Last November, the game show world lost one of its legends: longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek following a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. (It wasn’t the TV personality’s only big program. Buzzr viewers can see him lording over the slightly less cerebral Classic Concentration.) Since then the show has had a revolving door cast of temporary hosts, one of whom, it was believed, would eventually take the reins permanently. And on Wednesday, it seemed the powers-that-be had finally found their person…and it wasn’t what most expected.
That person, according to Variety, is Mike Richards, who not only hosted the show from late February to early March of this year, but who’s also one of its executive producers. It was a shock to those who were hoping for fan favorites like LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers or superstar champion Ken Jennings. And though technically Richards is still only in “advanced negotiations” with Sony Pictures Television, the news was met with, shall we say, a lot of opinions on social media.
Some were annoyed that, after all that, in the year of our lord 2021, they seem to have gone with another white guy.
Lots of people were hoping for LeVar Burton.
Everyone: We would love to have Levar Burton host of Jeopardy.
Levar Burton: Yes please.
Jeopardy: We will give the job to the guy who hosted Beauty and the Geek, Mike Richards.
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) August 4, 2021
Some found him to be “generic.”
There’s also his name. Indeed, there were a lot of Cosmo Kramer jokes.
There was also this: Since Richards is a Jeopardy! executive producer, and thus at least partly in charge of the hunt for a new host, it sounds like he simply chose himself.
“After an extensive and totally fair job search, I have decided to hire…myself” – Mike Richards
— Max Weiss (@maxthegirl) August 4, 2021
A: Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Me.
Q: What is the process that Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richards used when choosing Mike Richards as the new host? https://t.co/vb17wW8KYm
— Paul Ogata (@PaulOgata) August 4, 2021
Which is basically what Dick Cheney did when George W. Bush asked him to find him a running mate for the 2000 election.
Others were simply not a fan of Mr. Richards.
I have watched Jeopardy! every day for decades. The Mike Richards news is a bummer.
— Sean Fennessey (@SeanFennessey) August 4, 2021
Others didn’t know who he is, clearly unaware of the former host of the aughts program Beauty and the Geek.
Then again, people asking “Who is Mike Richards?” was apropos for this particular show.