Jeopardy’s Host Debacle


Timothy O'Dowd, Writer

If you haven’t been keeping up with Jeopardy! and you find yourself catching an episode you may be confused about who is hosting? Well depending on the last episode you watched it could’ve been a slew of different people.

Following the unfortunate passing of former host Alex Trebek. many notable guests hosted episodes in remembrance of Trebek, from celebrities to members of the Jeopardy ethos. This culminated with the announcement in August of 2021 that Mike Richards, the executive producer of the show, and another American game show mainstay, Wheel Of Fortune, would take over as full-time host of Jeopardy!

Shortly after though, much had surfaced about Richards that swayed public opinion on him. A series of scandals marked Richard’s career as a television producer, primarily offensive comments he made on a podcast years ago, which were all reported in The Ringer after his announcement of being the host. 

After only a day of shooting, Sony in fear of more public backlash asked Richards to step down from his role as host, having only 5 episodes filmed with him as permanent host. Richards was also later fired from both of his executive producer roles. 

Richards departure would leave a hole in the host seat that Sony announced would be temporarily filled by Ken Jennings, the current record holder for most consecutive wins in the show’s history, and Mayim Bialik, Actress with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. Both people served as guest hosts after Trebkes death.

While Jennings and Bialik are still sharing duty as hosts at the time of publication, they are just a temporary band-aid as neither wants to be the permanent host of the syndicated Jeopardy!. Sony has still not announced who the permanent host of the game show will be.

Jeopardy! and its former host Trebek was an American institution. When the trivia game show was revived in 1984, Trebek was chosen to host and served as such until his death in 2020. 

Trebek became iconic along with the show, and when he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2018, everyone knew that Jeopardy! would need to find someone to fill Trebek’s shoes after his passing, but it seems that filling those shoes will be harder than many thought.