Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings is back in a new role. The newly-minted GOAT isn’t competing this time, but has instead joined the legendary trivia show as a consulting producer when they return on September 14. What this means: Ken will present video categories, develop projects, assist with contestant outreach, and more, according to Jeopardy!‘s September 2 Twitter announcement, which you can watch below.
In the video, Alex Trebek says, “Don’t worry. I’ll still be the host.” But the new addition to the show has fans wondering if Ken will take over in the future. After all, Ken is arguably the most famous Jeopardy! contestant of all time — and as proved in January 2020, the greatest. He’s the natural choice for when Alex, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2019, eventually retires.
“Looks like they’re preparing for Ken Jennings to take over as host of Jeopardy. This is the biggest no-brainer in entertainment history,” a fan on Twitter mused. “I’ve been calling this for years, Ken Jennings will succeed Alex as jeopardy host. And now he’s ‘presenting whole categories’ ALL IS AS I HAVE FORETOLD,” another tweeted. “I hope trebek lives forever, but Ken Jennings as the next host of Jeopardy makes a ton of sense,” one viewer admitted.
Alex has made it clear that he isn’t leaving the show he’s hosted since 1984 anytime soon, and is doing well despite his prognosis. Pancreatic cancer has a one-year survival rate of 18 percent, and he passed that milestone in March 2020 — while still hosting as usual. “My oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day, he said, ‘Alex, even though the 2-year survival rate is only seven percent,’ he was certain that one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival,” Alex said in a video address that month.
But when he does leave, Alex has a certain host in mind to replace him: Betty White! “I joke with the audience all the time and I say, ‘Betty White,’ because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier,” he said in an interview with Good Morning America in July.