Who Will Replace Alex Trebek as Host of Jeopardy!?

By in Entertainment on
6 Minute Read

For the first time since 1984, fans of the hit TV gameshow Jeopardy! will no longer be able to tune in to see the friendly face and comforting voice of Alex Trebek. The longtime host passed away from cancer on Sunday, November 8th, and left behind a television legacy that has touched generations.

Last year, Trebek publicly shared his diagnosis and was immediately immersed in love and support from fans around the world especially via social media. Trebek was also consulted in regards to who would replace him once he retired as the 80 year old was nearing the end of his historic run.

This past January, Trebek made the following comments about who would replace him:

“It’s not a decision that would be up to me, and I would not make myself available to presenting an opinion. I would leave it up to the people in charge.”

True to his word, Trebek has left that task up to those in charge at the studios. Albeit, there was a lighthearted moment where Trebek jokingly nominated the 98 year old actress Betty White as his replacement.

White has become a “national treasure” in her own right and is actually one of the names that’s linked to replacing Trebek.

Entertainment betting sites have released a list of potential candidates and some of these celebrities might surprise you.

Jeopardy! Betting Odds

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Ken Jennings (+100)
  • George Stephanopoulos (+325)
  • LeVar Burton (+900)
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (+1400)
  • Pat Sajak (+1600)
  • Alex Faust (+1800)
  • Laura Coates (+1800)
  • Ryan Seacrest (+1800)
  • Tom Bergeron (+1800)
  • Jimmy Kimmel (+2000)
  • Katie Couric (+2000)
  • Mina Kimes (+2200)
  • Jane Lynch (+2500)
  • Neil Patrick Harris (+2500)
  • Trevor Noah (+2800)
  • Wolf Blitzer (+2800)
  • Drew Carey (+3300)
  • Chris Harrison (+4000)
  • Howie Mandel (+4000)
  • Jon Stewart (+4000)
  • Piers Morgan (+4000)
  • Steve Harvey (+4000)
  • Erin Andrews (+5000)
  • Nick Cannon (+5000)
  • Al Michaels (+6600)
  • Joe Rogan (+6600)
  • Rosie Perez (+6600)
  • Oprah Winfrey (+10000)
  • James Holzhauer (+25000)
  • Donald Trump (+100000)

As you can see, there are a lot of names “associated” with this position. However, many of these names have no realistic chance at becoming the next host of Jeopardy!.

Could you honestly see Donald Trump as the next host?

Half of the nation would tune out. That’s not something that the “big wigs” want. In fact, they’re looking for a steady host who can be a calm, confident presence as this show heads into an unknown era.

That also rules out many of these other names like Joe Rogan, Nick Cannon, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart and more.

Without going through every name, here are some of the candidates that have either been linked to Jeopardy! in the past or would make a great addition to this show:

Can Past Contestants Become the Host?

When we think back on past contestants, there are only a handful of them that fans could name. Of that group, there’s really only two that could possibly step into the role that Trebek left behind:

Ken Jennings (+100)

Ken Jennings set all-time records on the show when he won 74 consecutive episodes and over $2.5 million dollars in 2004. He’s been a part of just about every tournament since then and has battled against other top winners and computers over the last decade.

Furthermore, Jennings has become a producer on the show since then and has gone on to be associated with other game shows as well. Other than Alex Trebek, no other person has been more synonymous to this show than Jennings has.

James Holzhauer (+25000)

“Jeopardy James” brought this show back to the forefront of television last year with his unique style of play, boldness and quick triggered approach. Holzhauer only won 32 consecutive episodes, but he racked up just under $2.5 million dollars in that span and set several records along the way.

Holzhauer, along with many other people, expressed via Twitter his sadness over the passing of Trebek:

“It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex.”

“Jeopardy James” has a little edge to his personality which may or may not ruffle some feathers. However, he also has a big following within the Jeopardy! community that rivals Ken Jennings.

Could We See a Woman Replacing Trebek?

In 2018, Trebek talked about the possibility of a woman taking over the show. No, it wasn’t Betty White.

Laura Coates (+1800)

Trebek made the following comments about possible replacements:

“There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She’s African-American, and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time.”

