Ken Jennings was unaware his Jeopardy! return was on the anniversary of Alex Trebek's death


Yesterday, the prince of Jeopardy!, trivia champion Ken Jennings, returned to the show for another guest hosting stint. Monday, November 8, also happened to mark the one year anniversary of the death of the late Alex Trebek, but Jennings was kept in the dark on this airing detail until after filming the episode.

“Apparently, everyone was aware that we were going to air [my first episode] on the anniversary and nobody told me,” Jennings tells USA Today. “They didn’t want to put that in my head. So, I was not told until after that it was the Nov. 8 show.”

This ultimately means that yesterday’s episode did not make note of the day, with no speeches made in Trebek’s memory. However, Jennings says he had a little memento with him on stage in honor of Trebek.

“I did wear Alex’s cuff links that week, that his wife, Jean, had been kind enough to leave for me,” Jennings says. “So I do have a little kind of souvenir.”

The top Jeopardy! earner returned to the set back in September, telling USA Today he “felt rusty; I hope I don’t look rusty, but honestly it was just such a delight to be back on that stage.”

Jennings, along with 15 other celebrities of all sorts, took their shot at hosting Jeopardy! over the last year, and the 47-year-old attests the job is not as easy as Trebek made it look.

“But it’s a very tricky job. The mechanics of hosting Jeopardy! are daunting. There’s a lot going on at once, and Alex made it all look so easy. But I can tell you firsthand, it’s not easy,” Jennings says.

“I knew that it was going to be a very difficult task… much less the idea that you’re trying to step into the shoes of Alex Trebek, which is impossible. This time, we’re kind of a year removed or more from all that, so I’ve had every possible emotion now related to Jeopardy!”