"Jeopardy" Is Having A Very Hard Time Finding A New Host — Here Are All The Options, Ranked From Worst To Best
The trainwreck of a search continues.
Hello world, my name's Stephen LaConte, and I am a
The search for a new
Jeopardy host has been lengthy, highly publicized, and in recent weeks, a total fucking trainwreck. More than a dozen celebrities have guest-hosted the show as a not-so-secret audition for the full-time job. Earlier this month, Sony announced that they were hiring...none of them. Instead, they gave the job to a relatively unknown Jeopardy producer named Mike Richards, who also did a brief stint as guest host.
Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 / via Getty Images
Mike held onto that glorious job for approximately five minutes, when his past sexist behavior started making headlines. He
stepped down, and now the search for Alex Trebek's replacement continues.
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So, who should
Jeopardy *actually* hire for the full-time role? There will be more guest hosts coming next season, but for now, I've ranked everyone who's auditioned for the gig so far. We'll start with the worst and work our way up to the best:
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Jeopardy is a show that values accuracy and truth, so you can imagine the public outcry when Dr. Oz briefly took its helm. Dr. Oz has used his daytime talk show to peddle a whole bunch of anti-science bullshit. Not to mention his ties to Trump and his harmful rhetoric around the COVID pandemic. A mop wearing a tie would be a better Jeopardy host — and probably a smarter one too.
Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 / via Getty Images
once said of Survivor host Jeff Probst's career: "I was cheering for [him] because I like, you know, the average white-guy host." Honestly, "average white-guy host" is a perfect way to describe Mike's short-lived time on Jeopardy.
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Mayim's already been hired to host some
Jeopardy specials and spinoffs moving forward. On the one hand, I get it: Her hosting skills were fine and she's a real-life neuroscientist. But it's hard to look past her many public controversies — like her horrific #MeToo essay, in which she seemed to imply women could avoid assault if they dressed more conservatively. There's also her past refusal to give her children medicine, her promotion of pseudoscience, and her history of vaccine skepticism. Mayim says she supports the COVID vaccine, but her record should disqualify her from a facts-based TV show, especially amid a pandemic.
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No disrespect to the NFL and MLB broadcasting legend, but he is not the right choice for
Jeopardy. it's not his fault — his voice is just too closely associated with sportscasting. Watching him present Final Jeopardy felt like watching the last 30 seconds of a Super Bowl. It just didn't work. Sorry, Joe.
Tie between George Stephanopoulos, Bill Whitaker, and David Faber
Alright, so we're now past the hosts who completely rankled me and moving onto the ones who just ever-so-slightly bored me. I liked George, Bill, and David just fine in their respective turns at the podium. They all seem like perfectly nice middle-aged men who any of us would be lucky to have as our dad. But as our next
Jeopardy host? I think we have more exciting options ahead.
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I did not expect to like Aaron Freakin' Rodgers in this role as much as I did! He's a diehard
Jeopardy fan who worked hard to prepare for his episodes, and he was charming throughout. He's not the most natural TV presenter, though. And in my humble opinion, he's too famous for the gig. It would feel like stunt casting and pull focus from the actual game.
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It's not surprising that Savannah excelled behind the
Jeopardy podium — she's been hosting live TV every day for the past decade. But I'm not sure the Jeopardy gig plays to her greatest strengths as an attorney-turned-interviewer. Maybe I'm still riding the high from when she perfectly took Trump to task in her 2020 town hall, but ultimately, I don't know if a game show is the most interesting medium for her.
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It's clear that Anderson has watched his share of
Jeopardy over the years. He delivered a confident and straightforward performance that, of all the various guest hosts, reminded me the most of Alex Trebek. Squint your eyes at that silver head of hair and you might even believe it's Alex up there. Anderson is hardly the most exciting option of the bunch, but he's a safe and dependable choice for sure.
Roy Rochlin / Getty Images
The second I saw Katie walk across that iconic blue stage, it immediately made sense to me. Katie is smart, empathetic, and endlessly curious about the world. She's been a trusted fixture on American TV for years. Some critics said she was a little dry — to me this was a feature, not a bug! The show is about the clues and the contestants, and Katie kept the focus on them.
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LeVar led a viral Twitter campaign for the job, and he finally got his audition this summer — but only for one week of episodes, all of which would air during the Olympics. The circumstances were less than ideal, and LeVar seemed a bit nervous and jittery throughout his run. It was still so fun to see a beloved childhood icon behind that podium, though.
Now that the permanent hosting job is back open, Twitter is going hard for LeVar. But tbh, I'd rather see him host a new show of his own design. There are better vehicles for LeVar's work than
Jeopardy. Surely someone at Netflix is taking note of how fervent his fanbase is?! Give him a literary talk show, or Reading Rainbow for adults, or whatever the heck else he wants to make.
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Producers invited the fan-favorite
Jeopardy champion to try his hand at hosting, and y'all, I was legitimately impressed by his performance. The dude was competing for a TV job against people who've been in the business for decades, and he held his own. I think producers should seriously consider him. As Alex Trebek often said, the real stars of Jeopardy are its contestants.
Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Robin Roberts is a passionate fan of
Jeopardy, and it shows. She brought a level of energy and excitement to the stage that has been unmatched by any other host. She was warm and personable, and she seemed to be having a blast throughout her run. A longtime friend of Alex Trebek's, it's clear that Robin has a lot of reverence for the late TV legend, but she wasn't afraid to put her own spin on the hosting role. Robin is an underrated choice — her episodes didn't make headlines the way that, say, Aaron Rodgers' did — but I hope producers are giving her serious consideration.
Jeopardy team shit the bed by inviting Dr. Oz onto the show, they decided to invite the other TV doctor, CNN's Sanjay Gupta, to give hosting a try. I'm happy to report that this one worked out much better! Gupta was a kind and natural presence at the podium, and fans online were quick to voice their approval. His success took some viewers (myself included) by surprise. If you'd asked me last year who should replace Alex Trebek, I don't know that I would have said, "Do you know Dr. Sanjay Gupta? The medical expert from CNN?" But here we are. He was great, and I'll be happy if he's the permanent pick.
This ranking was so inevitable that it's almost boring, but hey, the truth is the truth. Ken Jennings has been the best guest host of
Jeopardy so far. He crushed his trial run, with the highest ratings of any host. And he's been a vital part of the show's DNA for years, working his way up from a groundbreaking contestant, to the Greatest of All Time Champion, to a presenter of his own categories.
And yes, it helps that Alex Trebek likely would have chosen Ken as his successor. The New York Times recently
reported that Ken was gifted with a pair of Alex's cufflinks on his first day as host, along with a handwritten letter from Alex's widow. Ken even narrated the audiobook version of Alex's memoir last year.
Jeopardy is this man's life, and producers would be smart to put the future of the show in his hands.
Alright, now it's your turn. Which hosts have you loved, and which were total flops? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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