While I don’t regularly watch “Jeopardy,” I did go out of my way to watch the final episode with the late Alex Trebek the day that it aired back in early January. I then added the show to my DVR and have since checked in every now and then over the last few months to get a sample viewing of the show with the various guests hosts (except for Dr. Oz, which I had no interest in seeing).
As a Packers fan, and a fan of Aaron Rodgers, I have been curious to see the dynamic of how he would do as host. Having read just how much he had prepped for the opportunity, I became all the more interested to see how that would translate onto television. Judging him after one week, I think his delivery has been overly solid. The reading of the questions, his responses to contestant answers, and transitioning to and from breaks has been very smooth. That is a skill set not to be taken for granted, and something that he no doubt prepared for. From a personality standpoint, while he was overly laid back, I didn’t find his presence to be overly inspiring while some of his interactions with contestants felt forced.
Such an overall performance is fine for a guest host stint, but I can’t see him doing the job on a permanent basis, despite declaring that it is something he would want to do.
With Trebek, or any good host in that position, you want them to seem genuinely interested in the contestants without being overly fake. Trebek mastered the art of coming across exceptionally personable without being overly bubbly or phony. With Rodgers, I felt the vibe of a party guest bumping into another guest whom he may not be overly excited to interact with, but is willing to make polite small talk knowing it will be over after a couple of minutes.
Obviously, it would be unfair to judge Rodger’s performance entirely based on only a few shows in what appears to be just a guest hosting stint. If Rodger’s were to become permanent host, perhaps such interactions would become easier as he loosens up over time or after some coaching.
Having followed Rodgers for more than a decade – which includes way too much time over analyzing his facial expressions, body language and choice of words in select interviews – he just doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who would enjoy regularly forced small talk banter with strangers during extended taping schedules.
In a completely unrelated note while watching this past week, as a Packers fan, and a fan of Rodgers, I couldn’t help feel some heavy emotions knowing that he and the Packers seem to be in an awkward phase, relationship wise, leading to much speculation within the media and amongst fans that his time in Green Bay may be on borrowed time.
That said, I’m happy to hear that he did enjoy his time on the job. Knowing how intelligent he is while also knowing how huge of a fan he is of “Jeopardy,” I would rather hear more about people like him having opportunities to guest host over the coming weeks and months as opposed to quacks like Dr. Oz.