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Ken Jennings’s Dumb Tweets Reportedly Cost Him the Jeopardy! Host Job

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Yeah, we know how silly this sounds in wake of the sleazy executive tornado known as Mike Richards, but Jeopardy! still needs a new host and the gossipmongers are hungry. The Wall Street Journal reports that the show’s golden boy, Ken Jennings, was set to be Alex Trebek’s host successor for the game show, only to lose the gig after old tweets resurfaced from his social-media account in late 2020. The tweets, which Jennings described as “unartful and insensitive” in an apology, included a widely circulated joke from 2014, which read, “nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.” In addition to Sony Pictures Entertainment executives “pausing” their host decision due to the controversy, focus groups “didn’t react well” to Jennings in the aftermath. The Journal cites “people close to the program” who were knowledgeable of the casting decision. Jennings, however, proceeded to host six weeks of Jeopardy! as the inaugural guest host, which reportedly would’ve been a longer hosting stint if it weren’t for the conniving behavior of Richards.

Earlier this month, Jennings issued a statement during the short era of Richards as Jeopardy! host. “Obviously I’m disappointed with how this process played out, but I’d rather look ahead,” he told the Ringer. “I plan to be with the show as long as they’ll have me, no matter who’s hosting.” With Richards now gone, Jeopardy! will be rotating through another carousel of guest hosts before the new successor is named. So, will it be the GOAT?