I was going to wait until Joe Buck finished his week to do a post with my thoughts, but with the Washington Post printing theirs today and the news about the replacements out, today will be the day. I am not going to do a ranking. I am going to go through the hosts in the order they appeared and tell you what I remember from their run. I will try to not let my personal thoughts on the hosts cloud my opinion,
Ken Jennings – My daughter and I are fans of Ken. We have watched all of the Jeopardy GOAT episodes and we watch The Chase regularly. He was our first choice before we saw any news about guest hosts. We were predisposed to like him. I think his familiarity with the show and the amount of time he w as given helped him do a good job with hosting the show. I think he was one of the better guest hosts and would have been my choice over Richards if they wanted someone who currently works with the show.
Mike Richards – We didn’t hate Richards. We didn’t love Richards. We thought he was fine. He works in the show and has a game show background, so he was very capable with keeping the game running well. I thought he was a little too “game show host” but then I remembered Alex was also a game show host who took time to settle into the Alex we knew and loved. I also had him in the upper part of my rankings.
Katie Couric – The thing I liked most about her was how delighted she was to be there. It was clear she loves the show and loved having a chance to host it. She was pleasant and was very good at the chats with the contestants. I didn’t think she had an interest in the full time gig, so I never really considered how I would feel about her doing it full time.
Dr. Oz – His hosting stint made a little more sense when I saw that he and Alex were friends. I do agree that a show like Jeopardy does not need someone like Dr. Oz hosting. He does not have a good relationship with facts. As far as hosting goes – he was OK when it came to reading the questions and keeping the game going. I don’t think he was great with his interaction with the contestants.
Aaron Rodgers – I thought he was an odd choice to host and I expected a disaster of a run. I was wrong. He was very good. He was funny. He bantered well with the contestants. He kept the game running smoothly. If not for his day job, I think he would have been a very good replacement for Alex.
Anderson Cooper – I like Anderson Cooper. I knew he would do a good job given his experience and his personality. I think he did a good job, but I agree with the post that he was so blandly good that it is hard to remember much of his run. I do think it is important to keep the game and the contestants the tar of the show but the host needs to let their personality through a little. I think he could have been better if he had not faded into the background so much.
Bill Whitaker – I agree with the Post here again that Whitaker was good at running the game, but also allowed himself to fade into the background too much. I liked him. He seemed nice. His voice was so smooth and soothing that I would be afraid I would fall asleep if he hosted full time.
Buzzy Cohen – I thought he was an odd choice for the tournament. I wondered why they didn’t go with another GOAT and have Brad Rutter host. I was pleasantly surprised with Buzzy. He was very good at running the game and was surprisingly immediately comfortable doing it. He was cheerful and fun. I think he would have been the best choice f you were going with someone with a Jeopardy connection. He was one of my favorites.
Mayim Bialik – I did not like her as much as everyone else seems to. She wasn’t terrible and seems to really love the show She was good with the contestants and the game ran well while she was there. It seems petty, but the thing that keeps her lower on my list is her habit of giggling when telling a contestant they got an answer correct. I get it on the weird categories with funny answers, but she did it with regular ones as well. I found it very distracting.
Savannah Guthrie – I watch The Today Show every day and have done so for years. I like her and that didn’t change here. She settled in quickly and seemed like a natural from the start. She was pleasant and good with the contestants. I enjoyed her run on the show.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta – I liked Dr. Gupta. He was upbeat and cheerful. He did well in the chats with the contestants. He ran the game well. He let some of his personality shine through instead of fading into the background. He was near the top of my list of possible replacements.
George Stephanopolous – I will be completely honest here – I don’t remember much about his week on the show. I like him. I’m sure he was fine. I just don’t remember at all.
Robin Roberts – I liked Robin Roberts a lot. She only got a week but seemed comfortable right away. She seemed to enjoy her time there and had fun with it. She was good with the contestants. She was a natural and one of my favorite guest hosts. I’m assuming she had no interest in leaving GMA to do it full time, but I think she would have been the best choice to host the prime time specials.
LeVar Burton – If you read my blog, you know that I have issues with the very loud Burton fans online who declared that he is the only possible choice for host and calls you a racist if you disagree. I tried to be objective when watching him. It’s not his fault that some of his fans do that. He seems like a nice guy and obviously wanted the job. He just wasn’t good. He messed up a lot. He called right answers wrong He forgot to call on contestants. The flow of the game was off. Maybe nerves because he wanted it so much, but if that was his job interview he flubbed it.
David Faber – I had no clue who he was when he was announced as a host. I still don’t really know who he is. I think he did a good job. The game ran well. He seemed to enjoy talking to the contestants. I would have been OK with him being the new host.
Joe Buck – I like him more than I thought I would. He runs the game well. He interacts with the contestants. He seems to be enjoying himself. He does sound like he’s calling a game and seems to be cheering for Matt a little too much,
I hope Richards is able to settle into the job and keep the game as close to the Jeopardy I love as possible. I loved Alex, but I didn’t watch for the host. A new host won’t make me quit watching the show. I will just have to stop reading what people are tweeting about it.