by the current guest host, amounting to the cumulative winnings of all competing contestants during their tenure.
Ken Jennings replaced Trebek as host on “Jeopardy!” for six weeks following Trebek’s death in November 2020, but Jenning’s stint ended on Feb. 19. Due to COVID-19 in the Los Angeles area making some guest hosts reluctant to shoot, the game show’s executive producer Mike Richards then took on the role.
After Richards, there has been an impressive series of guest hosts over the remainder of the season — with the permanent host expected to be named soon.
From March 8 through March 19, the journalist and award-winning author Katie Couric took a turn at the host’s podium. She became the first woman ever to host “Jeopardy!”.
“It is such a thrill to be here guest hosting a show I’ve watched for years, and a real honor to help as we recover after Alex,” Couric said of her stint on the show.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Doctor Oz Show,” took over hosting duties on March 22. An attending physician at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center, he’s written over 400 original publications, book chapters and medical books. On top of all that, he continues to perform heart surgery.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers joined “Jeopardy!” as guest host from April 5 to April 16. The Super Bowl MVP and nine-time Pro Bowl selection must have felt quite at home in the role, being a celebrity “Jeopardy!” champion himself after taking part in the show in 2015.
Anderson Cooper, the multi-award-winning anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and host of the streaming show “Anderson Cooper Full Circle,” has topped the New York Times bestseller list and appears as a regular correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
Cooper was guest host from April 19 to April 30, but he wasn’t a fan favorite. For his first week on the show, he scored the lowest ratings of the current batch of guest hosts so far, according to the Wrap.
Bill Whitaker, journalist and “60 Minutes” correspondent, stepped up to replace Trebek in the “Jeopardy!” host role from May 3 to May 14.
Described by Parade as “the wild card” among the new guest hosts, Whitaker holds a master’s degree in African-American studies, plus several honorary degrees. He told The Philadelphia Tribune that he took his role as guest host on “Jeopardy!” seriously.
“I was like okay, it’s ‘Jeopardy!’ and it’s the house that Alex Trebek built,” Whitaker said. “It’s not something to take lightly, you know.”
Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, best known for her roles in “Blossom” and “The Big Bang Theory” and currently starring in “Call Me Kat” on Fox, took the “Jeopardy!” reins on May 31. Variety ranked Bialik first of all the guest hosts who came before David Faber and Joe Buck, writing that she “balanced deep engagement with the knowledge portion of the show and an elegant sense of the show’s human factor.”
Bialik recently launched her own podcast on mental health called “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown.”
“Today” co-anchor and NBC News legal correspondent Savannah Guthrie hosted “Jeopardy!” from June 14 through June 25 — and she had a great time.
“I am a huge fan of the show, and I’m an even huger fan of Alex Trebek now that I know how hard it is to host ‘Jeopardy!’ — it’s really fast and very precise,” she told People.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done,” Guthrie added. “It never lets up. You have to nail it. And it makes me realize just how impressive Alex truly was.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent and associate professor of neurosurgery at Emory University, has won multiple Emmy awards covering some of the most important health stories in the U.S. and around the world. But he took some time away from his work in the medical field for “Jeopardy!” this season. He guest-hosted from June 28 through July 9.
“Good Morning America” co-anchor and ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos hosted the show from July 12 through July 16. In an interview with “Jeopardy!”, Stephanopoulos said he was “incredibly impressed with the work that goes into creating the clues.”
Variety said Stephanopoulos “struck an appropriate balance between formality and breeziness.”
“Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts hosted the show from July 19 through July 23, and was well received by viewers. Before her hosting run, Roberts spoke about the importance of keeping Trebek’s memory alive.
“Being a host, being behind that podium, knowing all the people, all the guest hosts that have been there, but more importantly, knowing that man who was behind that podium for all those years and to stand there, something I will not forget ever,” she said in an interview with the show.
If there’s one guest host who hasn’t hidden their desire to become the permanent fixture on the “Jeopardy!” set, it’s actor and “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton.
Back in September 2020, he tweeted: “not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the @Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires.”
And his hosting stint (from July 26 through July 30) was a popular one. In a OnePoll survey of 1,003 Americans, Burton was third choice (after Jennings and Richards) with 10% of the vote.
Financial journalist and host of the CNBC morning show “Squawk on the Street,” David Faber will host from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6. Like some other guest hosts, Faber has some “Jeopardy!” experience. In a 2012 celebrity edition of the “Jeopardy! Power Players Tournament,” he outsmarted Fox News’ Dana Perino and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to scoop the $50,000 prize.
“I wanted to establish a rhythm, and I wanted to be good for the contestants,” Faber said of his guest hosting stint in an interview on “Jeopardy!”‘s YouTube channel. “I feel like they show up here and this is an awfully important day for them, and I didn’t want to disappoint them.”
As guest host, @davidfaber wanted to establish a rhythm and create a good experience for the contestants. Check out his exclusive interview before his first episode on Monday! https://t.co/MCGpzXQArt pic.twitter.com/MJjBaGBcJs
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) August 1, 2021
The final guest host in the current run is Emmy-winning sportscaster Joe Buck, who’s known for his play-by-play World Series coverage. He’s only the third announcer in history to lead a single TV network’s MLB and NFL coverage in the same year. Buck will guest host “Jeopardy!” from Aug. 9 through Aug. 13.
After Buck’s week at the podium, fans will hear the announcement they’ve been waiting for: the name of Trebek’s permanent replacement.
There’s no doubt that Trebek will never be forgotten — the lifelong conservationist hosted the show for 37 years (holding a Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by one announcer) and he continues to be adored by millions of fans across the world.
But the widespread love for him didn’t stop people from wondering who will replace Alex Trebek on “Jeopardy!”.
Which guest host have you been looking forward to the most? Is there anybody not on the list that you’d like to see fill Trebek’s shoes?