Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik never got to meet contestant Amy Schneider, but she couldn’t let that slip until the final episode of Schneider’s 40-game winning streak aired. If Bialik had revealed that Schneider only dealt with Ken Jennings, who hosted Jeopardy! during Schneider’s streak, people would have been able to guess when Schneider’s roll came to an end.
“I couldn’t tell anyone that I didn’t meet Amy,” Bialik told TheWrap on Monday. “Like, it’s finally Monday night [last week], and I was able to post in support for her and was a little bit relieved that it was finally public, because then I didn’t have to go back to work and be like, ‘I can’t say anything.’ That’s kind of what my life is like.”
There’s a delay between when the show tapes and when it airs, so that lengthened Bialik’s wait time further. Schneider’s total winnings landed her the No. 4 spot on the list of highest regular-season cash winnings, after Jennings, James Holzhauer and Matt Amodio.
Bialik Compared Jeopardy! to the Stock Market
Schneider’s winning streak followed closely on the heels of Amodio’s 38-game run, which ended three months before Schneider’s began. Why so close together? Well, Bialik has a theory, and it’s not that people are just getting smarter.
“I think it’s kind of like the stock market,” Bialik said. “Like, if you look at it over a period of five years, 10 years, I think there’s probably more of these kinds of trends. Do I think people are smarter now? No. Is there more information available that never was before? Absolutely.”
“I think it’s been a really fun and special time,” she added. “But you know, that’s also the fun of Jeopardy! You never know what’s going to happen. Someone can seem like they’re winning, winning, winning, and anything can happen — they can have a tummy ache. And that kind of changes the course of their day.”
Bialik and Jennings Will Trade Off for Remainder of This Season
Bialik and Jennings have been sharing hosting duties on Jeopardy! this season after Sony’s choice for Alex Trebek’s replacement, former executive producer Mike Richards, fell through. The company will try again to name a permanent host after the current season wraps this summer.
The late, great Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 37 seasons before he died of stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, 2020. He is survived by his wife Jean and children Nicky, Matthew and Emily.
After Trebek’s death, a rotating cast of celebrities took turns guest-hosting the show until Sony announced that Richards would step into Trebek’s shoes. That raised some eyebrows, as Richards himself had been involved in the search for Trebek’s replacement.
Eyebrows lifted further when it emerged that Richards had been named in two employment discrimination lawsuits. But then past episodes of Richards’ podcast surfaced in which he made offensive comments about women, Jews, little people and Asians, among others. That was the final straw for Sony, which then replaced Richards with Bialik and Jennings.
Fans have taken to the duo, so it remains to be seen if one or both of them will stay on. In the meantime, it’s been an eventful season of Jeopardy!, as Schneider’s winning streak attests. Tune in to ABC weekdays at 7 p.m. to find out what will happen next.