Jeopardy! is filled to the brim with smart people who casually know what the 16th AND 44th digits of pi are. The only version I can compete on is the kid edition, and even then, just barely. But if there’s one Achilles heel that these brainiacs all share, it’s their lack of pop culture knowledge. This was particularly evident in a recent episode where not one, not two, but THREE of the contestants had no clue who Betty White was. I guess watching rerun after rerun of The Golden Girls at your grandma’s house is no longer a rite of passage!
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings can keep vying for wittiest Jeopardy! host (verdict: sorry, it’s still the legend, Alex Trebek), and Pat Sajak gets to continue to curmudgeonly condescend to a fresh crop of contestants and bitch to a probably very tired Vanna White backstage until the producers’ wish of him retiring is finally granted–because ABC just held on to two of the very lucrative “feathers in their cap” by forking out even more money than they had to last time to secure a five-year renewal for both shows.
I think one of the reasons so many people love LeVar Burton is because when we were kids he taught us to love reading. However, the thing we all did not know is that LeVar is also an expert at reading, because he’s speaking about his time auditioning to host Jeopardy! and apparently the library is open. Prior to Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik being chosen to take over for the late Alex Trebek, LeVar was the internet’s choice, yet he was then undercut by greedy producer Mike Richards who snatched the honor away from everyone when he made himself the host. It became a temporary gig, and now in the aftermath of all the drama LeVar admits during the process he would not have trusted Mike at all.
Since the sad passing of former long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek in 2020, it was obvious that the show would never quite be the same. His distinguished silver hair and propensity to deliver lite sick burns to contestants remained unmatched by any of the sometimes tough-to-watch revolving door of guest hosts that tried their hand at the gig–like NFL player/master virologist Aaron Rodgers and especially Dr. Mehmet Oz. Being an unimpressive game show host and an unimpressive senate hopeful all within such a short period of time? Impressive. LeVar Burton was a fan pick, but decided that the Jeopardy! life wasn’t for him. The show finally gained some temporary stability once Mayim Bialik was given the job of permanent co-host, and Ken Jennings the job of substitute co-host after show executive producer Mike Richards was hired then quickly backed away from his hosting duties on his first day on the job for it being exposed that he’s a certified asshole. Show fans that have been waiting on an announcement of who the permanent hosts will be can most likely get off the edge of their seats now since Mayim and Ken are rumored to have been chosen as the permanent readers of clues.
After beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away in 2020 the world patiently waited for someone to properly fill his shoes. What ensued afterward was a multitude of folks who desperately wanted to become the next Alex (they could never) by hosting the show. Some tried and failed (yes, YOU Aaron Rodgers) but eventually, the show temporarily settled on legendary multimillionaire contestant Ken Jennings and legendary 90’s bucket hat dancer Mayim Bialik. Mayim was named a permanent guest co-host while Ken Jennings is temporarily filling in after Mike Richards was dropped. Jeopardy! is expected to name its permanent hosts any day now, but in the meantime, Mayim has talked about how some viewers like her as much as she likes musical theater.
Since Alex Trebek’s death in November 2020, Jeopardy! has experienced some high highs and low lows. Highs: champs like Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach. Lows: the search for an official replacement host. Right now, Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik are sharing hosting duties, but, before that, there was the revolving door of celebrity guest hosts, all the Mike Richards drama, and cries of “Give it to LeVar Burton!” Now Jeopardy! producer Michael Davies has told Variety that the show will make an announcement about multiple hosts “very, very soon.” Oh no, is it six clones of Mike Richards?!