BEFORE Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings began their quests to replace Alex Trebek as the permanent host of Jeopardy!, there was Mike Richards.
The show’s former executive producer was originally named Alex’s first official replacement, following the game show legend’s passing in 2020.
On August 11, 2021, Mike was introduced as the new permanent host of the daily version of the show, with Mayim only to host a few primetime specials and spinoffs.
But Mike’s race behind the podium lasted a total of a week, before he was forced to resign after controversial comments he had made in the past about his co-host Beth Triffon during his podcast The Randumb Show resurfaced.
Enter Ken Jennings as an emergency replacement.
The so-called Jeopardy! GOAT joined Mayim, and the two were named interim hosts through the end of the 2021-22 season.
Meanwhile, Mike tried to return to his roots as a producer for Jeopardy! and sister show Wheel of Fortune, but within two weeks of being replaced as host he was fired from both shows altogether.
Since then, Mike has led a seemingly quiet professional life.
Now 46 years old latest tv credit was an episode of Wheel of Fortune recorded months ago, but first aired in April 2022.
Mike was born and raised in Burbank, California, near the studios of the game shows he would eventually work for.
He and his wife, Stephanie, have two sons.
CAREER IN DANGER
In August, executives confirmed that Mike had stepped down, adding that the decision was “effective immediately”.
“We hoped that when Mike left as host at Jeopardy! It would have minimized the internal disruption and hardship we’ve all experienced over the past few weeks,” a note from Sony Pictures Television revealed. “That obviously didn’t happen.”
In a statement stepping down as host, Mike added: “I was deeply honored to have been asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled at the opportunity to expand my role.
“However, over the past few days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too distracting for our fans and not the right move for the show.”
In a separate statement, the disgraced producer addressed the backlash his comments sparked.
“It is humbling to face a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, recklessness and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago,” he said. “Looking back, there is of course no apology for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”
He added: “The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between old friends who used to joke around.”
“Even over time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I deleted the episodes.”
WHAT DID MIKE SAY?
According to The ringMike previously made controversial comments about his podcast co-host Beth Triffon.
Among other things, Mike called Beth a “booth ho”, “booth slut”, and “boothstitute”.
In another episode, Mike discussed a photo of Beth and her friends as he called the group “really frumpy and overweight” and said “they all look terrible in the photo. .they look big and not good in the picture”.
He was also accused of making several racist and anti-Semitic jokes, attempting to justify them as humor.
After his resignation, Mayim’s role was expanded. And Ken also came on board.
MAYIM VS. Ken
The debate over who should become the singular, permanent host ignited almost immediately, with a majority of fans flocking to the former record-breaking contender.
But with Ken now beginning a months-long sabbatical from the syndicated show, outraged fans are demanding he return full-time, calling the former Blossom star a “terrible” host.
One wrote: “Why is Mayim Bialik hosting Jeopardy again?
“She’s not funny, she has more money than most TV personalities, she endorses a terrible product and should be focusing on other things rather than hosting Jeopardy, which she’s terrible at. Please bring back Ken Jennings!
A second agreed: “Please, Jeopardy, please appoint Ken Jennings as host immediately and stop this Mayim Bialik prank.”
A third shared, “Mayim Bialik has been hosting Jeopardy on and off for about a year at this point and still sucks when it comes to hosting. Remarkable things.
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