In the months since Alex Trebek’s death, “Jeopardy” has been publicly trying out multiple new angles, looking for someone who might credibly take over for the legendary host. In the main, these fill-ins have been quite successful, providing both some continuity with what Trebek did well while also lending their own personalities to the proceedings. While a few have lent not much of an impression — and at least one left a markedly bad taste in viewers’ mouths — it’s overall been a successful way to keep eyes on the show and to figure out what lies ahead for it.
Some of the guest hosts, like Savannah Guthrie, have publicly said they have no interest in taking the job. “I’m fully occupied with my full-time job, and I’m so happy at the ‘Today’ show, and I would never leave,” Guthrie told an interviewer; her “Today” predecessor Katie Couric has also said she isn’t looking to host the game show permanently, citing the “tremendous flexibility” of her work in journalism.
At least one other guest, Aaron Rodgers, has been up-front about his desire to fill Trebek’s shoes. “It would be a dream job for sure, and I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job,” the quarterback has said. But, fittingly given “Jeopardy’s” high nightly stakes, Rodgers faces stiff competition.
Here’s the state of the race so far: This critic’s ranking of the 2021 “Jeopardy” substitutes’ performances, from the moment Ken Jennings stepped on stage as the first guest host up to the present day.