Ken Jennings says hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ is harder than being a contestant


The ABC family has officially welcomed the two new hosts for “Jeopardy!”

Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik spoke about the pressures of stepping up to the podium to share hosting duties in the wake of Alex Trebek’s passing in November 2020.

The iconic game show has aired on television for 39 seasons, but this will be the first full season without its longtime host.

Jennings has led the charge since September and will continue until January, when Bialik is set to take over through the end of the season.

The former “Jeopardy!” champion, who holds a record for winning 74 times in a row, has said that hosting is harder than being a contestant.

“I mean I had played so many games right here that I thought ‘I have a pretty good sense of what hosting is going to be like’ and then you realize hosting’s even harder because you basically have to do everything the contestants do, plus manage the game for them, plus manage the game for the home viewer,” he told Good Morning America on Monday.

Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek’s death led to months of searching for the next host of the iconic game show, with several celebrities and former winners taking their shot until Jennings and Bialik were officially named as co-hosts.
AP

Bialik shared that the hardest part of hosting the show has been learning to tone down her excitement “and not make faces” when contestants get the answer right.

Trebek’s death led to months of searching for the next host of the iconic game show, with several celebrities and former winners taking their shot until Jennings and Bialik were officially named as co-hosts.

Jennings described his new home on the “Jeopardy!” stage as “a holy space,” comparing his excitement to Charlie in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“I just feel so lucky,” he said. Jennings has previously spoken about his anxieties of replacing Trebek and living up to his legacy as he steps into these hosting duties.

“To this day I still hear Alex echoing in my head every time,” Jennings added.

Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik
Jennings and Bialik are working to honor Trebek and continue entertaining viewers as they face the difficult realities of hosting the iconic game show.
Good Morning America / ABC

But Bialik insisted that the beloved host still has a hold on the show. “I feel like Alex’s presence is here,” she happily claimed, explaining that she and Jennings are working to imitate the feeling that Trebek created during his reign.

While Jennings and Bialik seem to be proud of their hosting skills, viewers aren’t quite ready to accept the new hosts.

Longtime fans of “Jeopardy!” are threatening to boycott the show since the announcement of Jennings’ and Bialik’s hosting duties were announced.