Jeopardy! season 38 premieres with ousted host Mike Richards behind podium of iconic game show in pre-recorded episode… as the search for permanent host continues
Despite stepping down as Alex Trebek’s replacement as host of Jeopardy!, Mike Richards was behind the podium for the legendary game show’s premiere of season 38 on Monday.
Richards, a game show veteran as both host and producer over the years, had been the second in a series of guest hosts who filled in for the remaining tapings for season 37, following the tragic death of longtime host Alex Trebek in November 2020.
It turns out Richards have already filmed a number of episodes of the show before his departure.
Some fans caught off guard: Mike Richards was behind the podium serving as host for the season 38 premiere of Jeopardy! on Monday
By August 11, Richards landed the coveted job as permanent host of Jeopardy!, which came 15 months after he’d been named the executive producer.
But then, a scandal surfaced, in connection to comments he made during podcasts in 2013 and 2014 that contained demeaning remarks about women and minorities.
There would also be accusations of poor workplace conduct.
In the running: Richards, 46, was announced as the permanent host of Jeopardy! on August 11; he would be out of the host job by August 20 after comments he made, that contained demeaning remarks about women and minorities, surfaced
He would be out of the job as host by August 20, which was followed by his departure as executive producer of Jeopardy! a week-and-a-half later.
Many fans of the show did not mince words when they got the news that Richards would be at the podium for the premiere episode.
‘Not looking forward to seeing Mike Richards host tonight’s Jeopardy,’ said one fan on Twitter, as reported by Fox News. ‘But ya know what would make up for it? An announcement before the show that they hired [Buzzy Cohen as host].’
Scandal: Richards’ remarks were reportedly made during podcasts in 2013 and 2014; he is a game show veteran as both a host and producer; Richards was also outed as exec producer
Others shared their thoughts on Richards as host after watching the premiere episode.
‘Hate-watching the premiere of #MikeRichards as the new host of #jeopardy,” was a common sentiment, while there were others who thought producers could have moved on without ever using Richards as host.
‘Awkward seeing Mike Richards coming out to host #Jeopardy. No crawl or disclaimer,’ another person shared before adding, ‘Thought there could be creative editing to work around eps he did. Take a deep breath, he’s only there a week.’
Emotional farewell: The last episode of Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek as host aired on January 8
It has since been revealed that Richards had pre-taped five episodes of Jeopardy! before his left his hosting duties, which according to those with knowledge of game shows could have been all shot in one day.
Those five episodes will likely be broadcast sequentially this week, all the while the search for a permanent host continues.
Mayim Bialik, 45, will serve as guest host for several episodes; what happens after that is still to be determined.
The last episode of Jeopardy! with Trebek as host aired on January 8.
RIP: Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020; the longtime host revealed he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in March 2019