Matt Lauer, the man who, for so long, has made our mornings slightly uncomfortable in indescribable ways, could be gearing up to make us slightly uncomfortable in the early evenings. According to the New York Post, several "knowledgeable sources" report that Lauer is the first choice to replace Trebek after the Jeopardy! host's contract expires.
Not right away, thankfully. Trebek, 73, who suffered his second heart attack last year, recently signed his final three-year deal with Sony. That means he or his dead body propped up on a stick are locked in to host until 2016.
Meanwhile, Lauer, longing for the Todays of yesterday, is not expected to re-sign his morning show contract after it expires in 2015. While Today was the number-one most watched morning show for sixteen years straight, it ratings have recently begun tanking.
The change seems to have come with the abrupt firing of Ann Curry, a co-host viewers also couldn't stand, although no one remembers that now. All we remember is that Matt Lauer did a bad thing (Did he fire Curry? Did put her hand in water while she was sleeping? Did he burn down her house?) and now he is bad.
But just because Lauer won't have anything better to do in 2016 than loaf around the Hamptons watching Jeopardy! reruns in his stocking feet, doesn't mean he's the right man for the job. Alex Trebek is a twinkly-eyed old history teacher. Matt Lauer is a slick assistant principal. He doesn't have that spark.
Of course, a lot can happen in three years. Scientists could invent a machine that prevents aging, so Alex Trebek can host the show forever. Alex Trebek could learn how to turn his weak, disease-ridden heart into a cold, hard heart of stone, à la the unkillable Matt Lauer.
According to the Post, Sony is also considering Anderson Cooper (former host of The Mole) for the gig. He'd be fun.