Anderson Cooper is turning to the “Jeopardy!” G.O.A.T. Ken Jennings for some advice on his guest-hosting gig for charity.
Jennings explained that if you follow the example of the late Alex Trebek, the game show can run itself.
“The great thing about ‘Jeopardy’ is the game kind of runs itself,” Jennings said. “If you watch Alex, he had this light touch where he would do, you know, sometimes the least possible.
“He would kind of take himself out of the out of the spotlight, you know very, very generously. Put it on the players. And I found that the more you could do that, ‘Jeopardy’ kind of runs itself.”
Ultimately, Jennings said, “You almost are not going to know what it’s like until you are in that chair.”
“The main advice, I think, is that less is more,” he told Cooper.
Jennings said that Trebek really was gifted at making the show about the competitors.
“It’s hard to imagine anybody in show business doing that, insisting that he not be built as the star of ‘Jeopardy!,'” he said. “The game was the star, he always said.
“You don’t wanna do a slavish impression,” Jennings said, but “the more you can host that show the way people remember Alex doing it, the kinder the audience will be.”
Trebek died in November after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He had hosted “Jeopardy!” since 1984, when this revival version of the quiz show first debuted.
Jennings holds the record for most consecutive games won at 74. He was the first in a series of guest-hosts after Trebek’s death.
Cooper has appeared multiple times as a contestant on “Celebrity Jeopardy!”