Ken Jennings just ended his time as a “Jeopardy!” guest host, and he thanked fans for their support in a heartfelt tweet.
“That’s a wrap on my six weeks of @Jeopardy guest hosting,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for watching, thanks for your patience with a tough learning curve...and, as always, thank you Alex. 💙”
Jennings, 46, stepped up as an interim host after Alex Trebek died from pancreatic cancer at age 80 last year. In his recent Twitter photo, Jennings wore a purple ribbon in support of pancreatic cancer research.
A series of “Jeopardy!” guest hosts will help finish out the season, and next up is Mike Richards, the executive producer of both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” Other upcoming guest hosts include former TODAY co-host Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper and actor Mayim Bialik.
Many fans were sad to see Jennings go and answered his goodbye tweet with pleas for him to return as permanent host in future seasons.
“You are awesome Ken. I’m sure Alex is so proud of the job you’ve done. I hope in the end you will be the new permanent host,” one fan wrote to him on Twitter. “Your love of and (commitment) to the game shows and you belong there. Thanks for all.”
Another fan expressed their love for Jennings in the form of a “Jeopardy!” clue, complete with the show’s trademark blue screen and white lettering.
“This record setting former Jeopardy! contestant is really the only clear heir to Alex’s throne,” the clue read. (Answer: “Who is @KenJennings?”)
“Don’t know if you want the job, but if so, I hope the folks at Jeopardy see that you’re the fella for the job,” another fan wrote on Twitter. “Impossible shoes to fill, but it’s clear that you’d be a worthy successor. Rooting for you!”
Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on “Jeopardy!” with 74 consecutive games won, as well as the highest winnings in regular-season play ($2,520,700).
He has not revealed whether there's been any discussion about his becoming the permanent "Jeopardy!" host. He did open up what an “intense and nerve-wracking” experience it was to step behind the lectern as a guest host, and how the experience made him feel even more in awe of the late Trebek.
"The main thing I learned is just what an impressive, perfect job Alex Trebek did behind this lectern for 36, 37 years," he said in a promo video for the current season.
"I thought I had studied the man and I understood just what a remarkable job he was doing, keeping the game going, mastering his sense that he understood all the clues — because he did — explaining it to the audience,” he said. “And then when I had to do it, I realized he was doing 10 things I wasn't aware of for every one that I saw.”