Not many game show contestants have made a lasting impression like Ken Jennings. In 2004, Ken captured the hearts — and TVs — of millions by winning a whopping 74 games of Jeopardy!, and appearing on the show for six months. A record still to this day.
After his streak ended, Ken’s national fame, not surprisingly, was extended and he appeared on numerous talk shows, including The Tonight Show, The Late Show With David Letterman, Live With Regis and Kelly, and even Sesame Street. Once a software developer, Ken has maintained his career as a professional brainiac since appearing on the game show.
The beloved TV personality made a big step in his career when he was announced as a guest host on the iconic program following Alex Trebek‘s death in November 2020. Jeopardy! revealed Ken, as well as Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker and Mayim Bialik, will host the show to fill the absence of the legendary presenter, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 80.
“We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues,” executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement. “By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”
When the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time champion made his debut as host in January 2021, he was overwhelmed with emotion as he took the podium. Looking back on his epic journey, Ken said sharing the stage with the late star was “one of the greatest honors of [his] life.”
“Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, charm and grace,” he praised. “Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much and I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”
Keep scrolling below to learn more about what Ken is up to today.