George Stephanopoulos starts his week as guest host of Jeopardy! on Monday, July 12. And in preparation, he showed clips from his time behind the scenes at the show. And it showed how easy Alex Trebek made hosting Jeopardy! appear to be when it’s actually incredibly difficult.
Trebek died last year of pancreatic cancer. But Stephanopoulos was lucky enough to interview the television icon on Good Morning America several times. He discussed that in a sneak peek of his opening night introduction.
“What a thrill for me to be here on this stage,” he said, standing on the Jeopardy! set. “You know, I was lucky to meet Alex many times when he was a guest on Good Morning America. He always made us smile, and he inspired us with his grace in the face of cancer. It’s a privilege for me to honor his legacy.”
But he found out it was a lot harder than it seemed.
At one point in the clip, Stephanopoulos, a Rhodes Scholar, looks exhausted. He leans against the podium and looks weary and out-of-sorts.
The reason the job is so hard, he said, is there are so many moving parts. Everything on the show must run like clockwork, and everything goes through the host. He’s the time-keeper, the contestant’s motivator and consoler, and a full-time party host.
He must keep the game lively and moving along at a specific pace. All the while, he’s reading difficult questions with hard-to-pronounce names. It’s like patting your head and rubbing your stomach while also hosting one of the hardest game shows on TV.
“The job, don’t fumble when reading the clues,” he said. “Stay focused. Keep things moving. And remember what Alex always said ‘It’s about the game.'”
We’ll find out how Stephanopoulos does tonight.
Stephanopoulos Recalls Fond Memory Of Trebek
He was out to dinner with his family, and Trebek just happened to be in the restaurant. And Trebek showed the Stephanopoulos family the kindness and grace he was known for.
“The one I remember most. I was with my family once at a Greek restaurant in New York called Loi. And Alex, as it turned out, was in the table right next to us with his kids,” Stephanopoulos said in the interview. “And he was just so warm, and he came over to the table, and greeted my parents and said very nice things about me to my parents. It was just such a beautiful thing to do.”