It feels unthinkable that anyone other than Alex Trebek would ever host Jeopardy! The beloved host stood on its stage for 36 years, winning seven Emmy awards and earning the love and admiration of millions. With his death last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, all eyes are on who will receive the impossible task of taking his place.
Where Do Things Stand Right Now?
Gossip Cop suspects that there is no host in waiting at all. The National Enquirer claimed Trebek only had months to live in early 2019, yet he held on and hosted for another year. Jeopardy! continued with Trebek hosting for as long as it possibly could. Pre-taped episodes with Trebek will continue to air through Christmas.
Trebek showed little interest in choosing his own successor. He would joke with the Jeopardy! audience that his pick would be Betty White. We likely won’t know who will host after him until 2021, and even then it’s possible there could be guest hosts for a while. This all remains to be seen. That being said, tabloids have still had a few different picks for the job.
How About Matthew McConaughey?
The Enquirer claimed earlier this year that the Academy Award winner would take Trebek’s place as host. “Matthew is smart and has a down-home likability that fans naturally gravitate to,” a supposed insider said. “If Drew Carey could make the transition from TV sitcom star to ‘The Price is Right’ host, Matthew McConaughey could certainly take over for Alex Trebek.”
There are too many differences to name between Carey and McConaughey, but it’s not worth getting into as this story was bogus. A rep for McConaughey told Gossip Cop “While it’s nice, it’s not true.” McConaughey is a very busy actor, and Jeopardy! is a full-time job.
Other recent stories have emerged reporting former White House communications director and ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos is interested in the gig. Stephanopoulos told Howard Stern in May that he could be tempted, saying,
I think it would be a lot of fun, but I like what I’m doing, too. I’m not going to be Shermanesque about it but, you know, it’s a great show.
What About Ken Jennings?
For many, the natural successor to Trebek would be Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings. The Enquirer agreed and said Jennings would become the host back in September. Jennings has a lot going for him as a potential new host. He’s already synonymous with the show, he’s done some producing work for them, and he has hosting experience on the Game Show Network’s Master Minds.
Gossip Cop isn’t so sure though. We know the Enquirer can’t be trusted here as it’s pivoting from McConaughey to Jennings with little explanation. Furthermore, we actually checked with a source close to the situation who denied that Jennings would be the host, but that was also before Trebek passed away. Plans can always change, so we’ll all have to stay tuned.