Answer: The New Host of “Jeopardy!” Question: Who Is _____?
Alex Trebek when his contact ends in 2016, leaving the question of who will carry on in his stead. Below are the names floating around and our own prognosis for who should be the best host.
1. Matt Lauer
The Today Show host is being suggested, but he comes with heavy baggage. The Today Show has been floundering since the firing of Ann Curry, and Matt Lauer has become the face of controversy.
Toss feces here.
Before the controversy it may have made sense. But with Lauer tainted, his leaving one venerable TV institution for another will only drag Jeopardy! into the mess.
2. Brian Williams
Brian Williams is host of the NBC Nightly News and Rock Center with Brian Williams. He brings the gravitas of one of America’s top journalists, while his appearances slow jamming the news on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and self-parody in 30 Rock show he has the humor and won’t be a drone.
Plus he gave the world a hot daughter. Not sure how that’s relevant.
But with his evening news program often leading into Jeopardy! on many NBC stations, it might lead to Williams fatigue. In addition, Jeopardy shows are filmed ahead in advance. There will be times as anchor that he has to put on a serious tone during national tragedies. His solemn sign off would be undermined by leading into an episode of Jeopardy! where he is casually joking around.
3. Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper comes with the same advantages as Brian Williams. He is the best host on CNN and His CNN New Year’s Special, which include drag queens dropped in shoes, shows he has humor.
Is this Anderson Cooper’s Vanna White?
While there is less risk of Cooper fatigue, journalism needs Anderson Cooper more than Jeopardy! needs him. CNN’s Jeff Zucker is jazzing up the flailing network by turning it into a carnival side show of sensationalism with all the news value of midway cotton candy. Cooper, like Shepard Smith at Fox News, is the only voice of any authority at the network.
However, Zucker is damn determined to undermine Cooper by putting him on a show with Kathy Griffin, which we imagine will be an hour long attempt to fellate the gay host, so Jeopardy may be Cooper’s only way to save face.
This was a backdoor pilot to CNN’s first porn show.
4. Dan Patrick
Dan Patrick is a popular radio host, columnist and former anchor for ESPN, He has a strong presence and was even asked to audition to replace Bob Barker on The Price is Right.
He’s his own wacky sidekick!
Patrick turned down the offer for The Price Is Right, which brings up the question of his interest in game shows. His career has also been sports oriented, while the brainy Jeopardy! attracts the intellectual set. However, with Saber-metrics and stats-based fantasy football pushing up the sports IQ, maybe Patrick could be a great bridge between brains and brawn.
5. LeVar Burton
LeVar Burton has openly campaigned for the Jeopardy! host. He has many bonafides as Kunta Kinte, Geordi La Forge and host and co-creator of PBS’s Reading Rainbow. The last credential means that a whole generation of people who learned the joy of reading from him are now prime age to be Jeopardy! Contestants. He even has his own petition to get him on a host.
Welcome back to your childhood.
The weak spot could be that producers would too conservative and want someone with more experience hosting adult programming.
6. Ken Jennings
Many people joke that Alex Trebek only looks smart because he has the answers on the cards. Ken Jennings, the longest serving Jeopardy! contestant with 74 wins in a row, has proven he knows his trivia. After his Jeopardy win he appeared on several other game shows and hosted segments “Stump the Master” and “Clued In” on GSN Live, all while bringing the sexy back to game shows.
Answer: Dat ass. Question: What am I going to tap tonight?
There aren’t many negatives working against Jennings. The only thing would be as host he would hang up the game show appearances and he would have trouble being able to take on a challenger who beat his win streak.
Answer: Who Should Be The Next Jeopardy Host? Answer: LeVar Burton
Ultimately the two strongest contenders are LeVar Burton and Ken Jennings. Both have contributed greatly to America’s appreciation of learning. But while Jennings would appeal to existing fans, Burton would do the best job shepherding in a new generation of fans.
Bonus: Burton can bring the mustache back to Jeopardy!
Jennings should be retained for special tournaments, hosting Jeopardy! specials and be in a fill-in for Burton. Ultimately the 38 year-old Jennings should succeed 56 year-old Burton when the latter retires.