Jeopardy! has been a staple in many of our lives, well, okay, maybe just mine. But I mean it’s been on forever so there must be a ton of gays watching it, too. Being the gay geek that I was, I would always watch the night time game show hour. Growing up in rural Maine, there wasn’t much else to do between the hours of 7 and 8 when your closest friend lived 5 miles away and you only had 4 channels of television to choose from. And it was relaxing to play along with both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for that hour. It was my routine, an escape, some reassurance, and just fun! Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Times have changed, more channels have been added to the idiot box for our enjoyment, but one thing I have found during this pandemic is that returning to that tv game show hour has been relaxing and nostalgic. It is so much better than the 4 straight hours of news that we are presented. And we get to return to a less stressed, more simpler time. Pat and Vanna are still there on the Wheel, but we lost Alex Trebek just last year. And with that loss, there has been a push to make sure the transition from a great host to the unknown future goes off without any glitches.
The Jeopardy! producers have had previous big winners lined up to host and some have. Television, sports, and news celebrities have also made it to a short list for future tapings, but that is just it, future tapings. And with COVID, no one knows when that future will be. Anderson Cooper (CNN Anchor), Savannah Guthrie (Today Show on NBC), Katie Couric (Today Show and CBS Nightly News), Dr Oz, Dr Sanjay Gupta, Mayim Bialik (Blossom and The Big Bang Theory), Bill Whitaker (60 Minutes), and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers Quarterback) will eventually show to read off the answers and hope for the correct questions from contestants, but the pandemic has put a halt on their appearances for now.
The show must go on! And who needs to step up when the reigns get tight and bumps in production occur? Executive Producer Mike Richards has taken to the podium to keep the tapings and broadcasts on schedule.
Richards explained during his first time hosting Jeopardy!:
“I’m hosting today and for the next two weeks to keep the greatest quiz show in the world going. We have some amazing guest hosts coming that I can’t wait for you to see. But with the COVID outbreak here in L.A., folks were understandably a little reticent to shoot. So as the producer, my job is to quite literally live the mantra, the show must go on. So let’s do what Alex did 8,244 times. Let’s play Jeopardy! and prove that nothing can stop this show.”
Of course, well, yes, Richards is a big piece of eye candy …
I think @Jeopardy can stop looking for Alex Trebek’s replacement because their executive producer / temporary host – Mike Richards – is a FOX!!! I don’t wanna look at anyone else… pic.twitter.com/FjvlxFQEBN
— ryan (@thisismeryan13) February 23, 2021
"Hi, I'm Mike Richards, and you may know me from such episodes of Jeopardy! as, 'Thank God It's Not Dr. Oz's Week' and 'Who the Hell is This Young Man? At Least He's Handsome.'"#Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/yoUgv4u6qg
— kris (@fake_jeopardy) February 23, 2021
Handsome goes a long way after Ken Jennings
— Dutch Rooney (@DutchRooney1) February 23, 2021
… but as producer he also knows how things operate on the show and on many shows for that matter. He spent more than 10 years as executive producer on “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make A Deal”. During his time concurrently on those shows, he earned 17 Daytime Emmy Awards nominations and won three of them. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” was another show he produced, the 2020 celebrity-driven version.
I know he’s the Executive Producer but I’m really digging Mike Richards filling in as host of @Jeopardy…but also worried that all our bosses will come to realize that being on-cam ain’t no thing… 😅#Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/utjkxDNC7n
— Vladimir Duthiers (@vladduthiersCBS) February 24, 2021
There are many more roles he has had behind the scenes, but he has also been in front of the camera. He started off as a stand-up comic and that led to him being offered some interesting hosting gigs. Several were on the CW, but most notable was the “Beauty and the Geek” reality show.
He was also the smiling host of the Game Show Network’s attempt to reboot “The 25,000 Pyramid” when they decided to just call it “The Pyramid” (see pic below).
But now we get to see Mike Richards for one more week (at least) as he is scheduled until March 5th as the host of Jeopardy!, a show he loves, which is quite clear from this interview where he talks about the show and of course Trebek.
We are looking forward to seeing new hosts and stars pop on, but I will be tuning in to see how Richards does this next week. And does it hurt any that he’s some pretty good eye candy? Yes, he is married to a woman and has children, but it’s all in good fun.
Who do you wish to see host Jeopardy!? Temporarily? Permanently? I’d love to see Martha Stewart, Geena Davis, and Ken Jeong and maybe some of the peeps mentioned on this list: 29 of the Smartest Celebrities in the World