Ken Jennings Returned To Host ‘Jeopardy!’ With A ‘Painful’ Joke That Got Fans Talking

Ken Jennings is back to hosting Jeopardy! this week, and he certainly turned some heads with a quick joke he made during Monday’s episode. The Jeopardy! GOAT took the host podium back from Mayim Bialik as the rotation of temporary hosts continues for Season 38, and while we have no real indication of who will host the show come September’s Season 39, we immediately got a bit of the humor many fans have enjoyed from Jennings in his time as temporary host.

While Bialik has a more straightforward approach, Jennings isn’t afraid to drop some jokes into the proceedings if the mood is right. And on Monday he decided to make a joke about circumcision during Double Jeopardy. After a correct answer from contestant Erica in the Active Bible Verses category, Jennings awarded some “painful” money.

“Since no one had done this for 40 years, God told Joshua to get a knife & do this to male Israelites,” was the answer Jennings read, to which Erica responded “circumcise.” That’s correct, of course, but Jennings had to make a quick joke before moving on in the round.

“That is correct,” he said. “A painful $2,000 for you!”

It was over in a flash but certainly a bit suggestive for a syndicated game show airing after the local news. Reaction among fans seems to be mixed, with some applauding his return and the line while others have framed it as cringeworthy. And while it’s that kind of willingness to crack jokes that’s gotten Jennings in trouble in other areas in the past, it’s also something legendary host Alex Trebek was more than willing to do in his long tenure on the program. And something he even managed to do as a contestant on his record-shattering run of wins.

It’s inevitable to compare Jennings to Bialik given the veritable bake-off the co-hosting duties has become, and some of those comparisons are simply not very fair to either host, especially the extra criticism Bialik has gotten for her style and wardrobe. One major difference we’ve seen is Jennings’ willingness to go there for a joke, even if it doesn’t land with everyone. Still, it’s still far less cringeworthy than this incredible series of wrong answers from another show Alex Trebek once hosted, Classic Concentration. Agony, indeed.

[via NY Post]