‘Jeopardy!’ Host Mayim Bialik Opens Up About Hosting Controversy

by Madison Miller

For decades, “Jeopardy!” was just an innocent trivia game show with the charming and consistent Alex Trebek leading the program. Viewers tuned in each night knowing exactly what to expect.

Then, the beloved game show host sadly passed away in November 2020. After that, the network had to find a replacement for the longtime show. Ultimate champion Ken Jennings was the first person to appear as a guest host on the show. While he was hosting, executives quickly got to work figuring out an intricate guest host schedule.

That includes people like Aaron Rodgers, Mayim Bialik, Bill Whitaker, Joe Buck, Savannah Guthrie, and Buzzy Cohen. At the end of it all, the show selected Mike Richards as the full-time host. He was quickly fired from his job as executive producer and host due to a slew of controversial comments from his past.

Then, “Jeopardy!” decided to have both Jennings and Bialik split the hosting gig. This has been the case for the season so far and has certainly seemed to work in the show’s favor. The question is — what do Bialik and Jennings think of the whole situation?

Well, both of them also have some controversial pasts as well. Jennings was under fire for some problematic tweets that he addressed while hosting. Meanwhile, Bialik was criticized over things she wrote in her book. She shared that her children were not vaccinated as newborns, but she has since clarified she is not an anti-vaxxer. Regardless, many people place that label on her and wanted her taken off the show for her views on vaccination policies.

Things seem to have died down now and Bialik even addressed the entire hosting chaos.

“And it was an absolutely fascinating turn of events to be kind of, like, raked over the coals for literally things that I said and have spoken about. You know what I mean? I mean, I literally wrote a book. Like, it’s all there, and I think it’s been a big learning curve, but also a really humbling one. I feel like I weathered it to the best of my ability. It definitely felt embarrassing to be on CNN about being the Jeopardy! host because my kids weren’t vaccinated as newborns,” Bialik said during The Hollywood Reporter’s TV Top 5 podcast.

The Future of ‘Jeopardy!’

It seems to be the case that no one is going to win over the “Jeopardy!” fanbase completely. Bialik has learned to accept this.

“I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, and I totally get that. My goal is to blend into the podium as much as I can and have it not be about all of that other stuff … You know, that’s the nice thing about me. I really don’t have secrets, people. It’s all out there, and I’ve made a YouTube video about it already,” she also said on the podcast.

As of now, it’s unclear if the show is just going to keep both Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings as shared hosts for the foreseeable future. They will continue through at least the rest of Season 38.

As for the drama regarding Richards, Bialik hasn’t spoken much about that. She was originally going to be the host of only special tournaments and Richards would have been the full-time host.