Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards Reveals the Importance of the Show, Continuing Alex Trebek’s Legacy

by Chris Haney

On Monday morning, Jeopardy!‘s Twitter account posted a clip of executive producer Mike Richards sharing thoughts on the show itself and Alex Trebek’s legacy.

The beloved game show is in a current state of transition following the recent death of longtime host Alex Trebek. The game show host passed away in November at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer. Since Trebek’s death, the show has enlisted a series of special guest hosts.

So far, former champion Ken Jennings has played host. Additionally, the show announced Katie Couric and Bill Whitaker will fill in as interim hosts as well. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has also revealed plans of a future guest host gig. In 2015, Rodgers competed on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! and has previously stated his love for the game show.

Richards spoke to Jeopardy! fans all over the globe during a segment explaining the importance of the show. He talked about why they want to keep Jeopardy! alive and revealed how imperative it is that they honor Trebek’s legacy.

Jeopardy! is an incredibly important American institution. It’s about making people that are smart the most important people in the room. I just think that’s so important to keep that going and to continue Alex’s legacy,” Richards explains in the clip.

“His ability to straddle that line of being super cool himself, super smart himself, and everything he was, is really a part of this entire place,” Richards added about Trebek.

The executive producer goes on to share two heartwarming stories about his favorite experiences around Trebek. They’re well worth the watch in the video below.

Jeopardy! Host Ken Jennings Thanks Show and Trebek After Interim Run Ends

On Friday, Ken Jennings guest-hosting run on Jeopardy! came to an end. The former contest and champion made sure to thank the game show and its longtime host Alex Trebek.

Jennings was an obvious choice for the job since he won 74 straight episodes, which is the longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history. He posted on his Twitter account to express his gratitude for the interim gig.

“That’s a wrap on my six weeks of @Jeopardy guest hosting. Thanks for watching, thanks for your patience with a tough learning curve…and, as always, thank you Alex,” Jennings tweeted.

Some said Jennings’ guest host appearance was a tryout for potentially becoming Trebek’s full-time replacement. The show has stayed mum over the speculation of who will take over permanently for the late game show host following his death.

For now, producers are utilizing a series of guest hosts. Jennings hosted the first run from Jan. 11 to Feb. 19. Previously mentioned producer Mike Richards is up next starting on Monday, Feb 22.

“I was very fortunate to have a front-row seat to watch and study Alex,” Richards said. “Stepping in as a guest host was incredibly humbling, emotional and a lot of fun. It will forever be the honor of my life.”