Ken Jennings made his debut as guest host on Jeopardy! Monday. Jennings is the winningest player in the show’s history, and recently won the “Greatest of All Time” tournament. So it made sense when producers tapped him as first guest host after Trebek’s death last November. Jennings opened the show with a touching tribute.
“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, charm and grace.”
“Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us,” he continued. “Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”
Jennings has appeared as a contestant and champion on the game show over 100 times and his familiarity with the show clearly helped him in his debut. Fans also welcomed the familiar face, as the overall reaction to his performance was very positive.
Ken Jennings did a great job in his first episode. He gave a very touching opening statement and was quite personable. Alex Trebek loved Jeopardy and thought very highly of Ken Jennings. No one can ever replace him, but I think Ken did Alex proud #Jeopardy
— Just Erin (@WinnipegMommy1) January 12, 2021
Ken Jennings did an amazing job as host of #Jeopardy - paying homage to the great Alex Trebek and echoing that he would want nothing more than the game that he loved to continue
— Jay N (@PapaBoo08) January 12, 2021
I am enjoying Ken more than I thought, actually pleasantly surprised #Jeopardy
— Deanna DeVeto (@deanna_deveto) January 12, 2021
#jeopardy I was firmly anti Ken Jennings as host, but a very good debut has changed my mind. Under pressure too. Nice!
— Michael French (@wcsd_phantom) January 12, 2021
Jeopardy! is a syndicated program; visit Jeopardy.com or check you local listings for TV schedule.
Watch the most poignant moments from Alex Trebek’s final year on ‘Jeopardy!’:
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