Saturday, November 14, 2020

Still Life with Robin: You Still Have a Chance to Vote!

by Peggy Robin 

The presidential election had been decided -- and despite what conspiracy theorists and the current occupant of the White House may say or tweet -- we know quite well who will be stepping into that high position on January 20. But we still have no idea who will take the helm of another important and respected leadership role, and that is the one left unfilled after the death of one of the most trusted, dignified, and admired figures of our time....and you should know (if you will recall that I'm a Jeopardy fan from way back, and also former contestant, whose episode aired July 23 2019) that I can only be talking about the late, great Alex Trebek.  

While so many of us Jeopardy lovers are still in mourning for Alex, we know we need a new host, and we are nervous seeing the role left vacant. Of course, no one can ever truly fill Alex's shoes, but we need a new face, a new and steady hand to guide us into the new post-Alex world of Jeopardy.   

I bring this up on the Cleveland Park Listserv, not just out of my own dedication to the game, but because I know there's a big, solid fan-base for the show among CP Listserv members. I thought you'd like to know that the Today Show is running a poll, and you have a chance to vote. 

The Today Show has listed the following seven personalities under consideration to take the helm of Jeopardy -- although, as you will see, not all of them are serious contenders: 

O   Tom Bergeron, 65, is a longtime TV host  of such shows as: "America's Funniest Home Videos," 2001-15; "Dancing With the Stars, 2005-2020; "Hollywood Squares" and others. 

O   Alex Faust, 31, currently does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings during NHL games, and has called other games for NBC Sports and the Boston Red Sox on NESN. He's young, good-looking and would help to bring the energy of a sports competition to the game.

O   Levar Burton, 63, was the longtime host of "Reading Rainbow," but is perhaps best known as an actor for his role as ship's chief engineer Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as his debut role as Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking TV mini-series "Roots." Burton is also generally acknowledged to be VERY SMART! 

O   Laura Coates, 40, is a CNN legal analyst and law professor at George Washington University School of Law, who also has a talk radio show on SiriusXM. Alex Trebek mentioned her as a possible replacement during an interview he gave to TMZ (In the same interview he also mentioned Alex Faust.)

O   Anderson Cooper, 53, is a two-time Emmy-winning journalist who already has his own show,  "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN. He's on the Today Show popularity poll, so I'm including him here, even though I don't for a minute believe he would take the job if offered. He and his husband are new fathers and committed to their lives in New York and he seems unlikely to want to give all that up to move to LA to host a game show. Still, he's a Jeopardy fan and has appeared as a celebrity contestant three times. 

O    Ken Jennings, 46, is the holder of the Jeopardy title, "Greatest of All Time" -- and also had the longest ever winning streak on the show -- 74 games. He is currently a consulting producer on the show, and is widely considered the leading contender to take on the hosting duties. 

O   Betty White, 98, is on this list because whenever anyone asked Alex Trebek to name the person he wanted to see take over from him, he would answer, "Betty White." They were great friends, and she was also a huge fan of the show -- but she does not need or want your vote in this poll! National Treasure, yes -- host of a game show, no.    

The poll is still live - so vote while you still can (scroll down to the end of the article to vote):    

For those of you who favor Levar Burton, let me add that there's a petition urging the producers of the show to choose him. You can sign here:    

And for those of you who can't imagine anyone else in the role of host, you can take comfort in the knowledge that Alex left us with enough taped episodes to see us to Christmas. We will find out afterward, who will take over this position of national authority, respect, dignity....setting the tone for a new era,  starting (we hope!) in January, 2021.


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.


  1. Please, for the love of God (and this from a confirmed religious agnostic) *not* Tom Bergeron. I have already suffered enough in the last 8+ months...If Bergeron hosted I'd be forced to stop watching altogether.

    Ken Jennings is smart...but he lacks the necessary chemistry and pizzazz.

    I'd vote for Laura Coates --- she's an insightful legal mind and while "Jeopardy" might be a financial promotion, I think it's a downgrade in terms of her academic/intellectual influence.

    Anderson Cooper would never uproot himself from his position and Betty White is too busy having plain old fun for the remaining years she has left to enjoy.

    Oh, Alex --- why'd you have to go?

    From the Peanut Gallery,


  2. Yes, I loved Alex Trebek. Recorded his show every day. I hope it’s not Ken Jennings. Just not the right demeanor. Anderson Cooper would be great, but I can’t imagine him leaving the news. I saw that Levar Burton was being considered, and I really like that idea. I was head of PR for PBS once upon a time and did a press conference with Levar Burton when we announced Reading Rainbow. And yes, he continues to be committed to education and reading and is very smart!

    Thanks for this, Peggy.