Trebek’s Death Puts Trivia in Jeopardy… Or Not


Quinn Pedrick

In the wake of Alex Trebek’s passing, Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time, Ken Jennings, takes over as guest host.

Jeopardy!, the classic 36-year-old trivia game show, has lost its beloved host Alex Trebek to an year-and-a-half-long battle with pancreatic cancer, resulting in the need for a new trivia host.

Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time, has taken on the role of being the first temporary host for the trivial game. Jeopardy! plans to have multiple interim hosts who will swap out over a currently undisclosed amount of time. Some of the expected guest hosts include Jeopardy! Executive Produce Mike Richards; Maylim Bialik, actress well known for her role in Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler; Bill Whitaker, 60 Minutes’ journalist; Katie Couric, Today co-anchor; and Aaron Rogers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, according to Michael Ausiella from TVLine.

Trebek was a narcissistic Canadian with a passion for top tier pronunciation whom I loved dearly. He may have gone too far with his over pronunciation of specifically French words, but even so, he was the face of Jeopardy!, the face of all trivia in my opinion, for 36 years. His voice, his face, his legacy, resided in households across the nation in which full families to scholarly individuals spent six evenings a week competing with each other and/or the contestants in an entertaining yet educational half an hour experience.

Trebek, to me, was what Jeopardy! was; I couldn’t imagine a show without his trademarked intelligent, self-assured voicing of often remarkable concepts, but with his passing and a tradition to preserve, the torch has been rightfully passed along to the man most deserving of such an honor.

“Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much,” Jennings said in his first hosted show of Jeopardy!. “And I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”

Jennings isn’t and never will be Trebek, but, as he said, the game must continue. I believe that, even though I am very much so biased toward him through my hate of change, Jennings is a fitting host for the game. Not only is the man the literal trivia champion, but he also is an intelligent, well-spoken emcee with the full capabilities to efficiently and entertainingly host the game..

Despite Jennings having a slight lisp, he reads the questions well and clearly, with a sense of speed Trebek lost in some of his final episodes. During the conversation between contestant and host after the break in the first round, Jennings draws out a fun banter with each contestant, no matter the story they share or their position in the game. Even with extra commentary and more drawn out conversations, the game moves quickly and smoothly, except for the occasional times in which he pauses too long, in my opinion, before confirming an answer. While the irritating pauses are quite, well, irritating, they do keep me on edge, wondering in those split seconds whether or not the answer was correct or not, something that can grab my short attention span even further.

Jeopardy! is a show my family regularly watches; Monday through Saturday, we are watching the academic game show at precisely 7:00 P.M. Trebek was the host I grew up with, the host my father grew up with, the man we, probably along with many other people, have essentially welcomed into our home every single night in order to learn something new, to showcase our knowledge, and have sometimes intense competitions in our own living room stage.

There is no changing death, but there is the preservation of life still available. The memory of Trebek will be ingrained in every working of the decades old game show, keeping his legacy alive, and I personally believe that Jennings, the man that played over $3,000,000 worth of Jeopardy! games, is fit and the most deserving of the position as the host of Jeopardy!.