Ken Jennings is technically banned from playing Jeopardy right now, but That’s Why the EP Says That Could Change


Ken Jennings, the official “Greatest Player of All Time” according to Jeopardy! This is also good, because after the super champion started hosting the show after the death of Alex Trebek in 2020, he was technically suspended from participating in any future tournaments. However, if the competition bug bites Jennings again, executive producer Michael Davis indicated there may still be hope, even if it requires breaking the rules.

About the inner danger! (opens in new tab) podcast, producer Sarah Foss, whom fans know as a member of Clue Crew, discussed the already established rule of the show prohibiting anyone who participated in Jeopardy! from participating in future games. She said that those who were invited as guest hosts, so to speak, “looked behind the scenes,” which makes it unfair for them to return to the fun as participants. Michael Davis, however, was not prepared to adhere to such a rule regarding the likelihood that the GOAT himself would ever want to return. Davis said:

But I’m telling you, it’s as if Ken was the Greatest of All Time — like Arnold Palmer, who started the game at The Masters — if Ken came up to me in desperation and said: “Here it is. I still want to play Jeopardy!” I can’t believe I would completely close the door for Ken playing any form of Jeopardy! at any time in the future.

While the current permanent co-host of Jeopardy! he has already proven himself in various qualities — Ken Jennings won the title of “The Greatest of All Time” in 2020, playing in a tournament against James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter — Michael Davis, it seems, did not want to deny anyone the impossible dream of seeing GOAT compete with more of the biggest winners of Jeopardy!, such as recent champions like Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio or Mattea Roach.

It doesn’t seem like there are many priorities to comply with the “hosts can’t play” rule. It would seem that any of the guest presenters who replaced Alex Trebek after the death would not have had the right to participate in the new spin-off Celebrity Jeopardy!, which is not so wild. But there was another former contestant besides Ken Jennings who served as host: Buzzy Cohen, the 2016 fan favorite who returned to headline the 2021 Tournament of Champions. Even in Cohen’s case, Michael Davis’ opinion contradicted the rules, as he said that, in his opinion, “Buzzie should be able to play Jeopardy! again. “You have to imagine that Sarah Foss is now doing a lot of such things.

Whether Buzzy Cohen will be able to return—and whether he even wants to— remains to be seen, but Ken Jennings has apparently clarified his future. Michael Davis said the current game show host insists his days on the other side of the stage are over. ER said:

Ken keeps saying that he quit the game. I wouldn’t close the door—as the commissioner of the Jeopardy Major league! — I wouldn’t completely close the door on Ken playing in the future, but he seems to have closed the door himself.

How much fun it would be to see Ken Jennings fight someone from the recent Jeopardy! winners, I think this decision seems right. If you won $1 million and the right to call yourself a GOAT, why would you take the risk? However, I am not one of those who underestimate the strength of the competitive spirit, so only time will tell.

How we are waiting for the return of the new Jeopardy! episodes, don’t forget to catch Celebrity Jeopardy! when it premieres on Sunday, September 25, on ABC, and check out our TV program for 2022 to find out what else will be released in the near future.


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