“Jeopardy!” guest host Savannah Guthrie was definitely nervous about filling in for late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek. But she was not alone, because the contestants were pretty nervous, too.
In a segment on the “Today” show, which she co-hosts, Guthrie admitted that she “had nerves” when she was up there behind the podium. But she said it turned out okay – she and the contestants sort of helped each other, as it were.
“They were so sweet, the contestants,” Guthrie said. “I mean it’s like their big moment. We were kind of all in it together. I had nerves, they had nerves. But they were all just, the whole group was just so wonderful. It was one of my favorite experiences.”
Watch Guthrie describe her guest hosting stint (at 4:50) here:
It’s a Mutual Admiration Society
As much as Guthrie like the contestants, they also took to her. Guthrie got positive reviews from several of the contestants who competed on “Jeopardy!” during her guest-hosting stint.
“She kept everything moving along with the questions. It was just all around great,” one contestant said.
“She’s great at thinking on her feet,” another contestant chimed in.
“She read the clues beautifully, she ran the game beautifully, tons across the board,” a third contestant added.
Guthrie has said that hosting “Jeopardy!” was “a different ballgame” than her daytime TV gig. But if the contestants are any guide, she seems to have been up to the task.
Guthrie Is Not Interested in Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ Long-Term
As she made clear in her “Today” show segment, Guthrie is not interested in taking over as permanent host. For one thing, she’s happy with her “Today” show co-hosting duties. For another, she had to study “really hard” for “Jeopardy!”.
“I was a terrible student until much later in life so there’s just so much I don’t know in general,” Guthrie told People recently. “But… I studied really hard. I read everything ahead of time and I hope some of those facts stay in my head so I can impress people at cocktail parties.”
Some of the guest hosts who have expressed interest in the permanent hosting job are Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and actress Mayim Bialik. And the upcoming guest hosts George Stephanopoulos and LeVar Burton are reportedly interested in taking over for Trebek, too.
The decision will ultimately be up to Sony executives. But “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards said they’re relying on data and analytics, not personal preferences, to make the decision. “Jeopardy!” fans should know their choice sometime later this year.