Ken Jennings reacts to being named full-time host of ‘Jeopardy!’

ABC/Eric McCandless

Earlier this month, it was announced that Mayim Bialik would not be returning as co-host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy!, and that Ken Jennings would be its full-time host going forward.  Now, Jennings is sharing his thoughts on the decision.

Jennings tells ABC Audio that he and Mayim “got along great” and he’ll “miss her on a personal level,” but adds that he does see the benefits of Jeopardy! returning to just one host. As he notes, that aspect of the show always brought comfort to people during the late Alex Trebek’s tenure.

“People rely on Jeopardy! kind of as a part of their evening. It’s an institution. It’s a legacy. They have fond memories,” he says. “And there’s something about the show that does represent stability in a changing world.”

He adds that another benefit of having a single, permanent host is that “there won’t be any more clickbait-y headlines about hosting and whatnot.”

“I’m happy to host whenever asked,” Jennings states.

Believe it or not, it’s been almost 20 years since Jennings first appeared on Jeopardy! as a contestant, and he acknowledges that he does sometimes miss competing on the show.

“But the great thing about being a host is you’re kind of playing along in your head. You know, you feel like you’re still part of the game,” he says. “It kind of scratches the same itch without having to panic if I don’t know the response.”  

In addition to the daily syndicated Jeopardy!, Jennings is currently hosting Celebrity Jeopardy!, which kicks off its semi-finals on Tuesday, January 2, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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