While performing his duties on a recent episode, Jennings cracked a joke on stage which he later teasingly apologized for.
“Jeopardy!” champion Andrew He was competing on the quiz show and chose the “National Geographic Ocean: A Global Odyssey” category for $800.
The clue was: “A very brave cleaner shrimp gets a meal of parasites and dead skin from the mouth of one of these scary predators.” Fellow contestant Jeff Meyers buzzed first and answered, “What is an eel?”
Jennings pressed for a more specific answer and Meyers said, “Electric eel?” which was incorrect. No one else buzzed for another shot to answer so Jennings jumped in and said, “As Dean Martin might’ve said, ‘That’s Amore,’” referring to a moray eel.
The “Jeopardy!” official Twitter account tweeted a GIF with the caption, “Dad joke alert!”
To which Jennings wrote to fans, “I will be coming to your homes individually to apologize for this.” But many fans in the comments section loved the moment.
“tbh dad jokes are literally the best,” one person said.
“Love, love, love Ken as host. Please give him the permanent gig,” another hoped.
“That was a quick response and very, very funny,” agreed someone else.
Jennings auditioned for “Jeopardy!” in 2004, and went on an unprecedented 74-game victory streak worth $2.52 million, per a press release.
He then went on to appear in several special “Jeopardy!” tournaments, including the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, “Jeopardy!: The IBM Challenge” in 2011, the Battle of the Decades in 2014, and “Jeopardy! All-Star Games” in 2019.
Late ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek, (L) poses contestant Ken Jennings after his earnings from his record breaking streak on the gameshow surpassed 1 million dollars July 14, 2004 in Culver City, California. (Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images )
In 2020, he bested Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer in the ABC special event “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.” Later that year, he joined “Jeopardy!” as a consulting producer.
Jennings just hosted the game show on the one-year anniversary of Trebek’s passing from pancreatic cancer. “I miss Alex a lot,” said the 47-year-old. “When I’m here, I feel like he’s probably in the building somewhere. It’s hard not to talk about him in the present tense.”
Jennings shared how Trebek’s wife Jean was determined to make him feel welcomed.
“The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed and it was a really rough time,” Jennings admitted. “I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex’s wife, Jean, had given me a pair of his cuff links that he had worn on the show. What a lovely gesture that was from Jean.”
‘Jeopardy!’ contest Ken Jennings, who won a record 74 consecutive games. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
The star said he was moved by the widow’s kindness during a painful moment in their lives.
“You know, at a time that was very hard for her family, dealing with a lot of grief and a lot of challenges, she thought about ‘Jeopardy!’ and she thought about me, a person she had never even met,” he said. “And I just thought, ‘What a lovely thing to do.’ She’s fantastic.”
And the accessory is one-of-a-kind for Jennings.
“My Alex Trebek cuff links are the only cuff links I own,” said Jennings. “They’re kind of a good luck charm for me here.”
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.