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Jeopardy! fans point out reason Ken Jennings is ‘sassy’ to contestants and compare host style to Alex Trebek

JEOPARDY! fans have taken a step back to discuss Ken Jennings’ hosting and his tendency to occasionally get short with contestants.

The former champion, 50, was named sole successor to Alex Trebek after Mayim Bialik, 48, was let go from the series.

Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! fans discussed Ken Jennings’ hosting style after a viewer posted, ‘he kind of gives rude remarks and facial expressions to players’[/caption]

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Ken- who boasts the longest run in Jeopardy! history – seen here with Alex Trebek[/caption]

NBC

Fans argued when Ken gets ‘sassy,’ it ‘feels like an intentional homage to Alex Trebek’[/caption]

Jeopardy!’s 40th season will end at the end of July, meaning Ken is about to wrap on first season as the show’s sole host.

Fans took to an internet thread discussing how he’s grown into his role as the late Alex’s successor.

A viewer titled their Reddit post, “How do you like Ken?”

They explained, “I like Ken, good personality. However my family and i have noticed on several occasions that he kind of gives rude remarks and facial expressions to players.”

They clarified in all caps, “IN SOME CASES, NOT ALWAYS.”

The user added, “He’s a smart guy, there’s no denying that; however, I feel like his intelligence shows as the host, and when a contestant responds wrongly, he gives them a look, like ‘How did you not know that?’”

‘HE’S SASSY, BUT SO WAS TREBEK’

Dozens of other fans buzzed in to defend Ken and argue that while he can come off as curt, that’s exactly how Alex was as host.

“He’s sassy, but so was Trebek,” one user replied.

“Yeah, it almost feels like an intentional homage to Trebek when Ken does it, so I don’t mind,” explained another.

“Trebek was way more sassy,” wrote a third. “Indeed, my wife and I are watching Ken’s run right now, and Alex is top-tier sassy. Always making little jokes at the contestant’s expense.

A fourth agreed, “Ken is a lot nicer and has fewer cutting remarks.”

As did a fifth, “Definitely, and it’s all in good fun. People need to lighten up a bit on this, I feel. It’s a game show. Alex could be downright mean sometimes.”

“As much as I appreciate and respect Alex Trebek, I found him oftentimes either rude or condescending,” wrote a sixth.

“And I have always been surprised it wasn’t talked about more often.

“I think Trebek gave more of a game show vibe to Jeopardy (which is obviously still), whereas Ken gives more of a quiz bowl show (which it also is), just two slightly different flavors of the same thing.

“In my opinion, Ken has completely carried the torch well,” they closed.

HARSH WITH HARMEYER

Ken’s tendency to get snippy showed through during Adriana Harmeyer’s 15th win last month.

Adriana won the milestone game by getting Final Jeopardy correct, which Ken made abundantly clear he was unsure she’d do.

The “GEOGRAPHIC NAME’S ALMOST THE SAME” clue was, “Legend says in 1876 a dragon built for the “Ring” cycle had its neck sent to this Mideast capital, not the right German city.”

Colleen – her opponent – got the clue correct as “Beirut” and took the lead, meaning it all hinged on Adriana.

Ken singled Adriana out with a surprising remark when it came time to reveal her answer.

He pointed out how she looked unsure during the 30 seconds and didn’t write anything down until the end.

“Adriana has been lights out on Final Jeopardy, but she looked at this one for a long, long time,” he bluntly said.

Adriana revealed that she did, indeed, come up with “Beirut.”

“At the last second, she did!” Ken exclaimed as the audience gasped.

Adriana added $10,000 to win $23,600 for an incredible 15-day total of $349,600 (she was, as fans know, defeated the next game by Survivor’s Drew Basile).

“She just keeps going!” Ken added as she shook her head and smiled in disbelief herself. “Great game from all three.”

HOST HAVOK

Ken holds the record for the longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history with 74 consecutive wins in 2004.

Alex hosted the show’s modern iteration from 1984 until November 2020 after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer.

After his death, things got a bit chaotic, as viewers know all too well.

After a series of guest hosts, officials announced that producer Mike Richards and actress Mayim would be taking over as co-hosts.

However, in August 2021, Richards resigned over sexist resurfaced comments and Ken stepped in to split hosting duties with Mayim.

In July 2022, it was announced that Mayim and Ken would continue to host together for season 39 by switching off.

However, after the show’s summer 2023 hiatus, it was revealed that Jennings would take over as the permanent host for season 40.

Mayim announced in a personal Instagram message in late December 2023 that she would “no longer be hosting” the show.

Jeopardy! Host Timeline

Jeopardy! has had a tumultuous history regarding hosts after the death of the iconic Alex Trebek in 2020. Here are all of the hosts since the game show’s inception in 1964.

Art Fleming – 1964 to 1975, he was the original host of the daytime version of Jeopardy! on NBC.

Alex Trebek – 1984 to 2020, the late, great Alex hosted Jeopardy!’s modern iteration for 36 years until his death from pancreatic cancer.

Guest hosts – 2020 to 2021, Jeopardy! tested out a series of guest hosts for week or two-week stints, including Anderson Cooper, LaVar Burton, and Aaron Rodgers.

Mike Richards – 2021, he was named host for one week before resigning amid controversy. He was the show’s executive producer at the time.

Mayim Bialik – 2021 to 2023, when Mike was announced as the show’s new host, Mayim was chosen to host tournaments and primetime specials.

Mayim and Ken Jennings – 2022 to 2023, 74-time champion Ken (the longest-winning contestant ever) joined Mayim as a guest host and they split hosting duties.

Ken Jennings – 2023 to present. Last December, Mayim announced on Instagram that she would “no longer” host Jeopardy! after a lengthy hiatus, having stood with the writer’s strike, and Ken was named sole host.

Ken now helms all editions of Jeopardy! including Celebrity Jeopardy!, the nightly show, and other primetime specials like Masters.

“As the Holiday break begins in Hollywood, I have some Jeopardy! news,” she began her post.

“Sony has informed me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!”

Jeopardy! cobbled together a similar-looking Instagram message an hour later, and it has since been reported that Mayim broke the news without consulting the show first.

Ken later said he “understood” the decision as shows “don’t have two hosts.”

HAPPY WITH ‘LESS MONEY’

Ken is reportedly tied to a $4 million contract as the singular host of the series.

The U.S. Sun previously reported that his contract isn’t long-term just yet.

However, Ken is happy to take a pay cut to ensure he remains a host for decades to come.

“Jeopardy! is Ken’s religion; he lives it, and he breathes it, and despite all the outside pressures, he’s not going to mess this up,” the source shared.

“What he really wants more than anything is to stick around and make this position work for the long run.

“And if that means making less money to ensure his longevity, you can bet your life he’d be game.

Of course, Ken is already comfortable. He made $2.5 million from his still-record 74-game run as a contestant, $4.3 million including tournaments.

That said, Alex reportedly made $10 million a year by the end of his 36-year tenure, which is more than double Ken’s salary even before a potential pay cut.

ABC

The host’s quippy style was on full display during Adriana Harmeyer’s 15th win last month[/caption]

ABC

‘She looked at this one for a long, long time,” he shaded when it seemed like she was about to miss a final clue[/caption]

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