'The Chase': Brad Rutter says it's 'fun' being on the same team as Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer for once

We talk to Brad Rutter about working with Holzhauer and Jennings, and what makes 'The Chase' such a winning quiz show format


                            'The Chase': Brad Rutter says it's 'fun' being on the same team as Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer for once
Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 08, 2020, in Pasadena, California (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Brad Rutter, James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings are 'Jeopardy!' champions who have gone up against one another a number of times and their competition has always been fierce. Now, however, they're all on the same team as Chasers, working against new contestants. We talked to Brad Rutter about working with Holzhauer and Jennings, and what makes 'The Chase' such a winning quiz show format.

How have you enjoyed being on the same team as James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings, as opposed to competing with them?

That was one of the really cool things actually, because, we're all friendly obviously, but when we're playing against each other, it's intense. We're all good and we're all trying to win. Now we're kind of on the same team and it's fun to just hang out and root for each other.

Are you having a lot more fun in the lounge area part of the show?

Yeah, I thought that was a really smart thing to do. It's almost like a sporting event really, where we were just providing some color commentary and who better than the guys who actually played the game. So I kind of feel like Troy Aikman or Chris Collins, where it's up there, breaking it down and analyzing like, "No, they should take the higher offer" — that kind of thing.

If you could have one of the other two chasing you, who do you think you'd prefer going up against?

That's really tough. Yeah. I think James probably leads into the intimidation factor a little more, and I wouldn't be easily intimidated. So maybe, that might be an advantage for me, but I mean, they're both so awesome. Like, you know, they always ask, "Who would you go up against?" to the contestants and I don't know how they would pick. So it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. They're both awesome.

Is there either one of them that you think you'd enjoy chasing more?

They're both so good, it's so tough. That's kind of where I feel for the contestants the most honestly, is having to come up with who they'd rather face.

Of course the, show is not just about trivia. The format makes a big difference for entertainment value. Have you ever thought about what kind of quiz you'd like to run if you were to develop a show yourself?

I think it would probably kind of look a lot like this, because, you think of a primetime network quiz shows and obviously ['Who Wants to Be A Millionaire'] is the big one. They have the slow pace, and the dramatic moments and that cliffhanger going into commercial and stuff like that. With the one-on-one round, we sorta have that, but then we also have the rapid fire, fast pace, over a hundred questions per show type pace. It's sort of the best of both worlds and that's what I think people will really like about it.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about the show?

Just how much fun I had making it. Sarah [Haines] is doing a great job. I didn't know her at all before we started taping, but we all went out to dinner the night before we started taping and just the chemistry was there right away. She's really quick and, and likes to play. The chemistry was there with all three of us right away. If you have half as much fun watching the show as we did making it, I think it will be a hit. 

The next episode of 'The Chase' airs on January 21 at 9 pm ET on ABC.

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