Jeopardy Guest Hosts

Jeopardy is one of the greatest and most beloved game shows of all time. Hosted by Alex Trebek for decades, Jeopardy has upheld its standard and journalistic integrity since its debut. Sadly, Alex Trebek passed away in November 2020, leaving the future of the show in doubt. But out of this little darkness came a glimmer of hope, with a number of talented guest hosts taking up Trebek’s mantle and carrying Jeopardy forward while they found their way towards a permanent showrunner.

Who Are The Guest Hosts of Jeopardy?

Jeopardy’s first guest host was Ken Jennings. With his name emblazoned on millions of t-shirts and mugs, Jennings is perhaps the best-known Jeopardy champion of all time. Jennings held the record for winning the most games and the greatest dollar amount until James Holzhauer eclipsed him in 2019.

Ken Jennings is joined by several other celebrity guests. LeVar Burton, a distinguished actor known for his roles on Roots and Reading Rainbow, is hosting Jeopardy this season. Other guest hosts include Mike Richards, executive producer of the show, and popular television journalist Katie Couric. Past guest hosts include Canada’s own Cassandra for the game show set.

How Are Jeopardy Guest Hosts Chosen?

Jeopardy is a family-friendly game show and therefore, the selection process for a guest host is much more intensive than picking a host to lead other game shows.

First, the show must take into account the collective experience of the individual. While the show is open to hosts of all backgrounds, stories and genre experience, the show is selective in who they choose to host. The show must ensure that the guest host is comfortable and able to carry the show.

The guest host also has to demonstrate the poise needed to handle the show. The production team must be sure that they are sure they are hiring someone who can hold their own in the face of pressure and stakes.

The job is likened to a tightrope walk — the guest host needs to be professional, yet entertaining; on top of the rules, yet able to mix it up; and assertive, yet courteous.

Finally, the guest host must be well-dressed and groomed for both appearances and on-camera presentation. The show often goes to great lengths to ensure the guest hosts’ wardrobe and make up appear its best for the both the audience and for filming.

Which Celebrities Have Hosted as Guest Hosts?

Many impressive celebrities have lent their voices and appearances to the show as guest hosts.

Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, has appeared as a guest host during previous episodes of the show. Rodgers is a fan favorite on the show, often exchanging banter with Jennings.

Other celebrities include:

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz
  • Anderson Cooper
  • Bill Whitaker
  • Mayim Bialik
  • Savannah Guthrie
  • George Stephanopoulos
  • Sean Connery
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson

What Is the Impact of Guest Hosts on Jeopardy?

Bringing in guest hosts is an innovative way to keep the show fresh and exciting, while honoring Alex Trebek’s legacy.

The show’s ratings have remained relatively consistent since new guest hosts began to appear in February 2021. Viewers who were not ardent fans of the show seemed to be drawn in and, by March 2021, enough viewers returned to Jeopardy to make it the number one show with viewers 18-49 across all of syndicated television.

Ratings are not the only impact of the guest hosts. Each host brings unique energy to the show, and viewers are excited to see the array of personalities appearing each week. Celebrities such as Neil deGrasse Tyson often go out of their way to engage with the contestant’s stories and backgrounds, adding a personal touch to the show.

Not to mention, an admirable number of charity donations and contributions have been made by the show during the interim of guest hosts.

Final Thoughts

Jeopardy is a game show that has been a beloved cultural icon for decades. It has published the stories of hundreds of people from all walks of life, from those who scored high enough to make it on the show, to those who scored big wins.

Its ability to stay relevant and accessible for new viewers, mixed with its perennial and nostalgic draw, could very well make it the longest running game show in history – and the guest host system ensures that part of the legacy of Alex Trebek can live on forever.

Jeopardy has been a cherished game show for many years. Alex Trebek’s passing left a void in the show, which the various guest hosts have more than made up for. From Ken Jennings to George Stephanopoulos, the guest hosts demonstrate their wide ranging talents both in front of and behind the scenes in their roles as guest hosts. The audience loves the variety the guest hosts bring with each show, and the ratings bear that out. With luck, the show will soon find a permanent host to the lead the show and Alex Trebek’s legacy will live on.

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