Jeopardy’s New Host Apologized For His Offensive Past

By Ross Bonaime | 6 months ago

Ken Jennings Jeopardy!

When Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer in November of this year, many wondered who would take his place as the host of Jeopardy! While there have been many predictions, including LeVar Burton, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and George Stephanopoulos – with Las Vegas even asking the question – the most obvious choice has always been Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings. The recently-crowned Greatest Of All Time Jeopardy! player will be the temporary host for the show once Trebek’s final episodes have aired, and before that happens, Jennings is addressing insensitive things he has said on Twitter.

In a Twitter thread posted on December 30, Jennings said that he has absolutely tweeted some “unartful and insensitive things.” Jennings says that he’s apologized to those he has offended, that he never meant to hurt anyone, and that he’s truly sorry for screwing up. While Jennings doesn’t specify which tweets he’s referring to, it seems as though Jennings just wants to get ahead of any potential drama before becoming the interim host of Jeopardy!

Beyond Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings is easily the most famous person associated with the long-running game show Jeopardy! Jennings holds the title of highest-earning American game show contestant ever, and with 74 consecutive wins, he holds the longest winning streak on Jeopardy! During his 74 wins, Jennings won $2,520,700, but including various special episodes, Jennings has made $4,522,700 on the show over the years.

In January of this year, Ken Jennings faced off against other former Jeopardy! Champions Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer in the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament. The first champion to win three nights would win the title of the greatest Jeopardy! champion of all time. Jennings took the title in four nights. 

Jennings has also competed in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Jeopardy’s IBM Challenge, in which he competed and lost against the Watson computer, came in second place in the Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades, and second in the Jeopardy! All-Star Games in 2019. Ken Jennings has said that his appearance on the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament would be his last time on the show as a contestant. In September of this year, Jennings joined the crew of Jeopardy! as a consulting producer. 

Ken Jennings Jeopardy!

Yet with all this speculation about who will take Alex Trebek’s place, the producers of Jeopardy! have yet to make an announcement about a permanent host. It sounds as though Ken Jennings will be just one of several guest hosts before the team at Jeopardy! makes their decision. Apparently Trebek himself didn’t even though who was in discussions to take his place.

But with Ken Jennings increasingly becoming an important part of Jeopardy! and its legacy going forward, it makes sense that Jennings would be the obvious choice. While as of right now, Jennings is just a temporary host, it seems strange that he would make an apology on Twitter for what is essentially a guest-hosting gig. Regardless of whoever takes the hosting position, it seems Jennings is tied to this show for the time being, and so it’s probably a good thing Jennings takes responsibility for his past actions, before it could come back to bite him.