Joe Buck has broadcast Super Bowls, World Series and U.S. Open golf tournaments for Fox, but says guest-hosting five episodes of “Jeopardy!” that begin airing Monday evening “is really a career highlight.”
“I’ve been in television for almost 30 years and I was always in awe of the job that Alex (Trebek) did hosting this show,” Buck said in an interview posted on the show’s website. “When somebody said, `Hey, would you want to fill in as a guest host?’ I said yes because it is something new for me, it’s a challenge.
“Now that I’ve been on (the) inside of the studio I have an even greater appreciation for (how) meticulously awesome Alex Trebek was.”
Buck said his main priority as host was making sure each game ran smoothly.
“I think that anybody that came in as guest host wants to put their own stamp on it,” Buck said. “But I think my wants and my personality take a backseat to the game, which is how it should be.”
Buck is the last of 16 guest hosts “Jeopardy!” tapped to fill the role held by Trebek since its syndicated revival began in 1984. The show has been matching the amount of money won by the contestants to a charity of each host’s choice.
Buck has selected KidSmart as the charity to benefit from his stint as guest host. KidSmart provides basic school supplies to students who cannot afford them in the St. Louis area,where Buck is from.
“Jeopardy!” has donated $2,564,626 to its guest hosts’ charities of choice, including $154,000 to the Robin Hood Foundation, which bills itself as New York City’s largest poverty-fighting philanthropy, from CNBC anchor David Faber’s weeklong stint as host, which concluded Friday.
The show also matched the $250,000 grand prize for the 2021 “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions and donated that amount to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless at the former site of the Skateland roller rink in Northridge.
The purchase of the rink was financed in part by a $500,000 donation from Trebek and his wife, Jean.
On Monday’s show, graduate student Matt Amodio will seek his 14th consecutive victory. Amodio’s winning streak and $430,200 in winnings for regular games are both fifth on “Jeopardy!’s” all-time lists.
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