Who Will Be the New Jeopardy Host?


Source: Sony Pictures Television

Long-time Jeapordy host Alex Trebek passed away from pancreatic cancer on November 8, 2020.

For millions of fans, Jeopardy! and the name Alex Trebek are synonymous. The official Jeopardy! website highlights Trebek’s achievements as the television personality who hosted the famous quiz show: 37 years as host of over 8, 200 episodes, and millions of followers. In the past year, Alex Trebek made his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer public and was open with fans about his treatment and prognosis. Trebek hosted his final episode of the show 10 days before he passed away in November at the age of 80.

With the last of Trebek’s taped Jeopardy! episodes airing in January, we now focus attention on who will become the host of the popular quiz show. Trebek leaves big shoes to fill, and the network has not moved to replace him with a permanent host. Instead, several guest hosts have had the honor of keeping Jeopardy! on television.

The website lists well-known celebrities who have served as recent guest hosts: Aaron Rogers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, television personality Katie Couric, known for her work on The Today Show and Mayim Bialik from the sitcom Big Bang Theory are just a few examples.

Besides television celebrities, however, Jeopardy! has also brought in Ken Jennings, a former Jeopardy! contestant who is well known to fans. The Jeopardy! website lists Jennings’s many accomplishments, including a 74-game winning streak with total winnings over 2.5 million dollars and the title of Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.

Boston Latin School faculty and students had opinions about who should become the next permanent host. Caroline Hubbard (V) states, “I think a new host of Jeopardy! can be successful, but I don’t think a new host would have the same lasting impression on the audience as Alex Trebek did. Ken Jennings would be a good host because the audience is already familiar with him, and that would be a better choice than introducing someone completely new.”

Mr. Andy Zou, an AP United History teacher and advisor for the BLS High School Quiz Show team, also believes that although there can be a new host, Alex Trebek really can’t be replaced. “I don’t believe anyone can truly replace Alex Trebek because of his consummate professionalism and great light sense of humor that helped make the show so accessible to everyone,” he says.

Mr. Zou adds, “Ken Jennings was the perfect selection to pick up after Alex, as many Jeopardy! fans like myself know him well, so he will be a familiar face. Ken Jennings is well-spoken and has the charisma necessary to be a game show host.”

Associate Head of School Mr. Jonathan Mulhern reflects on what made Trebek a successful host and how the producers might think about moving forward. He remarks, “I think [Trebek] established the tone for the show overall and made it appealing to a wide audience. I watched the first couple of episodes hosted by Ken Jennings, and I think he did a good job. […] I’m wondering if it may actually be smarter to not try to replace Alex Trebek with one person, but have a permanent rotation of hosts. I guess we’ll find out.”

For now, the answer “the new permanent host of Jeopardy!” can only be met with “Who is…?”