Mike Richards Resigns As Jeopardy! Host

Mike Richards, the former Executive Producer of Jeopardy!

Mike Richards is no longer the host of Jeopardy!, as has been announced this morning.

In a statement from Richards, “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 cancelling production today.”

“SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week”.

This came as direct result of Claire McNear’s excellent exposé over at The Ringer, in which excerpts from Richards’ old podcast, The Randumb Show, resurfaced, in which Richards made remarks disparaging remarks regarding Jews, women & Asians.

According to my sources, one weeks’ worth of episodes have been taped at this point, and are scheduled to air September 13-17.

Editorially: Here at The Jeopardy! Fan, I am pleased that this partial step has been taken. However, I am still very much worried about Richards’ ability to continue in his role as Executive Producer. Many people, after feeling jilted about losing the host role that he so dearly coveted, might not feel as compelled to work as hard as they otherwise would (and I would say that I do not trust him not to sabotage the show itself.)

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62 Comments on "Mike Richards Resigns As Jeopardy! Host"

  1. Wow–I thought his run would be short-lived, but he didn’t even last as long as Rolf Benerschke lasted on Wheel of Fortune…

  2. What a sad 12 months for our show.

  3. He really should step down as Executive Producer as well. The only thing he has produced is an executive amount of badwill.

  4. brandon bennett | August 20, 2021 at 10:56 am |

    Yeah he can’t continue as the show’s executive producer anymore after the scam search he ran no longer trust him honestly put jeopardy on hiatus a few weeks and find a new executive producer and host.

  5. No more guest hosts right now.

    Give it to Maiam. Give her a year. And, yes, it seems troubling that Mike Richards would still be around the show now.

    • They’ve already announced they’d continue with guest hosts.

      As for Mayim–while I agree it would be nice to “give it to her”, we don’t even know if she wants that. Her existing schedule or desires might not allow for such a role. None of us really know.

  6. I’d say give Levar another week. I feel like it’s not a far leap to think he was set up to fail by this sham of a process.

    • and I still think he did a great job after finding his footing

      • I know a lot of people like Levar, but to me, his delivery and approach made it seem like he was still doing his childrens show. I just think others were better.

        • I agree, Robert.

        • I don’t think it’s possible to accurately judge LeVar’s hosting compared to everyone else – Mike went out of his way to hamstring him.

          • Why do so many people want Burton? I’m sorry but he wasn’t any good. He is better suited for children’s programming.

          • Hey Andy, is this speculation or something you’re hearing from your contacts? Pretty damning if it’s the latter.

          • I’m a psychologist. Part of my grad work was consumer psychology (marketing and advertising). I can explain exactly how Richards screwed Burton over. First, he was not an actual choice. It took a petition. He was placed near the very end. By that point, the ratings had already dipped. They were hemorrhaging viewers. There was no advertising to draw viewers back. Just “Next week LaVar Burton”.

  7. Jim Cardillo | August 20, 2021 at 11:03 am |

    Good move on the part of Sony. Public opinion swayed a corporate decision.

  8. Debbie Stover | August 20, 2021 at 11:09 am |

    Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
    Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

  9. Debbie Stover | August 20, 2021 at 11:26 am |

    It is odd that Sony chose not to sweep him out the door altogether. In their statement, they make it sound as if they think he’s fixable: “ We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward…. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect.”

    I guess their version of professional and respectful is that he doesn’t continue to voice the noxious views he did on that podcast. Has it not occurred to them that an overweight person might not feel comfortable coming on that show now? A short person? Someone with a big nose? Someone who’s Jewish? Someone from Haiti? Heck, someone who’s been on unemployment.

    Richards cast a large net with his ugly talk. Sony should’ve cut bait and sent him out to sea.

    We’ve seen who and what Mike Richards is. Andy is right. He has no business continuing to be associated with this show in any way.

  10. I think the best choice would be, assuming it doesn’t contrast with their current plan, giving the guest hosts who only ran for a week (George Stephanoupoulos, Robin Roberts, Levar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck) another week’s worth of episodes to host so that it’s an even playing field with everyone else. Plus, the last four would probably be very happy to see Matt again (assuming his streak lasts that long, of course.)

