‘Jeopardy!’: Ex-Guest Host, Producer Mike Richards Explained Aaron Rodgers Learned About ‘Intensity’ on Show

by Chris Haney

Recently, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards opened up about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers realizing just how intense hosting the game show can be.

Richards, who took a turn as interim Jeopardy! host as well, spoke with sports reporter Peter King. They talked about Rodgers’ run as the current host. As a lifelong fan of the game show and a former Celebrity Jeopardy! champion, Rodgers as host makes more sense than one may think.

However, last season’s NFL MVP was stunned once he took the reins of the show, according to Richards. Rodgers studied previous episodes and zeroed in on Alex Trebek’s every move as he prepared for his two weeks on the show. Yet once on-set of Jeopardy!, he quickly understood it was a whole different ballgame. During a commercial break early on in one episode, Rodgers said to Richards, “Whoa! You were right. The real game is totally different.”

“The intensity goes up in the real game, which Aaron found out,” Richards said on Friday to King, according to an NBC Sports article. “You can see, even with the second show, his voice got better, his command got better, he started to enjoy it and have fun. But the truth is, you never truly relax. You’ve got the open, introducing the categories, 15 questions, the short interviews with the players, 15 more questions, 30 questions in Double Jeopardy, sum up, introduce Final Jeopardy, then do that. And through it all, you’re the arbiter of every question.”

“And,” Richards amusingly added, “there’s no huddle.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Aaron Rodgers Had a ‘Blast’ Working with Producer Mike Richards

Rodgers also recently spoke about his time hosting Jeopardy! as a guest on The Pat McAfee Show. As he prepared for the show, he only watched older episodes with Alex Trebek as host. In fact, he hasn’t watched a single episode of the other guest hosts. He says he didn’t want to emulate anyone else except Trebek.

In addition, he talked about what it was like to work with producer Mike Richards during his time on Jeopardy!. The longtime Packers quarterback had nothing but kind words for Richards, and said “he was a blast to work with.”

“It was so much fun being on the set. They really set up the thing for the host to be successful. You know Mike Richards, of ‘Beauty and The Geek’ fame, if you remember that show. He was the host of that show. He’s the executive producer of ‘Jeopardy!’ and he was a blast to work with,” Rodgers explained.

While talking with McAfee (a former NFL punter), Rodgers noted some of the similar aspects of running an NFL offense in comparison to hosting a game show.

“[Mike Richards] was the voice in my ear and as I’ve had your boy McCarthy and that ‘Pittsburgh-ese’ in my ear for so long, and Matt LaFleur for the last couple years, it was nice having a, maybe a little quieter steady voice,” Rodgers joked.

Rodgers is used to his football helmet, which has a headset in it so he can communicate with his coaches. Jeopardy! hosts have an earpiece that works in a similar fashion in unison with producers while filming the show. It sounds like Richards’ calming presence compared to being yelled at from the sidelines of a football field was a welcome change for Rodgers.