Image Credit: ABC
There have been some changes at the Jeopardy! podium. In a surprising move, Ken Jennings’ fellow Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik announced that she would no longer be hosting the syndicated version of the hit game show. Hollywood Life spoke exclusively with Ken about Mayim’s unexpected departure.
“I was surprised,” Ken, 49, told Hollywood Life. “I love working with Mayim. That was always a great relationship. But I think I am mostly I am a fan of Jeopardy! That was the show as a kid that meant a lot to me, so just the idea of Jeopardy! as an American institution — maybe this is just something I have in my head — but it really means a lot to me personally. The fact that I can help out with it now… I’m always happy to host when asked, and I’m glad the show continues.
He added, “Jeopardy! should never be about the backstage stuff. It should be about the game, and I’m really glad that I’m going to be there for that.”
The Celebrity Jeopardy! season 2 semi-finals will help kick off 2024 starting January 2. There will be 3 rounds of semi-finals before the Celebrity Jeopardy! finale. For Ken, he could never predict any winner and witnessed several ups and downs throughout the rest of the season.
“I will say I was surprised pretty much by the winners at every turn of the show,” the host admitted. “We had some amazing comebacks. I can think of one semi and the final game where it seems at some point like every single player is going to win, and then the moment just keeps shifting. The thing about these three-round games is we have Triple Jeopardy, we have six Daily Doubles total, which means that nobody has ever run away with it. There’s a full hour for the momentum to shift. And it happens a few times. There are some remarkable lead changes.”
Ken became a household name in 2004 when his famous Jeopardy! run began on June 2, 2004. He went on an incredible winning streak and won 74 consecutive games. Ken took a moment to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the moment that changed his life forever.
Ken Jennings on ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’ (ABC)
“First of all, I apologize that it’s been 20 years. I don’t want to be a reminder to people of age or a marker of the inexorable passage of time,” Ken quipped. “But I’ve been on that journey as well, and I just can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem possible. It seems like maybe it will be revealed to be a prank to me at some point because what are the odds? Jeopardy! was my favorite show. I went on on a whim. I was so delighted to win a game, and then that crazy summer where I was just on for months, and then to be able to come back for tournaments.”
He added, “When they called me after Alex [Trebek] passed, I just couldn’t believe it. Those were such big shoes to fill. I was just terrified of being asked to host the show, but I just wanted to help because the show meant so much to me and made me the person I am even watching it as a kid. I feel like it was really formative for me. Any way I can give back, I’m happy to do so. But I’m just dazzled. It just seems so weird. I don’t know why you would hire an odd broadcaster to host Jeopardy!, and I’m delighted they did.”