    I know Ken got six weeks, but my theory is that the show needed more time to choose guest hosts and wanted the host until then to be a familiar face that people watching had already seen.

  11. I’m still surprised other game show host veterans aren’t being discussed. I appreciate that guest hosts were needed to fill out this season. Other game shows have changed hosts without all the drama. They just plugged in a new permanent host. It’s almost like the show was caught off guard when the inevitable happened with Alex.

  12. A co-worker of mine suggested to me the “perfect” host:
    –A former Jeopardy! champion
    –A celebrity reputation which is entirely based on facts and knowledge
    –A relatively clean social media history

    As Johnny Gilbert might someday say: “Please welcome the new host of Jeopardy: IBM Watson!”

  13. Nancy Miller | August 20, 2021 at 12:18 pm |

    YAY!! Now I can continue watching my favorite show!🎉
    Please bring back Aaron or Joe Buck. They make it fun.

  14. Mark Warner | August 20, 2021 at 12:20 pm |

    Ken Jennings for host!!!

    • Scuba Steve | August 20, 2021 at 1:36 pm |

      I agree 100%.

    • YES! I hope Ken is back in the mix now. I had been fully in favor of his hiring until Mayim Bialek did her two weeks so I’m hoping even more that she will have a much bigger on camera role now. I was annoyed that she was being relegated to “spin offs” and “specials” – TOC? And my solid third favorite was Aaron Rodgers so maybe he’ll also be under consideration again.

      I adore Levar but even as he got better over his week and favor him getting another guest shot, I don’t see him as being the most suitable in a permanent role because he could never quite shake that over-the-top excited staccato tone about correct answers.

      I was an Anderson Cooper fan when he hosted The Mole back in the mid 2000s and he was OK as guest host but he was just average.

    • Ken Jennings was very good. I’d keep watching if he was given the job.

  15. I want Ken Jennings to be the new permanent host! He was the only one that had a very improved experience for me. The rest of the guest hosts were okay. I like Mayim Bialik. She was very helpful and so awesome! Her and Ken Jennings! I just think that the 74-game winner also deserves to be the next Jeopardy! host.

  16. Finding a permanent host for a game show is an outdated concept. In sports, the referees aren’t the same for many reasons. In news programs, the presenters aren’t the same (e.g. CBC’s The National after Peter Mansbridge left). Actually, having someone hold such a permanent position just invites unneeded criticism, especially in the world of social media.

    The solution is to have a rotation of 4-5 hosts that change every two weeks, provided the budget can accommodate this. I really do not see the fascination of having a permanent face of Jeopardy! when really the clues and contestants are the driving forces behind its success.

  17. This a pyrrhic victory, at best. He named himself Executive Producer and he’s not sorry for his past behavior.

  18. Very big step in the right direction. I also call into question the judgment of the Sony Pictures executives, including Tony Vinciquerra, who was reportedly the person who chose Mike to be the permanent host. The lack of prudence that surrounded his/Sony’s decision making is astounding.

    • Seems just another example of how insulated from reality the entire mass media/entertainment industry is. And many seem to resent being forced to actually consider the views and wishes of their “target audience”.

    • The fact that they obviously didn’t bother to vet Richards whatsoever (before hiring him as EP, AND before hiring him as host) is a damning indictment of the execs at Sony, and keeping him around even just as EP reflects incredibly horribly on their judgment (or lack thereof).

  19. There were some good hosts that tried out. Jennings, for one, A. rogers for another. I think it definitely should be a man. Hard to fill the position of Alex but for a woman to try, won’t work….and I am a female.

    • From what I have seen from Brooke Burns on The Chase and now Masterminds, I think she would be excellent. Also, what we don’t know, and probably never will, is whether some people we would like to see do the show may have declined.

    • Debbie Stover | August 20, 2021 at 5:21 pm |

      Oh, please. By that logic, no woman should ever be allowed to fill a job that had always previously been held by a man. So…I guess Kamala Harris shouldn’t be vice president. I guess we should never have had the first female astronaut, surgeon, firefighter, etc., etc., etc.

