Now that Mike Richards is officially the new Jeopardy host, details about him, as well as the search for Alex Trebek’s replacement have surfaced. Unfortunately, one of those details is that the long-time beloved host never considered Richards as worthy of being his replacement.
Not being the hand-picked successor to Trebek is just one of the roadblocks Richards is facing at the moment. Richards — who may or may not have appointed himself — was officially named as Trebek’s replacement last week. Sony’s announcement came amid resurfaced reports the longtime EP helped fuel a misogynistic and toxic work culture on The Price Is Right. Richards denied past discrimination claims but is coming under fire again as news outlets found sexist comments he made on an old podcast.
The drama is causing a lot of fans to wonder if this is what Trebek would have wanted. It turns out it may not have been close.
In a 2018 interview that went viral earlier this week, Trebek named a few people he thought he’d like to have replace him, when the time came. Richards was not among those he mentioned.
Two Hosts Passed Over
Trebek specifically mentioned two possible hosts: L.A. Kings hockey announcer Alex Faust and CNN’s Laura Coates.
Coates, it turned out, was someone many longtime viewers of the show wanted to see. However, she never got a turn as a guest host. There are some who wonder if Richards knew of Trebek’s mentioning of her as a possible successor. Plenty of people were quite angry she didn’t get her shot.
— Lisa Hamner (@lisa_hamner) August 19, 2021
Anger Over Mike Richards Grows
Even before it was remembered that Trebek had some successors in mind, Richards wasn’t the most popular choice. There was the fact that he had guest hosts on, as an EP and chose himself instead. Or at least, several people believe he’s the one who made the choice.
Then of course, there are the comments he made about some women on The Price is Right. There’s also his embracing of other “white average guy” hosts.
After Richards’s old podcast made headlines on Wednesday — in which he called his cohost a “booth ho,” “booth slut,” and “boothstitute,” — the embattled producer issued an apology.
“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry,” he said. “The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”