Aaron Rodgers Could Be the Best ‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Yet

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Evan Romano
·4 min read
Aaron Rodgers Could Be the Best ‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Yet
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  • Three-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is the fifth guest host for Jeopardy! following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek.

  • Rodgers was previously a Celebrity Jeopardy! champion back in 2015.

  • The two weeks of shows hosted by Rodgers were filmed in February.

Aaron Rodgers didn't get to hold the Lomardi Trophy above his head for the second time in his spectacular NFL career in 2021, but he did get to fulfill another lifelong dream: guest hosting Jeopardy! for two weeks. The 37-year-old Green Bay Packers star filmed his shows, which begin airing on April 5, during a pair of days in February.

Rodgers, always one to learn from his mistakes and improve his game with film study and research, applied those same principles to his preparation for hosting Jeopardy!

"I watched hours and hours and hours of episodes," he told ESPN in an interview. "Luckily Netflix has a few seasons, and I went back to DVR. But I had to watch from a different perspective—from Alex's perspective. I couldn't watch it as a fan anymore."

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Television
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Television

Rodgers is Jeopardy!'s fifth guest host since late longtime host Alex Trebek's final shows aired in early January. He comes after many-time Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, the show's executive producer Mike Richards, journalist and TV personality Katie Couric, and medical quack Mehmet Oz.

Even the show's producers didn't expect Rodgers to be as natural as he was in his new temp job. As he told ESPN, he was "just so prepared."

I was so ready. So we get into the first game, the first run-through, there's 30 questions in a Jeopardy round, and after the first 15 questions, we go to break. They say it in your earpiece, 'Take it to break.' So I take it to break, and there was a pause, and I think everyone was like, 'Whoa, OK, this guy kind of knows what he's doing here.'

One of the head producers said as much. She was like, 'I'm just so appreciative of your approach.' And my whole thing was I felt like the best way to honor Alex's memory was to be so dialed in and so ready, and that's the approach I took. So I was ready to rock and roll.

In case you need any additional proof that Rodgers is a true Jeopardy! obsessive, the three-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion also won Celebrity Jeopardy! (raising $50,000 for his charity of choice) in 2015. His love for the show has also slipped through in other interviews: interviews where he wasn't even the one being interviewed.

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Back in February, actress Shailene Woodley was being interviewed by The Tonight Show and confirmed her engagement to Rodgers (one that really came out of nowhere!). She made clear that she doesn't know him as the big-time sports star that any NFL fan knows him as, but rather as a sort of nerdy goofball. And one way that nerdy goofball nature manifests is as a fan of the beloved TV quiz show.

"I don't know him as a football guy!" she told Jimmy Fallon. "I know him as the nerd who wants to host Jeopardy! you know? That's the dude I know. He just happens to also be very good at sports."

While Rodgers is still in peak NFL condition—he's the league's reigning MVP, after all—the idea that he could eventually transition to a role like Jeopardy! host might seem a little far-fetched. But athletes often make the transition to media personalities following their playing careers, and perhaps the most adept example here is another all-time NFL great: Michael Strahan. Strahan not only still covers sports, but he has a prominent role on Good Morning America and coincidentally hosted an hour-long interview special with Alex Trebek that aired in early 2020.

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But before we start talking about any post-career moves (that's still way down the line, considering Rodgers is still, you know, really good), we should keep talking about how the QB made his way through his guest-hosting stint. And that's with lots and lots of preparation. And from the sound of it, that's with lots and lots of preparation.

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

Rodgers explained in that same ESPN interview that he took "pages and pages of notes" studying Trebek, and would specifically note all the ways he would respond to contestants, take the show to break, take the show back from break, so on and so forth. "Literally, I studied for this like no other," he said. "I wanted to absolutely just crush it."

And considering Rodgers is sitting in NFL game tape film studies all week long for years and years—and has become one of the greatest of all-time in doing so—that's saying quite a lot.

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