    • Savannah Guthrie did a very good job as host along with a number of other guest hosts. I don’t know why so few give her credit.

  20. Jim Cardillo | August 20, 2021 at 2:55 pm |

    Keep in mind that not all of the guest hosts over the past 6-7 months were auditioning for the job, some were just doing it as a guest. The “rotating guest host” format was to both audition a new host and to pay homage to the show.

    Let Sony tell us who is genuinely interested in the permanent role and we can objectively assess the candidates.

  21. I know they said the final three were him, Buzzy and Mayim, so if Mayim’s time commitments were originally part of why she wasn’t hosting the whole thing, I would love to just see Buzzy. He was at the top of my list and I think he’d do a fantastic job.

    Other good hosts that I’d be happy to see were Ken and the suprisingly good David Faber. I think you need someone who really knows their trivia and can quickly respond, so a lot of the other hosts had some issues in that regard, but I think there are some really good options still there.

    I also would love to see someone like Jimmy Macguire get a chance – he’s already a part of the team, people like his cadence, he’s run some of the pre-game practice and would be a great fit for the role. Give Jimmy a shot!

  22. Zee Straight-Weiss | August 20, 2021 at 3:04 pm |

    I hope they now give LAURA COATES a shot as a guest host. Why was she left out in the first place??

  23. Watson would be a lot better than Lavar.

  24. Annette Barfield | August 20, 2021 at 3:41 pm |

    I thought Joe Buck was great but he may not be interested.

    • Joe would be fun to have back for another couple weeks. Not the perfect fit to host the regular show long term, but still pretty darn good for a guest host. If Sony ever wanted to revive Sports Jeopardy they should hire him in a heartbeat for that.

  25. I would love to see Buzzy get the gig. But, would he accept in light of Mike Richard’s prior comments?

    As far as hiring a permanent host as being “ outdated,” tell that to Drew Carey, Pat Sajak and Wayne Brady. Personally, I am tired of rotating hosts.

  26. Brad (not Rutter) | August 20, 2021 at 3:56 pm |

    Ken won 74 games in a row. Nice guy, witty, funny. He’s earned it. Buy if they are gonna start rotating again, they need to ask BRAD RUTTER. He would be perfect!

  27. Jennings is the clear choice! He’s ultra knowledgeable, personable and oozes trust, unlike Richards. It’s only proper that Richards resign as co-host since he was the Cheney who hired himself in the first place. Now Sony needs to fire him as EP! He does not seem to have earned the respect of long-time staff and has proven himself to be sexist, racist and anti-Semitic in his own words. Such behavior should NOT be rewarded by retaining a high-level, high-paying job on a game show respected and beloved by millions of fans. Sony is reaching into the gutter to retain Richards, another white sexist and racist man in the entertainment industry. Shame on you Sony! It’s not like there is a dearth of long-time, talented producers in house. SONY: find Richards’ replacement now—someone with integrity and cultural sensitivity!!

  28. Sony can’t have it both ways. If Richards’ past comments and actions, as well as his lies during the guest host “search”, are enough to have him step down as host, they should be enough to have him fired as EP.

  29. The person for the job IMO is Buzzy Cohen. He has oodles of charisma whereas Ken Jennings has none. I can’t stand to watch Ken as a host or as a contestant. I also agree that Brooke Burns is good and Levar Burton needs another chance to see if he can lose the “kids host” tone which would never work for Jeopardy. And then what about James and Brad?
    It’s crazy how Richards who did a great job hosting turned out to be not a very nice guy.

  30. Nathan Poling | August 20, 2021 at 4:43 pm |

    Tbh, I feel bad for Jeopardy, because it is so hard for them to find a replacement for Alex Trebek. I think we can all agree that Alex is irreplaceable, he will and still will be known as the host of Jeopardy. I just hope they find a person that is not too elated and says the players’ scores like Alex does. Until then, this would be Alex’s advice to us if he were alive and taped his Final Jeopardy. https://youtu.be/5bqe5YRXdgs

  31. I thought Buzzy and Mayim were the most enjoyable to watch.
    Levar needed to be more relaxed and show his personality.
    I’m not familiar with Laura Coates but since Alex suggested her she should be offered a shot if she wants the opportunity.
    And more charities should receive highlighted donations.

