‘Jeopardy!’ Ken Jennings Admits To Stealing From Alex Trebek

Ken Jennings | YouTube

Ken Jennings took over as the Jeopardy! host shortly after Alex Trebek’s death and has fit into the role perfectly. Initially, Mike Richards replaced Trebek, but he was forced out and replaced by Hennings and Mayim Bialik. Now, it is Jennings’ show on his own, and fans seem to have accepted him as their own.

However, he recently revealed that he “stole” something from Alex Trebek to make his job much easier. Here is what you need to know.

Ken Jennings Admits To Stealing Something From Alex Trebek

Before Ken Jennings took over as the Jeopardy! host, he was a contestant. He ended up wildly successful, winning $3,022,700 on the show, including $2,522,700 in his initial appearances. Jeopardy! isn’t his only gameshow appearance, as he has won more money than anyone else on American game shows, with $4,522,700 in winnings.

Jeopardy!: Ken Jennings
Jeopardy!: Ken Jennings

This made him more than qualified to host Jeopardy!. However, there is more to hosting a game show than being good at it. That is where something he stole from Alex Trebek helped him on his journey. Jennings, 50, said on a recent episode of his Omnibus podcast that Alex helped him when he hosted one of his first episodes.

“When I was first asked to guest host Jeopardy!, they gave me a set of scripts that Alex had already gone over,” Ken said on the podcast. “He had written essentially musical notations above the words of the clues to kind of show these words run together, here’s where the pause is, here’s where you emphasize.”

While Ken said Alex didn’t micromanage, he wanted to ensure Ken understood how to say certain things and convey the meaning correctly. He said that he now hears immediately when he says something with the wrong tone or nuance and realizes it could confuse the players.

Ken said he stole this from Alex. When he gets a new script for the show, he will use the same tricks Alex used by putting the “musical notations above the words.” When asked, Ken admitted that he stole the exact notations that Alex used on his scripts when working on new ones.

Ken Jennings Wants To Be Himself On Jeopardy!

While Ken Jennings uses the exact notations that Alex Trebek used to emphasize what he will say on Jeopardy!, he doesn’t want to copy Trebek. Jennings said on the podcast that he wants to be himself when he is out there.

Ken Jennings via youtube
Ken Jennings via YouTube

“You really want to hit the part that helps them get to the answer,” Jenning said. He doesn’t use a teleprompter, although he does have a screen on his podium. He said that he gets the paper script anyway and then marks it up before going out for each episode.

That said, Ken Jennings wants to be himself on the show, and he seems to have done a good job in that aspect.

What are your thoughts on Ken Jennings’ performance so far on Jeopardy!? Do you feel he has been a good replacement for Alex Trebek? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below.

Shawn Lealos
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