by David Mendez
...and if Ken Jennings doesn't replace him, you'll be able to hear my cries of impotent rage from here to eternity.
According to the New York Post, Alex Trebek's contract to host Jeopardy! ends in 2016, and he appears to have made the decision to retire when it ends.
The rumored top pick? The Today Show's Matt Lauer.
From the Post:
Lauer is widely reported to be on his way out at the morning show, which has tumbled to No. 2 in the ratings in the last year. He is being blamed for the show’s fall from grace after 16 years on top.
The Post reported this week that Lauer is not expected to re-sign with “Today” when his blockbuster, $25-million-a-year deal expires in 2015.
By coincidence, that’s about the time Trebek is expected to end his three-decade run as the host of the habit-forming game show.
Sony Pictures Television, which owns the hugely profitable show, has quietly been feeling out TV personalities in recent months to see who might be available and willing to take on the role in 2016, sources say.
Trebek — who suffered his second heart attack last summer — said in interviews last year that he was thinking about retiring this season.
But Sony convinced him to sign one final, three-year contract — taking him to age 76 — to give producers enough time to find a next-generation successor.
As someone who has spent either too much or not enough of his life watching TV game shows (there is no in-between), I can say that Lauer doesn't strike me as someone who would be an interesting host for the show. Sure, he's a name but can he bring the same amount of smarm, intelligence and deadpan mocking of contestants that Trebek did? I doubt it.
Why, if anyone should be in consideration for the show, it should be noted Jeopardy! conqueror Ken Jennings, famous for both his 74 game win streak and his hilarious sense of humor.
Me eating this carne asada burrito is rated PG-13 for "some sensuality."— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) March 10, 2013
I've been there too, buddy. Mmmf.