Ken Jennings has been the guest host of Jeopardy! for nearly 30 episodes, and the audience reaction so far hasn’t been all that positive. In fact, when Jennings was announced as Alex Trebek’s temporary replacement, fans began taking issue before the new guest host’s first episode was even filmed. This came as a result of some remarks that the celebrity and prior Jeopardy! winner had made on social media. Ken Jennings had been groomed for a role as a replacement for Alex Trebek during the season before Trebek’s passing.
He had taken on a producer credit on the show, and was even hosting pre-recorded segments that aired in the middle of the traditional game. It appeared that the executives had the perfect replacement lined up just in time for Trebek’s passing at the end of 2020. They announced that Jennings was going to take on the role as temporary guest host indefinitely, with the unspoken potential for him to become a permanent fixture should things work out. However, it appears that Jennings might not be cut out to fill Trebek’s shoes. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at why fans Jeopardy! fans are BASHING host Ken Jennings.
Alex Trebek’s Death In 2020
After Alex Trebek’s death in 2020, the producers of the television game show staple Jeopardy! were scrambling to find someone to fill the longtime host’s shoes. Alex Trebek had hosted the program since 1984, becoming an integral part of the show for numerous generations. Trebek’s lovable interactions with the audience solidified the experience of the show for those who watched it. The loss of Trebek created a void that the producers were going to have a hard time filling.
Thankfully, they had a possible replacement lined up before Alex Trebek’s passing. This replacement received the blessing of Trebek himself, and also got to learn a thing or two from the master before his death. Of course, we’re talking about past Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings, who has now taken on a long guest-hosting stint in the wake of Trebek’s passing. However, the gig is turning out to be a little more than Jennings bargained for when he initially agreed. As it turns out, the fans aren’t too excited about Trebek’s replacement.
Although they kept Ken Jennings in the back of their minds, the producers of Jeopardy! didn’t immediately make the decision to take him on as a replacement after Trebek’s passing. They passed around numerous other candidates behind closed doors, including Steve Harvey and Betty White. However, Jennings had been previously groomed for a potential role, having hosted several miniature pre-taped segments on the show during Trebek’s final season. Audience response to these segments had been positive, and it appeared that Jennings could possibly be in consideration to inherit full-time hosting duties in the future.
Jennings didn’t appear out of nowhere. He had previously gained notoriety as the highest-earning contestant on Jeopardy!, as well as several other game shows. He used this notoriety to launch himself into somewhat of a social media celebrity. And he wrote a book, gaining himself further exposure. From there, he leveraged his success to gain a producer role on Trebek’s last season of Jeopardy!. This is what lead him to get the job hosting the pre-recorded segments. The audience seemed to take a liking to Jennings, seeing him as somewhat of an avatar.
Alex Trebek As A Charming Host
The role that Alex Trebek played for the audience was as a charming host that the contestants could play off of. He was friendly, and enabled the contestants to open up and feel comfortable as they played the game. In turn, the audience at home got to share in the pleasant atmosphere and experience the contestants’ emotions vicariously. Perhaps the executives thought that Ken Jennings could channel this same energy with his unique everyman demeanor.
However, it appears that their intuition may have been a little misguided. As it turns out, many fans aren’t taking kindly to Ken Jennings for a variety of reasons. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to Facts Verse if you’d like to be among the first to know when more content is on it’s way!
After Alex Trebek’s passing at the end of 2020, NBC kicked around numerous potential ideas for replacements that could host Jeopardy!. In the end, they decided on a series of guest hosts, with the main one being previous Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings. Jennings seemed perfectly fit for the role, but it’s turning out that the fans are not taking kindly to the new host.
30 Episode Of Jenning In The Show
Jennings has already hosted over 30 episodes of the beloved show, so it might seem like the potential full-time replacement for Trebek has had plenty of time to warm up to his new duties. However, the audience isn’t warming up to him. Immediately upon Jennings’ hiring as a guest replacement for Trebek, fans began to take ire. Many fans called back to previous statements that Jennings had made as a social media personality. Some such comments were made in reaction to a viral video that depicted a father forcing his hungry child to starve until the child could figure out how to open a can of beans for himself. Jennings defended the father, which many fans took as somewhat callous, if not outright concerning.
On top of his flippant remarks regarding that viral video, many of Jeopardy!‘s conservative fan base took umbrage when notified of many extreme leftist remarks that Jennings had made over the years on social media. Jennings was quick to apologize, although many of the offended parties considered this apology somewhat insincere.
Ken Jennings’s First Appearance In Jeopardy!
All of this controversy loomed over Ken Jennings as he made his first appearance as a guest host of Jeopardy!. However, he managed to perform under the pressure. Still, fans felt that there was something that was simply missing from his performance. For whatever reason, most feel that Jennings just doesn’t have the personality to fill Trebek’s shoes.
Many people seem to feel that Jennings lacks charisma in front of the camera. He appears to be a little stiff, although it’s possible he could loosen up over time. Trebek had an effortless charm that allowed him to stand back while still playing well to the camera. With Jennings, many watching feel that he doesn’t have enough of a presence of his own. Some have chalked this up to Jennings simply being nervous, but even after 30 episodes he still hasn’t seemed to warm up to the crowd.
Ken Jennings As The Butt Of A Joke
In the wake of this somewhat negative public reaction, Ken Jennings also became the butt of a joke to a particular contestant in a recent episode. In the episode, a contestant named Brian Chang went out of his way to give an incorrect answer to a question that could’ve won him the game. However, the wrong answer he gave was secretly a dig against Ken Jennings himself. This contestant essentially forfeited the game just to make fun of Jennings, and this is perhaps emblematic of the public’s general feelings towards the temporary guest host.
This incident occurred during the final round of the episode, and the question was pertaining to business and travel. The question was regarding the origin of the name of the Motel 6 chain of motels, with the correct answer itself being “Motel 6”. However, Brian Chang gave the answer as “H&R Block”. While this answer may seem innocuous to the outsider observer, it takes on a different meaning if you have an awareness of Ken Jennings’ own past on Jeopardy!.
Broke His Winning Streak In 2004
You see, Ken Jennings infamously broke his own winning streak in 2004 by giving this same incorrect answer. Whether or not Brian Chang knew the correct answer to his own question, he certainly knew a lot about Ken Jennings and Jeopardy!. Although Chang sacrificed a lot to deliver this line to Jennings, the host took it in good spirits and still sent the contestant home with some prize money. It’s uncertain what the future will hold for Jennings, but hopefully he can find himself and develop a presence on the stage that could potentially match Trebek’s. If not, perhaps his temporary gig as a guest host is going to come to an end sooner rather than later. Until then, we’ll watch each new episode anxiously awaiting further news!
There’s no question that Ken Jennings has been given some exceptionally large shoes to fill, and perhaps the audience is being a little hard on the guy due to some lofty expectations. Comment down below to share your personal feelings on whether or not Jennings is right for the job, or if you think there’s someone who might be a better fit! As always, like the video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more videos are on the way!