Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos will say good evening on Jeopardy this week. The TV personality begins his guest-hosting gig on the ABC game show tonight, and in a special segment on GMA, he dished about the experience, and shared a few behind-the-scenes secrets, while also remembering late host Alex Trebek.
“It feels so long ago that they taped it, but I’m glad it’s coming out this week!” Stephanopoulos said. “It was so intense, it was so much fun. The crew of Jeopardy are true professionals, they are amazing at what they do.”
Stephanopoulos lauded the Jeopardy team for their hard work on set, saying he couldn’t have taken on the task without their swift assistance.
“It was such a privilege to step onto that iconic Jeopardy set that Alex Trebek made famous,” Stephanopoulos continued. “The Jeopardy team is super kind, hyper-professional, with me every step of the way.”
In a behind-the-scenes clip of Stephanopoulos preparing for taping, the guest host shared that the job was “a lot harder than it looks.” And he gave credit where credit is due, applauding Trebek and the previous guest hosts for their work.
“The job? Don’t fumble when reading the clues. Stay focused. Keep things moving,” Stephanopoulos said, explaining his many tasks. “And remember what Alex always said: it’s about the game. The contestants and I navigated our new roles together.”
The contestants had high praise of their guest host, lauding his pacing and clear reading. “He was professional and he was very courteous, very warm,” one contestant said. “I was just like, this is excellent. It was a very calming presence in a very nerve-wracking moment for me.”
So, could Stephanopoulos stick around? “He fits into the role perfectly,” another contestant said.
The GMA anchor already has a day job, so his time at the game show had a quick turnaround. He filmed all five of his episodes in one day, breezing through the clues and tapings in a quick 24 hour timeframe.
“I went into the writers’ room where they write the clues — all the writers have been there for years and years and years,” Stephanopoulos said. “They put so much work into making sure that each word is precise. They say that you really have to read each word as if it’s poetry to make sure that you’re giving a real sense of its meaning.”
Without hesitation, Stephanopoulos added that the hardest thing about hosting was “moving things along.”
“They really just want everything to keep going, going, going, going,” Stephanopoulos said. “And then if you stumble? Now, the dirty little secret is — you ever notice that the host isn’t on camera that much? When you make a mistake you can redo the clue.”
After Stephanopoulos’s one-week run on Jeopardy, his fellow GMA anchor Robin Roberts will host the show for a week. Levar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck are also set to host in the weeks to come. Before Stephanopoulos, the slew of guest hosts included folks like Savannah Guthrie, Mayim Bialik, Buzzy Cohen, Bill Whitaker, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Oz, and Aaron Rodgers. Jeopardy is slated to select a permanent host some time this summer.
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