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‘Jeopardy!’ Co-Host Ken Jennings Thinks He Knows Why Your Grandma Loves Him

Ken Jennings is comfortable with the Jeopardy! spotlight by now, but it’s clear he’s noticed some thing about fans of the show since he first appeared as a contestant in 2004. This includes how many grandmas seem to love chatting with the greatest Jeopardy! player of all time.

Now a host of Jeopardy!, Jennings is the man many have turned to as the show looks for stability in the wake of Alex Trebek’s death. While the search for a replacement host was full of drama and backstage intrigue, what’s left in Season 39 is a two-host pairing of Jennings and Mayim Bialik. And while some headlines about the show are occasionally more inflammatory than others, no one seems happier that things are calming down than Jennings himself.

In a Washington Post profile published on Monday, Jennings discussed taking over as an official Jeopardy! host and the responsibility he feels to the show itself as a steward following Trebek’s passing. Perhaps most notably, Jennings remarked on the important role the show has in the lives of so many fans, himself included. And that extends to one unique thing he’s realized over the years: grandmas really love him.

Another thing he remembers is the grandmas. When they spotted him in public, people would pull out their phones and start dialing their grandmas. “The thing that I learned as champion just from people coming up to me on the street or people wanting to put their grandma on the phone, is how much of a ritual purpose ‘Jeopardy!’ serves in people’s lives,” Jennings said. “Everybody has these fond multigenerational memories, and people just rely on it as part of their day. And I can’t think of another show like that anymore.”

It’s a funny thing to pick up on interacting with fans, but Jennings does make a very good point. In fact, many contestants like James Holzhauer, most notably, grew up watching with family and feel a special connection to the show as a result. It’s why so many people had opinions on who should host the show in the first place: for many, the show is about far more than just answering trivia questions correctly and as fast as possible.

The feature is a very good read, and includes some funny moments from Jennings such as his Reddit handle, which he joked was a clear indication he never thought he’d get to host the show. There’s also some tidbits about his relationship with James Holzhauer and those bad tweets he’s not too proud about these days.

(Via Washington Post)