Could Jeopardy! have finally found its next permanent host? A lot of fans seem to think so. Following the debut episode of former champion Buzzy Cohen on Monday, viewers flooded social media with glowing praise for the former champ.
“WOW. Buzzy Cohen (@buzztronics) is practically built for hosting @Jeopardy!” tweeted one user.
“It?s only halfway through the first show and Buzzy Cohen gets my vote for permanent Jeopardy host,” tweeted another.
“Buzzy Cohen is the best. I love listening to him. Knowledgeable, excited about the game, and he just seems to bring Jeopardy to life ~ Please keep Buzzy!” another user agreed.
Who Is Buzzy Cohen?
Cohen, 36, is a former champion of the game show, and the eighth guest host to appear after the death of long-time host Alex Trebek. The beloved host passed away from pancreatic cancer in January 2020. Cohen is the second former champion to guest host the show after Ken Jennings.
Cohen became a fan favorite after winning nine games consecutively. After his nine-game winning streak, Cohen went on to win the Tournament of Champions in 2017 and serve as team captain for the All-Star Games. His impressive trivia knowledge and charming personality even won over host Alex Trebek, who nicknamed him “Mr. Personality”.
“Alex and I had a funny exchange about my interest in potentially hosting someday when he retired, so the folks over at Jeopardy! knew that it’s a dream of mine,” Cohen told USA Today.
About the 2021 Tournament of Champions
The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions is an annual two-week competition involving the 13 players who won the most games between the last tournament and the end of the last year, as well as the most recent Teachers Tournament and College Championship champs.
Last April, Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards announced Cohen would host the first Tournament of Champions since Trebek’s death. “Buzzy has been where each of these champions is, so it’ll be comforting for the contestants to see a familiar face behind the lectern,” Richards said in a statement. “We will miss seeing him compete, but we look forward to seeing how he uses his quick wit and personality as guest host.”
This year’s tournament will feature a $250,000 grand prize, which the show will match and donate to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless, a new homeless shelter in Northridge, California. The 2021 Tournament of Champions will also be a tribute to the late Brayden Smith, who was the last champ featured in Trebek’s episodes.
During an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment before his Monday debut, Cohen said he prepared for guest hosting by exercising a lot. “I know how long these tape days are and how focused and attentive the host really needs to be,” he said. “You’re reading clues, you’re directing traffic, you’re refereeing, you’re giving color commentary. So you’ve gotta be really focused and have your stamina up.”
Cohen is one of more than a dozen guest hosts that stepped up to the lectern after Trebek’s death. Cohen follows previous guest hosts like Greenbay Packer Aaron Rodgers, CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, and CBS host Bill Whitaker. Still to come are Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton and Fox Sportscaster Joe Buck.