Ken Jennings may have botched his chance at hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ – Mashable

When beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died in November, the internet was devastated. For over 30 years and 8,000 episodes, fans of the show let Trebek’s smooth, calming voice guide them through the game. He seems irreplaceable, yet he wanted the show to go on after his death. So then the  question became who can possibly take over for Alex Trebek?

To Jeopardy! aficionados, one name came to mind instantly: Ken Jennings. Jennings was launched into national fame in 2004 when he won 74 games and over $2 million. Even though contestant James Holzhauer eventually beat his record, Jennings is still arguably the most famous Jeopardy! winner — and he knows it. 

Jennings has since made a career out of being “that guy who broke the Jeopardy! record once.” He participated in the show’s “Greatest of All Time” championship, among many other return appearances. Last September, he joined the show as a producer and has narrated a few categories. He even narrated most of Trebek’s own memoir, The Answer Is…

Given all this, Jennings was clearly poised to become Trebek’s successor. Shortly after Trebek’s death, Jeopardy! announced that Jennings would in fact guest host the show, but said that there’d be other guests as well.

Well, now it appears that Jennings may have just botched the audition before any of his episodes even aired.

On Sunday, Twitter users decried Jennings’s Omnibus podcast co-host John Roderick, who was nicknamed “bean dad” for refusing to open a can of beans for his child for six hours. Jennings came to Roderick’s defense on Twitter:

People then unearthed older tweets from Roderick that included anti-Semitic remarks as well as racist and homophobic language. When asked about these tweets, Jennings doubled down. 

He wrote on Twitter, “If we’re word-searching through old tweets now, it’s pretty easy to find what he actually thinks about anti-Semitism. On our show he’s always the pro-Israel one!” and was then told this was the worst response possible. 

He then said that was “fair enough” and that none of the anti-Semitic screenshots reflected what Jennings heard from Roderick. Twitter users responded with more abhorrent tweets from Roderick.

This isn’t the first instance — even in these last week — where Jennings was called out on Twitter. He issued a thread on why he refuses to delete old, offensive tweets. While he explained it was because he wanted the old tweets to be “dunked on,” the top reply was about how this could possibly be strategic move ahead of his Jeopardy! gig:

Given this and his vociferous defense of “bean dad,” however, speculation has already begun on whether Jennings has messed up his opportunity to even before really getting it:

Jeopardy! has yet to release a statement about Jennings. Mashable has requested comment and will update should we receive one.

Trebek’s final episodes are set to air this week. Presumably, Jennings’s episodes will premiere in upcoming weeks. Whether he’ll assume the role full-time, however, is one clue fans can’t yet solve. 

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