Q: I am very sorry to see that Ken Jennings will be the interim host of “Jeopardy!” Ken is smart, but he also is a smart aleck. If they choose him in the end, I will no longer be a “Jeopardy!” fan. They need to get someone who is more professional than Ken and deals with people like Alex Trebek did. When will we know if he is getting the job permanently?
A: The challenge of replacing the late, beloved Alex Trebek has certainly been a formidable one, and the long-running game show is taking its time with the search. The most recent schedule includes 10 of Trebek’s best episodes airing the weeks of Dec. 21 and 28, and the last of Trebek’s newest episodes airing the week of Jan. 4. Guest-hosted shows, which started taping on Nov. 30, will begin airing the week of Jan. 11, with Jennings the first of a planned series of guest hosts.
This should not surprise followers of the program who know Jennings as the greatest “Jeopardy!” winner of all time, as well as a consulting producer on the current season, a special category presenter and all-around “ambassador for the show.” He certainly looked as if he was being readied to follow Trebek.
But as this letter indicates, Jennings is not to everyone’s taste (or mine) as a personality, and we’ll have to see how he handles hosting. It’s best to remember what Trebek once told Vulture.com: “You have to set your ego aside. The stars of the show are the contestants and the game itself. That’s why I’ve always insisted that I be introduced as the host and not the star. And if you want to be a good host, you have to figure a way to get the contestants to — as in the old television commercial about the military — ‘be all you can be.’ Because if they do well, the show does well. And if the show does well, by association I do well.”