'Jeopardy!' Guest Host Bill Whitaker Is Earning Fans' Approval: 'Reminds Me of Alex'
60 Minutes journalist Bill Whitaker’s first week of shows as guest host on Jeopardy! just wrapped up and already fans are praising his performance.
Many of the show’s viewers are even bestowing on Whitaker the highest praise possible, comparing the acclaimed television correspondent to the show’s late and beloved host Alex Trebek.
A revolving door of guest hosts are trying to fill Alex Trebek’s shoes
With celebrity guest hosts standing at Trebek’s lectern since the host’s death, viewers have seen the comings and goings of Ken Jennings, the show’s executive producer Michael Richards, Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Anderson Cooper. Still to come are Savannah Guthrie, Mayim Bialik, and Sanjay Gupta.
Whitaker, for his part, expressed that he was taken back by the pace of the show.
“I work in television news, which is a totally different animal. I’m used to talking to one camera,” he told The Washington Post. “Here, you had, I think, four cameras — one swoops in from the side, you talk to that one at the end of one commercial, and then swoops to another one you have to talk to after a commercial, and then the contestants are over on the other side. The thing that I was most surprised about was just how fast-paced it is.”
Ken Jennings says a new host will be named soon
The game show’s greatest player of all time, and its current consulting producer is Ken Jennings. The champ said recently that the show will most certainly name its permanent host and soon.
“I’m not being coy,” Jennings said. “I don’t know who that is. ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ are multimillion-dollar properties for Sony TV. Those things just print money, and they are going to take this decision very seriously.”
In the running for new host is, of course, Jennings himself. He admitted that he kind of enjoyed himself – a lot – while he served as guest host.
“I did feel like at the end, I was almost starting to get comfortable, I was starting to enjoy it a little bit,” Jennings during a Washington state virtual charity event. “I think with time I am starting to figure this out. So I do hope I get another chance.”
Whitaker’s positive reviews
At the end of this week, the game show announced in an Instagram post that the journalist’s first week on the show had earned a substantial amount of money for a great cause.
“$129,199 raised for @mediafellowshiphouse during Bill Whitaker’s first week as guest host!,” the post read.
Media Fellowship House, according to their website, was created in 1944 and promotes “fellowship and understanding between diverse cultures and generations.”
Fans’ reactions to the post focused more on Whitaker than on the monies raised for the organization.
“Such a wonderful host! I hope he becomes the permanent one,” said one Jeopardy! fan.
Another wrote, “If we are allowed to vote I would say “Bill Whitaker” is my vote! with out a doubt.” And another said, “I like Bill’s peaceful presence, his rhythm in reading clues and patience. He most closely resembles Alex’s good nature and putting the players first.”
“He reminds me of Alex and should stay as permanent host!,” another of the show’s Instagram followers said, summing it up for many.
We’ll have to see this fall when the classic answer-and-question show finally makes its decision as to who will remain at the helm.
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