On Monday, Katie Couric became the first woman ever to host NBC’s game show Jeopardy!
Couric’s appearance on Jeopardy! as the first woman to host the show was especially significant because Monday was also International Women’s Day.
She started her two-week stint as a guest host on the show after the former longtime show host Alex Trebek died in November, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Couric, 64, kicked off the show on Monday by first paying tribute to Trebek.
“It is such a thrill to be here guest hosting a show I’ve watched and loved for years,” she said (see video below). “And of course a real honor to help out as all of us recover from the loss of the truly irreplaceable Alex Trebek.”
Couric also announced that Jeopardy! will be donating a sum equal to the total winnings for each show that she guest hosts to Stand Up To Cancer, a program established to raise funds for cancer research.
“Jeopardy! will be matching the winnings from each show I guest host and donating that amount to the pancreatic cancer dream team from Stand Up to Cancer,” she said. “So thank you, Jeopardy!”
Couric co-founded the program in 2008.
Monday night’s show ended with Laura Portwood-Stacer winning her second game.
Couric will guest-host Jeopardy! from March 8 to March 19.
Jeopardy! longtime host Alex Trebek died in November
The show’s longtime host Alex Trebek died in November 2020 at the age of 80. Trebek served as the host of the syndicated game show from 1984 until he died in 2020.
Trebek’s death came after Monsters and Critics reported in July 2020 that the Canadian-born game show host was receiving experimental immunotherapy treatment to combat stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The Jeopardy! host first announced his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019.
Other women will be guest hosting Jeopardy! in the coming weeks
While Couric is the first woman to guest-host Jeopardy!, she won’t be the last.
Other women expected to guest-host the show in the weeks ahead include NBC’s Today show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and actress Mayim Bialik, known for playing Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory.
Anderson Cooper, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and journalist Bill Whitaker are also scheduled to appear as guest hosts.
Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and executive producer Mike Richards hosted the show after Trebek’s death.