HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’ Returns With Mike Richards as Host, Makes No Mention at All of Ongoing Hosting Drama

‘Jeopardy!’ Returns With Mike Richards as Host, Makes No Mention at All of Ongoing Hosting Drama

by John Jamison
(Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage)

Without context, folks tuning in to “Jeopardy!” Monday night may have made the mistake of assuming that Mike Richards was the new permanent host. The Monday premiere of Season 38 made no mention of the hosting drama that led to Richards stepping down from the podium and his executive producer role. So why is Mike Richards going to appear as host throughout the week?

His one day of filming resulted in five episodes of “Jeopardy!” In an ideal world, they’d be able to tape the episodes again with a different host. But the nature of the game show means that individual games are irreplaceable, especially when dominant contestants like Matt Amodio continue streaks during this timeframe.

For that reason, it makes sense why “Jeopardy!” is airing the episodes with Mike Richards. They don’t have a choice. But one would think they might consider mentioning something about him being dramatically ousted from the show. Instead, the former guest host carried on as if nothing was wrong. And to be fair, it wasn’t. At least, not at the time of taping.

“What an incredible way to kick off the season! Let’s do it again tomorrow. Hope to see you then,” Richards signed off from Monday’s episode.

For a show that became the epitome of consistency with decades of Alex Trebek at the helm, the one-week Mike Richards tease will come as a surprise to many. We have our ear to the ground here at Outsider, but casual “Jeopardy!” fans may not have followed the rollercoaster ride that has been host selection. Mike Richards’ inevitable disappearance from the show next week hasn’t been mentioned. Bear in mind that he was a popular choice for the role during his guest-hosting stint. It’s shaping up for an even worse situation than they started with.

‘Jeopardy!’ Dedicates Stage to Longtime Host Alex Trebek

It was all so simple when the late Alex Trebek was hosting “Jeopardy!” He ran the game masterfully, chatted up the contestants, and as far we know, he didn’t make controversial comments on a podcast.

The iconic game show host did the job faithfully for 37 years before dying from pancreatic cancer in November 2020. His death came as a major blow to fans and former contestants. It triggered a seemingly impossible search for his permanent replacement over the course of the following season. And now, “Jeopardy!” is paying the ultimate respect to the late host by naming the entire stage after him.

“Earlier today with Alex’s wife Jean, son Matt, and daughters Emily and Nicky, we dedicated the stage in his honor. It will now forever be known as The Alex Trebek Stage,” longtime announcer Johnny Gilbert announced.

Mike Richards will continue to host “Jeopardy!” through the rest of the week.