CULVER CITY, Calif. (CBS) — The “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions kicks off on Monday and guest hosting the competition is a former Tournament champion himself – fan favorite Buzzy Cohen.
Back in 2016, Cohen went on a nine-game winning streak and returned the following year to win the $250,000 grand prize in the Tournament of Champions. The late Alex Trebek gave Cohen a nickname during his run – “Mr. Personality.”
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“I don’t have words for this,” Cohen said about the opportunity to guest host the Tournament of Champions for two weeks. “I stood on this stage four years ago and I told Alex with all love and admiration that I’d love to host this show that I love so much. and I can’t believe I got that shot.”
The Tournament features 15 top champions and a $250,000 grand prize.
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“It’s such an honor,” Cohen said about hosting. “I’m really hoping that I can give these contestants, these great champions, the tournament that they deserve.”
As host, Cohen said he “had to think about the game in a totally different way.”
“When you’re the host, you’ve got to hit every word, every word of that clue counts,” he said. “I really had to change the way I relate to the clues.”
A string of celebrities have stepped in to act as guest host since Trebek’s death. Still to come this season are Mayim Bialik, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, David Farber, Joe Buck and LeVar Burton.
Cohen said he was nervous to take the reigns, but “loved every minute of it.”
“As I got a little more comfortable – it didn’t take long – I got to be myself more and I hope that really comes through,” he said.
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“Jeopardy!” airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on WBZ-TV.
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