‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings Reveals How He Differs From Mayim Bialik as Host: ‘Not What You’re Gonna See From Me’

Ken Jennings is back as guest host of Jeopardy! and will continue to trade off with Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik through 2021. The Jeopardy! GOAT has a long history with the beloved game show, which makes him a potential frontrunner for the permanent gig. He recently described how his style takes a different approach compared to Bialik when it comes to manning the quiz board.

Ken Jennings wins 'Jeopardy!' The Greatest of All Time Tournament
‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Ken Jennings connection to ‘Jeopardy!’ began in 2004

Jennings rose to fame during his record-breaking Jeopardy! run in 2004. Winning 74 consecutive games and bringing in over $2.5 million in cash, the quiz whiz was invited back for several tournaments including 2020’s Greatest of All Time. Defeating former champs James Holzhauer and Brad Rudd, Jennings was officially crowned Jeopardy! GOAT and was even brought on staff as a consulting producer.

The Washington native was the first guest host to serve at the legendary lectern in Janaury following the death of game show icon Alex Trebek in November 2020. Jennings’ bond with Jeopardy! has fans considering him to be the obvious successor to Trebek.

“Great to have Ken back. He is the perfect Jeopardy! person to be host,” one fan wrote on Instagram. “You are Jeopardy!’s legacy and future as its greatest champion,” another posted. “Ken hosting simply feels right,” a viewer remarked. “I’m so happy that Ken is back. His presence reminds me of Alex. It’s a pleasure to watch!” a follower shared.

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Mayim Bialik has a ‘fresh’ take on ‘Jeopardy!’

Bialik first stepped up to the podium in late May through mid-June, then resumed in September after being named guest host along with Jennings. The Jeopardy! champ called Bialik a “delightful” host who brings a different vibe to the game in comparison to himself.

“[It’s] kind of a fresh and authentic feeling,” Jennings told USA Today of Bialik. “Like somebody just kind of discovering Jeopardy!, which is not what you’re gonna see from me.”

Though Jennings realizes Trebek can never be replaced, he takes his cues from the game show icon.

“I hear Alex’s voice in my head every time I’m out there,” he remarked. “You can’t stand on that stage and say those things without thinking about him. Every time I’m up there, I’m doing Alex. Not just because he perfected it, but because that’s the only way I’ve ever seen it done.”

Alex Trebek made hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ look ‘easy’

Shortly after Trebek’s passing, Jennings wrote a tribute to the beloved television personality and described how challenging it can be to host the game show.

“Running a fast-paced show like Jeopardy! is a harder job than viewers realize,” Jennings wrote in an article for Time. “The host is not only moderating the game for the three contestants, but he’s also interpreting it for viewers. In sports terms, he’s the referee and the broadcast booth all at once.”

RELATED: Why ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Ken Jennings Originally Turned Down the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ Tournament: ‘I Told Them No’

Jennings also pointed out that Trebek never wanted to be center stage. Rather, he always wanted the Jeopardy! game to be in the limelight.

“Alex wasn’t aloof; he was just busy,” Jennings explained. “But he always made it look easy. And despite that daunting job description, he was never introduced, as Art Fleming had been in the 1960s, as ‘the star of Jeopardy!‘ At Alex’s own insistence, he was always just ‘the host of Jeopardy!‘ The star of the show, he always maintained, was the game itself.”