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Ken Jennings made Jeopardy! feel cherish residence


Jeopardy! entered an unsure new period on Monday, nonetheless by the discontinue of the episode, the display camouflage’s future regarded a lot extra assured.

The Jan. 12 episode of Jeopardy! — the display camouflage’s 8,311th for the reason that debut of its most in vogue incarnation in 1984 — used to be its first one without legendary host Alex Trebek, who died in November on the age of 80. Taking Trebek’s situation at his hallowed lectern used to be maybe the display camouflage’s most notorious noncelebrity contestant: Ken Jennings, champion of the Most though-provoking of All Time tournament, who’s the first in a series of interim customer hosts.

Jennings walked out onto the stage following Johnny Gilbert’s introduction — “Right here is the customer host of Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings!” — and (understandably) got off to moderately of a shaky commence in talking about Trebek and about his have time as a contestant.

“Address all Jeopardy! followers, I miss Alex — very worthy,” said Jennings, his declare breaking. “And I thank him for all the pieces he did for all of us. Let’s be fully clear: No one will ever change the big Alex Trebek. However we are in a position to honor him by playing the game he cherished.”

And honor him he did. With the lend a hand of the contestants, who’re, as Trebek repeatedly said, the right stars of the display camouflage. Once the Jeopardy spherical began, it used to be remarkably refined crusing for everyone alive to.

Jennings could no longer be blessed with the natural gravitas of Trebek’s deep, authoritative declare, honed one day of his pre-sport-display camouflage occupation as a broadcaster in his native Canada. However he already had some ride reading Jeopardy! clues in his feature as a consulting producer, which began this season, and it confirmed. Since contestants can no longer buzz in except the second after the speaker finishes reading the clue, timing is serious: Longtime viewers, maybe clicking a retractable pen in time with the gamers on TV, realized to clock Trebek’s legitimate cadence. And Jennings managed to bring the identical deliberate prance as his loved predecessor.

Above all, a bunch’s job is to assist circulate and seem personable. Viewers cherished Trebek for his wit and his typically deadpan humor, especially when he engaged in light ribbing of the contestants — both one day of the interview section and one day of the game itself. Jennings pulled it all off admirably, maybe aided by his years of ride as a player.

When the $2,000 clue within the “Purchase Up the Homophone” category — “A crew singing, or a situation of 24 sheets of paper” — stumped all three contestants, Jennings remarked that he had figured that third-podium player Julia Shear Kushner could know the factual response: What’s choir/quire? Kushner, a licensed skilled from Long Seaside, California, had said in her interview that she sings in a choir with a bunch of other lawyers.

And as Answers within the Construct of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Files to Jeopardy! creator Claire McNear notorious on Twitter, citing avid fan Impress Hinog, both Jennings and Trebek ended their respective first episodes — extra than 36 years apart — by chiding the new champion for their minute Closing Jeopardy wager.

my other popular ingredient: both Ken and Trebek concluded their very first episodes web web hosting Jeopardy! by teasing the new champ for no longer making a wager extra in Closing Jeopardy

— Claire McNear (@clairemcnear) January 12, 2021

“I’m hoping [the contestants] feel that I maintain a approach of solidarity with them — you already know, that I’m rooting for them; that I do know how no longer easy it is some distance and how it feels; that after I’m impressed, that’s generous, because I do know what they’re going via,” Jennings said in an interview with Jeopardy!’s producers, responding to a ask about what he brings to the acquire web hosting gig.

Tanay Kothari, a exchange operations affiliate from Oakland, California, shrugged when Jennings revealed his $0 wager on the Closing Jeopardy category, 1960s Songs. “Now he decides no longer to make a choice a risk!” said Jennings, referring to the very fact that Kothari had long previous for a right Day-to-day Double twice one day of the game.

Kothari used to be doubtlessly kicking himself moderately bit, since he had been ready to shut lend a hand up with the factual response to the clue: “The title of this title song from a 1964 movie could presumably also additionally be translated from Spanish as ‘Long Stay the Meadows.’” (Jennings used to be buying for this: What’s “Viva Las Vegas”?) However then, Kothari’s opponents couldn’t bewitch him Closing Jeopardy — the game used to be a “runaway,” as Trebek would maintain put it, and Kothari used to be crowned the new Jeopardy! champion with an excellent tally of $26,800.

As rapidly because the credits rolled, my wife modified into to me to announce that she conception Jennings had done a large job, and I needed to agree. Jeopardy! will beneath no conditions be the identical without Alex Trebek, nonetheless in steady one episode on the helm, Jennings proved that the display camouflage can restful feel cherish residence.