‘Jeopardy!’: Mike Rowe Pens Letter Addressing Whether or Not He Would Take Hosting Job

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Still without someone to fill the permanent hosting role, the hit television game show “Jeopardy!” finds itself in a bit of a pickle.

Just a short time ago, “Jeopardy!” believed they had the right man and woman for the hosting job. Executive producer Mike Richards was to be the quiz show’s day-to-day full-time host. Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik would be brought in to serve as host for prime-time events like tournaments.

Everything appeared to be settled with a new permanent host in place. Unfortunately for “Jeopardy!” the situation was anything but settled. After just one day on the job, Richards stepped down from the “Jeopardy!” hosting position due to allegations of misconduct. Bialik has also heard the calls for her to step down as well, due to past indiscretions.

One public figure who likely won’t be pursuing the hosting role is television personality Mike Rowe. The former “Dirty Jobs” host recently penned a letter explaining why he will not be the next “Jeopardy!” host. In typical Mike Rowe fashion, his reasoning is solid and quite hilarious.

“Let me first say that I’ve watched JEOPARDY! all my life,” he says. “I’m a big fan of the format, and I’ve been sincerely flattered by the many people on this page who have encouraged me to audition for Alex Trebek’s old job.”

Rowe then jumps into the reason that he will not be the next host of “Jeopardy!” and it’s all in the name.

“Many years ago, when I was just starting out in this business, I took a solemn vow to never host a TV show with an exclamation point in the title,” he jokes. “And clearly, hosting JEOPARDY! would violate that oath.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Hosting Job Doesn’t Interest Mike Rowe

It is this kind of humor and personality that would make Mike Rowe an ideal candidate to host the show. But alas, it doesn’t appear we will see him behind the “Jeopardy!” podium anytime soon.

“It may seem like a small thing, but a man must have his standards, and when it comes to establishing trust with your viewers, punctuation matters,” he says. “Exclamation points, especially in conjunction with upper-case letters, create a level of urgency that should only be used to impart the very highest levels of risk. But where is the risk in appearing on JEOPARDY!? What exactly happens if you give an incorrect answer? Do you get punched in the face? Scalded with hot water? Do you lose a finger? No. Nothing of the sort. You’re not even risking your own money.”

Never change Mike Rowe. Never change.

The one million dollar question is where does “Jeopardy!” turn to now. There are several options in the guest-hosting pool for them to choose from. Big names like NFL star Aaron Rodgers and television personality LeVar Burton have made it known they desire the job. Former contestant Ken Jennings is the most successful game show icon of all time and did well in his guest-hosting stint. Perhaps “Jeopardy!” will look at other candidates to fill the position.