Even several days after the news broke, fans still can’t believe that Mike Richards will be the new “Jeopardy!” host for the daily syndicated shows.
The executive producer will tag-team host with actress Mayim Bialik. Though, Bialik will mostly cover the primetime episodes, specials, and potential spin-off series. She’s set to start working on the “Jeopardy! National College Championship” next year.
Both hosts guest-hosted on the show earlier this year and received fairly decent fan feedback and praise. But when Variety broke the news that Richards was in “advanced negotiations” for the position, more people were unhappy than not.
Including, apparently, television talk show host John Oliver. People magazine reports that in last night’s episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” he made a dig at Richards’ appointment.
The comedian played a clip of angry parents complaining about mask mandates to a school board member. In the video, one person shouted, “We know who you are!” at someone supporting the mandate.
“Holy s—!” Oliver said. “It is genuinely hard to imagine a five-word phrase less welcome than ‘We know who you are,’ aside from, obviously, ‘new Jeopardy! host Mike Richards.'”
Ouch. Oliver doesn’t say anything else about Richards being named the permanent host, but he’s made his feelings about it pretty clear. There could be any number of reasons why the comedian doesn’t agree with the decision, but these are the ones fans cite when they say they’re also dissatisfied.
Why Don’t Some ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Agree With Mike Richards’ Appointment?
For one thing, not a lot of people remembered who Mike Richards was. He may have guest-hosted earlier this year, but he was only the second person to do so. Plus, he was sandwiched between “Jeopardy!” icon Ken Jennings and Katie Couric, who also impressed audiences.
Some people also didn’t like that he was an executive producer for the show AND candidate for host. It felt a little too insider-y, like the show always knew who it was going to pick because he was the one pulling the strings. Nevertheless, Richards put these rumors to rest and insisted that Sony Pictures Television made the decision themselves.
After Variety revealed that he was the frontrunner, some fans started digging into Richards’ past. They wanted to know about his previous hosting gigs, and that led them down the internet rabbit hole to a troubling sight. According to The Daily Beast, back in 2010, Richards was involved in a legal suit on his old show, “The Price is Right.” One of the show’s models sued him for pregnancy discrimination, which she at first won until the judge threw out the decision, and they settled it out of court.
The lawsuit tainted Richards’ image of the perfect host, causing him to put out a memo to “Jeopardy!” staff and assure them nothing like that would ever happen on the show.
And lastly, some fans didn’t care for Richards because they had their own favorite hosts in mind. LeVar Burton was expected to have a big shot at getting the permanent position, and fans were devastated when he was out of the running. They also rooted for Ken Jennings and Aaron Rodgers.
Richards is currently filming new episodes now, which will premiere on Sept. 13.