Coates is certainly capable of transitioning from an analyst to a TV show host should the studios decide on it. It was rather surprising that Trebek mentioned her considering she wasn’t even associated with the show or rumored to be in the running.

Back in 2018, she was the odds on favorite to replace Alex Trebek when his contract was set to expire this year.

Rosie Perez (+6600)

Rosie Perez is a talented actress with a long list of acting credentials. One role in particular was her character in the film “White Men Can’t Jump” where she starred alongside Woody Harrelson.

Perez’s character was obsessed with Jeopardy! and has sparked fans to lobby for her as Trebek’s replacement.

What About Other Game Show Hosts?

It’s only natural that fans would suggest another game show host slide on in to the open spot on Jeopardy!. Of the many past and present hosts out there, the following three men are potential candidates:

Pat Sajak (+1600)

Pat Sajak is the longtime host of Wheel of Fortune and has actually been on the air longer than Trebek. Sajak started hosting in 1983, one year prior to Trebek taking over on Jeopardy!.

In addition to be a game show host, Sajak and Trebek were friends and also hosted the other’s game show at one time in 1997, which threw millions of fans into confusion.

Sajak made the following comments on Twitter about Trebek’s passing:

“Alex Trebek’s courage, grace and strength inspired millions and awed those of us who knew him. A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers and countless viewers. I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day.”

As wonderful as Sajak is on Wheel of Fortune, I do not see him replacing Trebek. In fact, in a few years, we could be sitting here talking about who will replace Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

Tom Bergeron (+1800)

Tom Bergeron is a longtime TV show host who is best known for hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos from 2001 to 2015 and Dancing With the Stars from 2005 to 2020.

His name is actually being thrown into the hat for possible replacements especially with his large fan base leading the charge.

Bergeron’s odds of +1800 offers value as he already has a connection with fans of different genres and brings a welcoming presence to whichever show he hosts.

Steve Harvey (+4000)

I couldn’t help, but laugh at the thought of Steve Harvey being the next host of Jeopardy!. He certainly has the hosting chops to accomplish this and is a great host on many other shows like his talk show, Family Feud, and the Mrs. Universe pageant. But, comedy and trivia don’t seem to mesh.

With so many other responsibilities and commitments, I just don’t see Harvey leaving those behind to become the next host of Jeopardy!.

Like so many others, Harvey expressed his condolences via Twitter and even called Trebek “the classiest game show host of all time.”

Final Jeopardy!: Who Replaces Alex Trebek?

All of the men and women mentioned above could certainly succeed as the next host of Jeopardy!, but in my opinion there’s one name that would take this show into the next era with a similar classiness and charm. That name is LeVar Burton (+900).

Just this week, thousands of fans have signed a petition for Burton to be the next host. You can add my name to that petition as I fully agree. Burton has even publicly stated via Twitter that he feels like he has prepared his whole life to become the next host of Jeopardy!.

Burton is a talented actor who spent many years as the blind engineer on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” He’s also known for his role as Kunta Kinte in the 1977 critically acclaimed mini-series “Roots.”

But, it’s Burton’s time as the host of Reading Rainbow that has endeared him the most to families across America. He earned 12 Emmys as host and producer during his tenure with the show.

Furthermore, when we think of Alex Trebek we think of someone who was part of the family as he spent nearly four decades coming into our homes every weekday. Well, those adults that watch the Jeopardy! nowadays were probably kids watching Reading Rainbow in the 80s.

I am one of those individuals who grew up on both shows. As a kid, I watched Reading Rainbow for several years in the 1980s. In fact, I still know most of the words to the classic theme song.

Additionally, my family was one of those households that had both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune on every evening during the 80s and 90s. When I was in college, I spent many evenings battling my father to see which of us would win at Jeopardy! on any given night.

Trebek’s passing was felt in my household this past week as he was a “part of the family” for so many years. He was classy and beloved by so many people. It’s almost the equivalent of when the great Johnny Carson died.

Additionally, LeVar Burton was a part of my childhood for many years with Reading Rainbow.  And, as a teenager, Burton was on the TV whenever a new episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation came on.

Ken Jennings is the safe play here as he seems to be the leading candidate, but LeVar Burton is my choice as he also offers betting value at +900 odds.

Who Replaces Alex Trebek? LeVar Burton (+900)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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