‘Jeopardy’ Host Called Out by Guest: “I Knew I Didn’t Like You”

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Ken Jennings hosting Jeopardy

Credit: NBC

The long-running quiz show Jeopardy has had its share of bizarre moments in the last couple of years, but host Ken Jennings being told to his face that he wasn’t liked is a pretty big one.

Ken Jennings hosting Jeopardy!
Credit: NBC

Since the sad passing of longtime host Alex Trebek in 2020 to pancreatic cancer, Jeopardy has seemed to be in perpetual chaos. The loss of an iconic TV figure who had represented the show for decades left Jeopardy Productions scrambling to find a new host, which did not at all go well.

First, the show spent two months with a series of guest hosts, who included past champions like Buzzy Cohen, television personalities like David Faber and Dr Oz, and even pro athlete Aaron Rodgers. While it was never formally announced, Jeopardy fans largely assumed that the new host would be one of these.

Many were shocked when executive producer Mike Richards would take over hosting duties on the main show, while actress Mayim Bialik would handle Celebrity Jeopardy.

Mike Richards on Jeopardy
Credit: NBC

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Richards was mostly unknown to the public and had little experience in television hosting, having once been passed over to host The Price Is Right in favor of Drew Carey. He taped a week’s worth of episodes of the show before stepping down in the wake of past offensive comments he had made being widely publicized, though he remained as producer. He was dismissed a week and a half later.

He was succeeded by current showrunner Michael Davies, and legendary Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik were announced as co-hosts.

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings hosting Jeopardy
Credit: CBS/Inside the Magic

But even that did not stop the controversies. Ken Jennings took over the various tournaments, Mayim Bialik remained with Celebrity Jeopardy, and the pair alternated with the regular show, but a very vocal contingent of fans immediately began registering their dislike of the Blossom actress online.

Their ire only increased when she stepped away from the show in solidarity with the Writers Guild strike, with many fans demanding that she not be allowed back.

Ken Jennings was soon announced as the sole host of Jeopardy season 40 but became embroiled in accusations of being a strike scab and found himself defending his sometimes off-color jokes online.

The weirdness keeps coming because, according to TV Insider, an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy features an exchange between Ken Jennings and a guest that goes a bit…awry.

Ken Jennings briefly mentioned to The West Wing and Suits actor Dulé Hill that he “was a contestant on the show that asked about your Broadway career, and I did not get it right. Somebody beat me to it.”

Dulé Hill on Suits
Dulé Hill
Credit: USA Network

To which Hill immediately retorted, “I knew I didn’t like you.”

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Given the generally friendly tone of the show, it seems that this was more of a friendly, bantering back-and-forth between host and guest, but it says something about the current state of Jeopardy that it could even happen.

Ken Jennings himself says of Celebrity Jeopardy, “It’s unpredictable. We don’t know when these players are going to make crazy wagers or get weirdly emotional about something they didn’t think was going to happen or crack a joke.”

True enough!

Do you think Jeopardy will ever be the same as it was under Alex Trebek? Let us know in the comments below!

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