‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings Takes Over Hosting Duties on 1-Year Anniversary of Alex Trebek’s Death

Ken Jennings is back at the Jeopardy! lectern once again to man the quiz board. The game show GOAT is resuming guest hosting duties exactly one year after the death of Jeopardy! legend Alex Trebek. Jennings was the first person to serve at the iconic podium following Trebek’s passing in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer, and fans have been awaiting his return.

'Jeopardy!' GOAT Ken Jennings attends the ABC Television's Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings | Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Fans react to news of ‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings’ return

Jennings and Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik made headlines on Sept. 16 after being named Jeopardy! guest hosts through 2021. Viewers were quick to share their excitement at seeing the game show GOAT back at the lectern, with many lobbying for him to take on the role permanently.

“Yay! Ken Jennings is coming back! 😍,” a follower wrote on Instagram. “Ken should stay,” another posted. “Just name Ken the permanent host already!” one fan pleaded. “Ken Jennings is the natural heir apparent as host of Jeopardy!,” a viewer remarked. “Just as long as Ken ends up getting it full time,” another commented.

The quiz whiz posted a reminder about his reprisal at the podium and shared his gratitude for the opportunity.

“I’m tagging in from @missmayim and hosting some @Jeopardy again starting this week,” Jennings tweeted on Nov. 7. “Always an honor and a real joy to be back where it all started. (Also, it’s been a minute so I hope I’m not too rusty out there.)”

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Alex Trebek’s final ‘Jeopardy!’ episode aired in January 2021

Trebek was transparent with Jeopardy! viewers regarding his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, sharing the news in March 2019. The iconic host remained at his Jeopardy! post throughout his illness and received ongoing support from fans and colleagues. Trebek’s last episode was taped before his death on Nov. 8, 2020 and aired on Jan. 8 2021. His final sign-off from the game show was given with his trademark class.

“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for spending the time with us,” Trebek said in his last Jeopardy! show. “We’ll see you again next week.”

Media outlets are posting tributes to the game show legend on social media to mark the one-year anniversary of his passing.

“We can’t believe it has been a year since we lost Alex Trebek,” KCBD11 tweeted. “There’s no question: Alex Trebek is dearly missed by all his fans. Monday, Nov. 8, marks the one-year anniversary of the legendary Jeopardy! host’s death,” WABC7 News posted. “Today we’re remembering the beloved Alex Trebek, who passed away one year ago today,” WNDU wrote in honor of Trebek.

Ken Jennings honored Alex Trebek on his first day as ‘Jeopardy!’ guest host

On Jan. 11, 2021, Jennings became the first guest host to stand at the trivia board after Trebek’s death. The Jeopardy! GOAT’s first priority was to pay tribute to the beloved TV personality.

“Sharing the stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said on the air. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace — really, there’s no other word for it.”

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings Set ‘Nerdiness Records’ Preparing for His Record-Breaking Run

Jennings made it clear that Trebek was in a class by himself and his role was to simply continue and honor his legacy.

Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us,” Jennings remarked. “Let’s be totally clear. No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”

Jennings begins his Jeopardy! guest hosting stint on Nov. 8, 2021.