‘Jeopardy!’: How Newly Named Host Mike Richards’s Fandom Started as a Kid

by Leanne Stahulak

At long last, “Jeopardy!” found its permanent host(s). Executive producer Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik will tag-team the game show for upcoming seasons.

When the news broke last week, Mayim and Richards both thanked fans and Sony Pictures Television for the appointment. The game show started searching for a permanent host after the tragic death of Alex Trebek last November. Since then, a slew of 16 guest hosts has stepped in to lead “Jeopardy!”, including Bialik and Richards.

Bialik will host the primetime and spin-off specials starting next year, while Richards is currently filming Season 38 of “Jeopardy!”. In the month between the end of last season and the start of the new one, people are trying to get to know the new hosts and what led them to be on the “Jeopardy!” stage today.

Insider dug up some info on executive producer Mike Richards, including when he first fell in love with the show. According to the outlet, Richards told “Jeopardy!” in an exclusive interview that he tried a lot of different study methods for the game show when watching as a kid.

By age 10 or 11, he was asking his mom for a subscription to The Wall Street Journal. He also read the Encyclopedia Brittanica in his spare time to brush up on random knowledge. All of this was done in an effort to get more quiz questions correct.

“You don’t get very many right when you watch ‘Jeopardy!’ at that age,” Richards told “Jeopardy!”.

Now, Richards’ own two kids are also huge “Jeopardy!” fans and love to watch the show.

Mike Richards Was Close With Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek

Speaking of Mike Richards’ kids, Insider also revealed that the late Alex Trebek used to ask after them before he died of pancreatic cancer.

Richards told Parade magazine that Trebek constantly asked about how his kids were doing, even when his own health suffered significantly. Right before he passed away, Trebek even asked Richards how the pandemic closing down schools affected his children.

“He genuinely cared about my kids but also all children,” Richards said. “Keep in mind he was very close to the end of his life. Amazing.”

Richards also recalls the first time he met Alex Trebek, after starting as an executive producer for the show last year. As soon as they started talking, Trebek started quizzing Richards on geography. Little did the late host know that Richards had been preparing for quiz questions since he was a kid.

“I looked at him and I said, ‘Is the great Alex Trebek quizzing me?'” Richards said in an exclusive interview with “Jeopardy!”. “And in his very calm way he said, ‘Well, I guess he is.’ So I have a very fond memory of that first meeting.”