As Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers concludes his two-week stint as guest host of Jeopardy!, he seems to have a real shot at the permanent gig. He wouldn’t be the first NFL player to land such a job.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com takes a trip down memory lane to the time that former Chargers kicker Rolf Benirschke served as the host of the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune.
Benirschke, as it turns out, caught the attention of show producer Merv Griffin while appearing on an L.A. morning TV show on behalf of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Benirschke followed an animal act.
“This guy comes out with 30 different rabbits on the stage, these cute floppy-eared rabbits,” Benirschke said. “Well, they start doing what rabbits do: they start humping each other. . . . The two hosts lose total control of the show and it ends with the host saying, ‘Back in a moment with Rolf Benirschke.’ They come back from break, bring me out and we had some fun with that.”
Benirschke did it for a year, until the show moved from NBC to CBS.
“We taped a month worth of shows in a week,” Benirschke said. “Five on Monday, five on Tuesday, five on Wednesday, break Thursday and do the last five on Friday. So I’d go up there a week a month to do that. People probably don’t know that’s how it works. It’s an interesting situation. I remember I got laryngitis, I got hoarse one week and America thought I was sick for a month because you’re taping 20 shows in a week.”
Rodgers has said that he can pull double duty as Jeopardy! host and Packers quarterback. I wouldn’t bet against his ability to do it, and I definitely wouldn’t bet against his chances of getting the opportunity to do so.