Who Will Replace Alex Trebek As The New Host Of 'Jeopardy'?

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Who's The New Host Of 'Jeopardy" After Alex Trebek? The Full List Of Contenders
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After Alex Trebek told the world that he has Stage IV pancreatic cancer, he got an outpouring of love for his work from colleagues and fans alike. And eventually the question came up: who could possibly replace the 36-year vet of the world’s greatest quiz show? While no one could really fill his shoes, there are definitely some contenders out there who are throwing their hats into the ring to add to the Jeopardy! legacy. From former contestants to hosts of other shows and even sidekicks of other shows, everyone is wondering: who's going to be the new host of Jeopardy?   

1. Who’s the new host of Jeopardy!? Could it be George Stephanopoulos?

While he won’t say anything official, the Democratic advisor-turned-TV-host thinks he has a shot at the job, and believes he’d be perfect for it.

He’s already at the same network, but has the more grueling schedule thanks to the early morning hours at Good Morning America, which goes live at 7:00 a.m. ET — that means hosts and crew are up and on set hours before that.  Steady hours that don’t start before dawn, a reputation for high-quality smart content, and a respected legacy sound pretty appealing, don’t they?  

RELATED: Who Is Alex Trebek's Wife? New Details About Jean Trebek

2. Stephanopoulos has already had a whole Jeopardy! category … and he gave all the clues.

It’s true! Back in 2014, one episode of the game show featured an entire category of questions about Stephanopoulos, read via video by none other than the man himself.  The questions were about interviews he’d done, like the one worth $800 in which he gave this answer to contestants:

“In a 2013 one-on-one with President Obama, on the shifting situation in Syria, I had to ask, ‘Don’t you worry that this world leader and Bashar Assad supporter is playing you?’

The question — don’t forget, the show has an answer-then-question format — was “Who is Putin?”

The next day on Good Morning America  he told his co-hosts that he had fun taping the questions but he hadn’t been able to watch the show that night, as he’d been busy interviewing then-President Barack Obama. Good excuse!

3. Could it be Pat Sajak from Wheel of Fortune instead? Just ask Vanna White. 

The same sources who have the scoop on Stephanopoulos are also putting some money on Pat Sajak, the host of neighboring game show Wheel of Fortune. But it’s not Pat who’s talking about it —  it’s letter-turner Vanna White, who finally got the chance to host the show after 37 years riding shotgun.

RELATED: Hollywood Party Girl Liza Greer Claims She's Vanna White's Secret Lover

When Sajak had to have emergency surgery for a blocked intestine late last year, White stepped in to host ... and Minnie Mouse filled her spot at the famous puzzleboard. Rumor has it that White thinks Sajak would be a great host for Jeopardy!, and that would free up his hosting spot for her to take over.

Trebek and Sajak did switch places once, as an April Fool’s joke back in 1997.

4. Alex has his own ideas about the next host. 

Months before he told the world about his cancer diagnosis, Trebek speculated about who should take over when he finally leaves the show. Initially he joked about it, telling the audience at a talk in New York, “It’s probably going to be a woman, somebody younger, somebody bright, somebody personable, somebody with a great sense of humor, so I nominated Betty White."

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But his more serious suggestions included L.A. Kings announcer Alex Faust, TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz, and CNN’s Laura Coates, who was particularly thrilled by the suggestion, tweeting afterwards that she was “honored and humbled” by it.

RELATED: Who Is Alex Faust? New Details About The Man Rumored To Be Alex Trebek's Replacement On 'Jeopardy'

And there’s also talk of Ken Jennings, the champion who just scored a million dollars for his win on Jeopardy’s “Greatest Of All Time” tournament earlier in January, and broke a record in 2004 when he won 74 games in a row — a record that still stands.

5. Trebek was not the first Jeopardy! host.

The show has a long history. It was created by talk show host and game show guru Merv Griffin, premiered all the way back in 1964, and was hosted by Art Fleming. Trebek took the wheel when the show went daily in 1984, and his latest contract extends him through 2022. When he made his video announcement to tell everyone about his diagnosis, he even joked about how he’d keep hosting because, ‘I have to. Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years.”  

6. Alex Trebek isn’t ready to go just yet, but he’s already made plans for his departure.

While he hasn’t announced a departure date, he has admitted that the chemo has been more difficult than he’d hoped, and admitted that he’s already thought about how he’d make his exit from the show.

"It'll be a significant moment for me. But I've kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That's all I want.' And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, 'Don't ask me who's going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I'm sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me ... then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'"

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Laurie Ulster is a freelance writer and TV producer. 

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