Friday, January 15, 2021

On The Air: Jeopardy! carries on

 How do you succeed a legend?

The late Alex Trebek had to address that question when he was hired to host Jeopardy! when the series was revived as a nightly syndicated entry in 1984, picking up the baton from Art Fleming, who was the original host, and later returned for a cameo in a "Weird" Al Yankovic video for "I Lost on Jeopardy!", along with announcer Don Pardo.

Alex passed away in November, and Sony now had to deal with the question. Their solution, at least for now, was to have a series of guest hosts until a permanent successor was hired.

Ken Jennings, arguably the greatest champion in the series' nearly 60 year history, is the first guest host, while also rotating with fellow champions James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter on another Sony series, ABC's reboot of The Chase. Jennings is on board for 6 weeks, or, through the month of February. Let's take a look at his first episode as host.

After Jennings wraps his run, Sony has the following on tap to follow:

Journalist and talk show host Katie Couric.
Green Bay Packers QB & State Farm pitchman Aaron Rodgers.
Bill Whittaker (60 Minutes).
Actress, author, and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik (Call Me Kat, ex-The Big Bang Theory, Blossom).
Mike Richards (Jeopardy! executive producer, ex-The Pyramid).

I suspect Holzhauer and Rutter could also get turns after The Chase wraps its season, as would Will Ferrell, who impersonated Trebek on Saturday Night Live, and let's not forget to consider Eugene Levy (ex-SCTV, currently on Schitt's Creek), who also did a mimic of Trebek as Alex Trebel for any game show skits SCTV did.

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