ON August 11, 2021, it was announced that executive producer Mike Richards would be the new Jeopardy! host.
However, following unearthed comments made by Richards in the past, he made a stunning announcement on Friday, August 20.
Who is Jeopardy! host Mike Richards?
Mike Richards is an American television producer and game show presenter.
The 46-year-old has hosted The Pyramid, Divided, Beauty and the Geek and High School Reunion.
He attended Pepperdine University in California and is married to Stephanie Richards.
Mike had been the frontrunner after a series of guest-hosts for the Jeopardy! gig. He also guest hosted the show in February.
Richards was named permanent host of Jeopardy on August 11.
Mike said he was “deeply honored” and added: “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude.”
“I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode.”
“Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love.”
Did Mike Richards step down as host of Jeopardy?
On Friday, August 20, Richards announced he was stepping down as host.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards said in a statement.
“As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role,” the statement continued.
“However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.
“As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today,” the statement read.
The studio will continue to search for a permanent host, Richards said.
Variety reported Richards will stay on as executive producer of the show.
Richards’ exit comes after he apologized earlier this week for calling a female co-host a “slut” on his old podcast. The past comments resurfaced shortly after he was named Jeopardy’s! permanent host.
Mike previously made controversial comments about his co-host Beth Triffon during the The Randumb Show podcast.
According to The Ringer, Beth- who served as his co-host and was his former assistant- previously discussed working as a model at the CES during one episode.
Following her comments, Mike, 46, dubbed Beth as 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 picture … they look fat and not good in the picture.”
Earlier this month, rumors began to spread that he contributed to “toxic” behavior on The Price Is Right set.
Is Mayim Balik hosting Jeopardy?
The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Balik will also be serving as host of the spin-off specials.
The first ABC special that Mayim will host has been titled Jeopardy! National College Championship.
Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures, said to THR: ““We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!”
Mayim added: ““What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life!
“I’m so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I’m just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!”
Who else hosted Jeopardy?
Katie Couric, LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, and Robin Roberts previously served as guest hosts on the quiz show.
Alex Trebek revealed to fans that he was battling stage four pancreatic cancer in 2019, which has a 9 percent survival rate.
He tragically passed away on November 8, 2020.
The 80-year-old host was undergoing an experimental immunotherapy treatment before his death.
Following his March 2019 diagnosis, the beloved TV personality opened up about the disease in his book The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life.
He wrote that he had “a good cry” with his family about the news but that he is “content” with his choice to undergo an experimental treatment.
He revealed in the book that he was not afraid of dying.