    • Debbie Stover | August 20, 2021 at 5:40 pm |

      The charitable donations were in lieu of the hosts’ being paid, so it’s hard to believe that will continue.

  32. Ken Jennings just embodies Jeopardy. His hosting stint showed a special charm and experience that the other hosts lacked. His banter with the players felt real and was so enjoyable to watch.

  33. The week Richard’s taped will be problematic; there’s no easy way around how to handle the week he already hosted, as the results need to count. Perhaps treat it as another week of him guest hosting? Regardless, the transition to pick a new host will be awkward, at minimum.

    If Richard’s is fired or resigns as EP, Jennings or Buzzy should be considered for both EP and host.

  34. First, let’s all celebrate! I’m just happy that he is out! As a life long fan, I just wanted to be able to continue to watch the show and now I can.
    Ken Jennings should get the job—he is what Jeopardy is about. He did a great job when he guest hosted and Alex would approve. I actually really like Joe Buck. I don’t know who he is but, he was funny and engaging. Watching old episodes, Alex was also funny and engaging—and was about the players—which I found Joe Buck had a similar vibe. Anyway—-thrilled Richards is out! He needs to be out of the production job too!

  35. The stain that Mike Richards brings to this show can’t be buried behind the scenes.
    I can only imagine what this feels like for Alex’s family.
    We know how it feels to his TV family.
    Fire this sleazy, smirking clown right now.

  36. Veronica Wuensch | August 21, 2021 at 10:54 am |

    I think David Faber did an excellent job as guest host and would be a great choice for permanent host.

    • Mark Warner | August 22, 2021 at 8:02 am |

      My first choice by far is Ken Jennings, but I did like David Faber. He was professional, polished, poised. He didn’t overshadow the stars of the show – the contestants.
      In a way I found guest hosts to be disrespectful to Alex. Like since it is so easy to host that anyone can do it, so we will bring on oodles of different people of different abilities and let them do it. And I thought I heard Sony thinking that if anyone can do it, then we don’t need to pay them so much. Seems like every week the ratings went down. As time went on I found myself not watching because I didn’t want to watch another guest host.
      If the contestants are the star of the show, what’s the purpose of bring out a new guest host – it over shadows the contestants.
      I read somewhere that Alex had tapped Ken to be his replacement. Now it is/was not his decision to make, but maybe Alex knew something about what it takes to host.

  37. Would be good FJ tidbit.

    Josephine Baker to Be Honored With a Panthéon Burial
    Ms. Baker will be the first Black woman to be entombed in the Panthéon in Paris, a symbolic move amid racial tensions in France.

  38. I’m late to the party on this, but I think axing Richards was the right move for the reasons others have outlined. It’s notable that no one has really been defending him aside from the occasional anti-“cancel culture” crusader (an interesting breed).

    Of the remaining supposed finalists, I’d be happy with Ken, disappointed with Bialik or Buzzy. But I’d still continue to watch, of course. I think Faber was comfortably the best guest host and I’m surprised he’s not getting more of a look.

    Joe Buck was a relatively amusing distraction, but I was surprised to see so many fans come out in favour of him.

    • PriceRight89 | August 25, 2021 at 3:56 pm |

      It found it amusing that Joe Buck brought the show to ratings not seen since Bill Whitaker hosted. On top of him turning out to be surprisingly good, Matt Amodio got people watching again even in the face of Mike Richards’ controversy.

      On the other hand, ratings have been skewed to prove a warped point of view. Before Mike got sacked, I’ve seen people argue that it made sense for him to host just because he drew good numbers. The problem is he inherited a strong viewership from Ken Jennings’ six-week stint. We’ll have to see what the numbers from Mike’s sole week in Season 38 have to say about that.

  39. Mike Zaloudek | August 30, 2021 at 3:12 pm |

    Ken Jennings for sure. So many comments already supporting this. Almost every other guest host responded to the contestant interview anecdotes with “That’s great”. Jennings at last made a quip or insight that related to the contestant’s anecdote. Ple-e-e-ase, KEN JENNINGS!

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