November 8 is a sad day for “Jeopardy!” fans, as it marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of late host Alex Trebek, who passed away from his long struggle with pancreatic cancer at 80 years old.
Although Sony had over 16 celebrity guest hosts audition for his replacement, executive producer Mike Richards was selected and then unceremoniously fired after podcast comments mocking women and minorities surfaced.
“The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik was selected to host the show’s tournaments due to her busy filming schedule on her Fox sitcom “Call Me Kat,” although it seems like she now may want to take on hosting duties full-time. She has been hosting the show since season 38 debuted in September.
However, “Jeopardy!” G.O.A.T. Ken Jennings has been selected to take over duties on the anniversary of Alex’s passing, and it looks like he might be hosting for the rest of 2021.
With no announcement yet made on who will become the next permanent host, fans are doing all they can to make sure it’s clear that they want Jennings to host the show full-time.
Ken Jennings Was The Highest Rated Of All The Guest Hosts
One year after Alex Trebek’s passing, Ken Jennings reflects on what Alex meant to him and the special gift he received from Alex’s wife, Jean.
We miss you every day, Alex. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/6hQkM4e4OH
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2021
When all of the guest hosts had completed their auditions and the numbers were calculated, Jennings was the highest rated. During the first week of his six-week run, Jennings pulled in an average of 10.3 million viewers, which was second only to Trebek’s final week. Trebek’s final episode aired on December 25, 2020.
In a recent video posted by the official “Jeopardy!” Twitter account on the anniversary of Alex’s passing, Jennings said, “I miss Alex a lot. When I’m in here, I feel like he’s probably in the building somewhere. It’s hard not to talk about him in the present tense.”
“The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed,” he added. “It was a really rough time. I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex’s wife Jean had given me a pair of his cuff links that he had worn on the show.”
Fans Overwhelmingly Prefer Ken Jennings To Be The Next ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
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To have Jean Trebek pass on Alex’s cuff links to Jennings was seen by most fans as a passing of the torch. Jennings and Trebek became fast friends after Jennings created an untouchable record of 74-consecutive wins in 2004.
“Make him the full time host,” one fan wrote. “It’s clearly what Alex wanted.”
“It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Alex passed,” another tweeted. “This was such a wonderful gesture at a very difficult time in her life. How special. #Jeopardy Make @KenJennings the full time host already. It’s time.”
Another added, “Ken is the only legitimate successor of Trebek.”
“Please make him the permanent host!” said another fan. “Ken Jennings has such an incredible respect for the game, for Alex, and for the contestants.”
“Alex was so proud of you Ken,” another commented. “He would be honored to have you at his podium. You are meant to host Jeopardy!”
Although Sony announced that Jennings and Bialik would share hosting duties through the rest of 2021, it is still unclear who will continue to host “Jeopardy!” as season 38 moves into 2022.