Who Ought to Be the Subsequent Host of “Jeopardy!”?
A couple of of the names had been predictable. Ken Jennings, the “Jeopardy!” champion who holds the longest profitable streak on the present, can be the perfect selection, some followers mentioned.
Different recommendations had been extra uncommon. What about Rosie Perez, the charismatic actress who, in “White Males Can’t Leap,” performed a trivia geek who was decided to get on the sport present?
As followers mourned the longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who died at 80 on Sunday, in addition they started to take a position about who would possibly change him. Social media buzzed with recommendations and jokes about who ought to host the present, from mainstream choices, like Mr. Jennings and the ABC Information anchor George Stephanopoulos, to extra jarring ones, just like the brash comic and podcast host Joe Rogan.
Mr. Trebek was not even the primary host of “Jeopardy!” When the present was revived in 1984, some followers of its unique host, Artwork Fleming, bristled on the cerebral Mr. Trebek, who was not afraid to indicate off his information of trivia, mentioned Claire McNear, whose e book about “Jeopardy!,” “Solutions within the Type of Questions,” was launched on Tuesday.
Now, he’s synonymous with the present.
“Trebek actually felt like a member of the household as a result of he was there in your lounge each evening,” Ms. McNear mentioned.
It was comprehensible, then, that followers would ponder Mr. Trebek’s alternative at the same time as they grieved him, she mentioned.
So, a minimum of in keeping with the followers, who’re the contenders?
Many followers on social media had been pushing for LeVar Burton, who hosted “Studying Rainbow”; performed Lt. Geordi La Forge, the brainy, blind engineer on “Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology”; and portrayed Kunta Kinte within the 1977 mini-series “Roots.”
By Tuesday, greater than 1,500 individuals had signed a petition urging Sony Footage Leisure Inc. and the present’s govt producer, Harry Friedman, to offer Mr. Burton the job.
“LeVar Burton has impressed and formed the minds of a number of generations of trivia-loving nerds,” the petition mentioned.
Mr. Burton has lengthy been a fan favourite to exchange Mr. Trebek, Ms. McNear mentioned. And earlier than Mr. Trebek’s dying, Mr. Burton was not shy about his curiosity in taking over the function.
“Not gonna lie, I really feel like I’ve been getting ready my complete life to occupy the @Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires,” he wrote on Twitter in September.
Mr. Trebek had mentioned he want to see a girl or an individual of shade succeed him, in keeping with Ms. McNear, who interviewed him for her e book.
“He did say to me that he was keenly conscious that the overwhelming majority of hosts had been white males,” she mentioned. “And it might be fantastic if the subsequent host of ‘Jeopardy!’ didn’t seem like him.”
Mr. Jennings is one other fan favourite. Not solely did he win a report 74 consecutive video games and $2.52 million on “Jeopardy!” in 2004, he’s additionally a marketing consultant on the present.
His critical but genial demeanor would make him a pure successor to Mr. Trebek, mentioned Steve Macek, a professor of communication at North Central Faculty in Naperville, Sick.
“Followers can be upset if Trebek had been changed by some colourful or humorous persona who upstaged the contestants and the questions,” he mentioned. “Ken Jennings, the winningest Jeopardy contestant, must be in competition, and he’d be a sensible choice.”
And Mr. Jennings needs the job, or a minimum of he did two years in the past when Ms. McNear interviewed him for her e book. “He informed me that he would completely serve his nation and serve his recreation present if he had been requested,” she mentioned.
There was additionally fan curiosity in Ben Mankiewicz, the mild-mannered Turner Traditional Films host, even when a petition urging the producers of “Jeopardy!” to make him the host had not amassed almost as many signatures because the one in assist of Mr. Burton.
“Ben is somebody who can develop with the present and future viewers for a few years to return, in the best way Alex did,” wrote M.J. Rocissono, the fan who began the petition.
Ms. Perez’s flip as a “Jeopardy!” obsessive in “White Males Can’t Leap” (1992) remained memorable sufficient to spark assist from a number of followers.
“If the brand new Jeopardy host isn’t Rosie Perez then I don’t need it,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “Rosie or Bust,” one other mentioned.
Not many different girls have been cited by followers as a attainable host, although Mr. Trebek championed the concept of a girl taking on. In 2018, he mentioned he thought Laura Coates, a CNN senior authorized analyst, would make host.
Nonetheless, Sarah Kornfield, a fan of the present and a professor of communication at Hope Faculty in Michigan, mentioned it was unlikely that the producers would select a girl to fill the function. “Experience and heat and trustworthiness are related to masculine traits in the US,” Professor Kornfield mentioned. “Individuals affiliate girls consultants with being shrill, and that isn’t the tone that ‘Jeopardy!’ is meant to set for the evening.”
She mentioned she was personally rooting for Melissa Harris-Perry, an American politics professor and former MSNBC host.
Mr. Rogan, the favored however divisive podcaster, was on the minds of some followers who mentioned his unpolished persona would give the sober-minded quiz present a much-needed jolt.
“Joe Rogan must host Jeopardy,” one fan wrote. “He would have a discipline day making enjoyable of the contestants.”
However Mr. Rogan, who presents himself as a counterweight to what he sees as political correctness run amok, has drawn criticism for discussing conspiracy theories, belittling transgender individuals and sharing his platform with far-right figures, resembling Gavin McInnes, the founding father of the Proud Boys.
Ms. McNear mentioned he shouldn’t be thought of a critical candidate to succeed Mr. Trebek.
“‘Jeopardy!’ followers can be rioting on the street,” she mentioned. “The establishment should be protected.”