‘Jeopardy!’: Mayim Bialik Reveals Reaction to Mike Richards Stepping Down, Talking to Him Afterwards

by Megan Molseed

Monday marked the return of former guest Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik to the popular game show’s iconic stage. This time, she is serving a much more permanent role behind the podium.

Since the death of longtime Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek, the long-running game show has been on the search for a new host.

And, after briefly naming longtime Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards as the host of the game show, producers backtracked their decision after controversial remarks made by Richards were released via social media.

Not long after this announcement, Jeopardy! showrunners named Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings as the newest Jeopardy! hosts. Bialik will be sharing her hosting duties with Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings going forward.

Recently, Mayim Bialik spoke with Glamour about all the drama surrounding the Jeopardy! hosting gig; and her reaction to the controversial remarks made by Richards in a former podcast that cost him the job.

“I think not commenting is the safest thing to do,” Bialik said about Richards remarks in regards to his disparaging remarks towards Judaism and women.

“In his capacity as producer, I, of course, still had to work with him and speak with him and interact with him [when that report came out],” Bialik continued. “But that’s because I’m a head-down kind of person, meaning I had to continue to work in the capacity that I did until he was no longer the person literally in my ear.”

Richards Had His Eye On The Hosting Spot

Bialik went on to note that while working with Richards during her initial Jeopardy! run as guest host, she had no idea he was eying the gig himself.

“I had no idea,” the actress said.

“I went in with my head down. I do what’s in front of me, and that’s just how I did it,” Bialik continued.

“I was basically relying on my 15-year-old, who’s the one who told me I should guest-host Jeopardy!,” the host added. “I was relying on him telling me what the internet said.”

Mayim Bialik did note that she has spoken with Richards since everything went down. However, she isn’t yet ready to discuss what they said to each other.

“I’m not going to tell you any content of what that was,” she said when asked if she has spoken to Richards since he left the show completely.

The Search For The Next ‘Jeopardy!’ Host

During the search, Jeopardy! brought on a series of guest game show hosts; each taking their turn behind the iconic Jeopardy! podium during the long-running answer/question game show’s thirty-seventh season on the air.

Among the featured guest hosts invited to head the legendary game show in its thirty-seventh season was television star and neurophysicist, Mayim Bialik.

Bialik joined big names such as Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings, broadcaster Anderson Cooper, actor and host LeVar Burton, and football legend Aaron Rodgers among others.

Finally, as the legendary game show was preparing for its thirty-eighth season, producers announced the person to be named full-time host going forward; in fact, Jeopardy! showrunners settled on two hosts: Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards who would be heading up the weekday Jeopardy! episodes; and Bialik who was selected to host any Jeopardy! spin-off shows and specials.

However, this news was short-lived when Richards was forced to step down from the hosting gig, after just one week of taping. This move came after offensive comments made by Richards in a podcast were shared on social media. These developments sent the Jeopardy! parent company, Sony Entertainment back into efforts to find a new host for the iconic quiz show.

Recently, Jeopardy! named Bialik as the host of the daily quiz show, with Ken Jennings stepping in to head the Jeopardy! episodes shortly afterward.