4 Reasons Ken Jennings Is a Better "Jeopardy!" Host Than Mayim Bialik, According to Fans
Fans are vocal online about their preference for the record-breaking champion.
After Jeopardy! hosting legend Alex Trebek died in Nov. 2020, former champion Ken Jennings and actor Mayim Bialik stepped in to take the reins as co-hosts. But as they share the duties, it's inevitable that they're often compared to one another. Jennings is currently taking a hiatus while Bialik hosts the Jeopardy! High School Reunion Tournament, and social media is overflowing with opinions about the switch. Some say that they only care about the game itself, but others note that the host of Jeopardy! plays an integral role by building and maintaining momentum. While there are many fans in Bialik's camp, plenty of Jeopardy! lovers are partial to Jennings—and they're not shy about it. Read on to find out four reasons fans say that Jennings is a better host than Bialik.
He's played the game before.
Fans have their reasons for favoring Jennings, but a key factor for many is that he's played Jeopardy! before. He's not only played, of course—he broke records. Jennings currently holds the record for the most consecutive Jeopardy! games won (74) and the highest winnings during regular-season play ($2,520,700).
As he's familiar with the other side of the game, many diehard Jeopardy! devotees say that he's better suited for the hosting gig than Bialik, who hasn't competed.
"Bring back the GOAT!" a fan tweeted, using an acronym that means "greatest of all time."
Another wrote, "Nothing against [Bialik], but I turn it off when she's hosting. Ken Jennings is exceptional—not to mention he has an actual Jeopardy pedigree. I see no reason why he isn't the full-time host."
Others say that he's a quizzing wiz—and therefore doesn't need producers to constantly determine if answers are correct. "Mayim Bialik has to wait for the ear piece to tell her whether the contestant is right," a Feb. 23 tweet reads. "Ken Jennings already knows, that's why he don't pause like this!"
He's more like Trebek.
In addition to his experience as a contestant, other fans think Jennings' style is more similar to that of Trebek, who was known for his quick wit, sarcasm, and excellent rapport with contestants.
One viewer said they "love the show," but find Bialik's style a little off-putting compared to Jennings. "When Ken is hosting and the announcer says and here is the host of Jeopardy Ken Jennings, I think of Alex Trebek," the Twitter user wrote. "Ken keeps the memory of Alex alive on the show."
Others noted that replacing Trebek was no easy feat, but that Jennings is the "heir apparent."
"Ken Jennings is a natural at hosting Jeopardy. Hard shoes to fill from the Late Alex Trebek, but Ken is doing well," one fan tweeted.
Some have even speculated that Trebek would've picked Jennings as his successor. "Alex always had a presence about himself & the show," a fan wrote on the official Jeopardy! Facebook page. "I think he would have chosen Ken."
Some fans also prefer Jennings thanks to his sense of humor.
"It's my favorite, the way Ken Jennings subtly clowns on contestants with the same energy that Alex Trebek used to correct them," a Feb. 18 tweet reads.
Another fan retweeted an image depicting an exchange between Jennings and contestant Brad Weinstock. When answering a question from the "Women Authors" category, the contestant guessed William Faulkner.
"I think Faulkner would be surprised to find himself in the Women Authors category," Jennings responded. "This is Eudora Welty."
Captioning the image on Twitter, the fan wrote, "One of the many reasons Ken Jennings is killing it as Jeopardy! host. Quick and witty quips like this."
Some Jeopardy! viewers have called on their fellow fans to focus on the game instead of who's behind the podium, but Jennings supporters have held their ground. "Ken is so much smarter funnier and just all around better and he makes the game more enjoyable," one viewer wrote.
He's better with the contestants.
As he was once a contestant himself, some say that Jennings is also better at interacting with the Jeopardy! players.
"The issue is [Bialik] always sounds like she's reading from cue cards with zero emotion," a viewer tweeted. "Ken is riffing and joking with the contestants like he's been doing it for 10 years."
Another viewer calling for Jennings' return argued that "he's so natural with clues, answers and contestants."
Jennings' fanbase will be happy to learn that he'll be quizzing contestants again next month, as producers confirmed he's returning right after the High School Reunion Tournament is over.
"[Contestant] Stephen Webb will return, along with Ken Jennings on March 10 in syndication," producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss shared during a Feb. 20 episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast. "We're looking forward to seeing if Stephen's streak can continue."