“Jeopardy!” Champion Ken Jennings Shares Last Phone Call With Alex Trebek

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Ken Jennings became a household name during his 74-game winning streak on Jeopardy!, and it is safe to say that late host, Alex Trebek, made a significant impression on Jennings’ life. 

During Jennings’ time as a contestant on Jeopardy!, he earned several millions in winnings. Even after Jennings left the show, the champion stayed close to the Jeopardy! family. Jennings was asked to guest host following Trebek’s tragic passing in November 2020 after a battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. 

 

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In an E! News interview, Jennings opened up about stepping in as interim host for Jeopardy! The former contestant admitted: 

“Just to be frank, nobody wants me there. I don’t want me there. We all want to see Alex there for 100 years in a perfect world and, you know, I really just wanted to do the best I could so as not to let him down and Jeopardy! viewers down, so I felt a lot of pressure.”

Jennings also revealed that he was fortunate enough to have one last conversation with Trebek. Just days before Trebek’s passing, the two spoke on the phone. 

 

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“I actually talked to him on the phone the same weekend he passed,” Jennings revealed. “We had talked about the possibility of me guest-hosting for him at some point, and he was so sweet. He was thanking me very genuinely for helping out and I was like, ‘Alex, you gave us 37 years. We should be thanking you. It’s the least I could do.'”

Jennings admits that he was very nervous to host. The former contestant recognizes that Trebek left behind a considerable legacy, and Jennings does not believe he is excelling just yet. Jennings admitted:

“Alex took his job very seriously, and I don’t believe he would be grading me on a curve. I think he would have some serious words on stuff I needed to work on—hopefully a C+.”

 

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Alex Trebek’s last episodes will air this week until Jan. 8th.