Jennings will make his debut as interim host on Monday, Jan. 11. In a Twitter thread posted to his personal account on Wednesday, the former Jeopardy! champion said he “wanted to own up to” some “jokes” he’d posted on social media over the years, which recently resurfaced. One, which has since been deleted, read, “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.”
“In the past, I’d usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on. At least that way they could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake,” he wrote. “But I think that practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I’ve ever posted here. Not at all!”
He continued: “Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended. It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry.”
Jennings’ ascension to guest host was foreshadowed last September when he joined the show as a consulting producer. In that new role, he presented his own special video categories, developed projects, assisted with contestant outreach, and served as a general ambassador for the show. In November, he was named a temporary guest host, succeeding original host Alex Trebek, who’d died weeks earlier of pancreatic cancer.