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Jeopardy: The Previous Title Was No Longer Applicable


Okay, look. I haven't been watching Jeopardy lately because television reception in southern Arizona is total crap, but wouldn't it be sporting to at least let all the guest hosts have a week at the podium before you select one? Aren't there two remaining?

If Sony was just going to pick the executive producer as the host, they shouldn't have given us the impression that the rotation of guest hosts was an audition for the job. LeVar Burton went on record as saying that "it would hurt" if he wasn't picked as the host, and while he wasn't owed the gig, you should have at least given him an honest chance, rather than leading him and the other guest hosts on before ultimately picking someone already deeply involved with the show.

I dunno. Mike Richards might be okay as a permanent host, although the quality of his episodes is subject to debate. Some said he was in the top five of guest hosts, and others claimed he was the worst host not named Oz. Either way, he would have been fairly low on my list of choices as a successor to Trebek.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I don't know if that's really a done deal or not as was implied in that article:
"A Sony Pictures spokesman said discussions were ongoing with several potential candidates. He would not comment specifically on Richards’ status. A source close to the situation cautioned that there’s no certainty that the sides will close a deal and that other candidates remain in the mix, although Richards is clearly the front-runner."
 
LeVar Burton would be awesome. I thought Aaron Rodgers was pretty good too (a friend of mine was on while he was hosting). But those are the only two I've seen and this rotating host thing was the first time I've watched Jeopardy in years so I dunno if my opinion matters here.

I have absolutely no idea who Mike Richards is though.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
I have absolutely no idea who Mike Richards is though.

He was the guy who produced most of Carey's run of Price is Right before doing the same on Wheel of Fortune. He's also hosted other game shows in the past but I'd have to get to imdb to even look 'em up.
 
Mike Richards has gone from "likely permanent host" to "definite permanent host." It's weird because he'll also be the executive producer of the show, AND of Wheel of Fortune. How does this guy get any sleep?

Sony threw us a bone-y and gave us the well received Mayim Bialik for the prime time specials, so there's that. Everyone else was told to bugger off.
 
The whole thing is such a shit show debacle. Dude in charge must have a massive ego to basically run a public casting call and then decide he was the best interviewee of all. What a fuckin' ass.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
The whole thing is such a shit show debacle. Dude in charge must have a massive ego to basically run a public casting call and then decide he was the best interviewee of all. What a fuckin' ass.
 
I have no idea if it will affect ratings or not in the longterm for something that's this much of a cultural institution (maybe almost no one who regularly watches Jeopardy cares), but it's very funny that this guy Dick Cheney'd himself into the position in a search he ran, to replace such an iconic host. I am not a regular watcher, but looking at clips of the various guest hosts out of curiosity I found Richards' delivery reminiscent of some C-tier show airing on the Game Show Network, like an actor doing a parody of a gameshow host or something. Kind of impossible to replace Trebek, but this guy feels more like an Offbrand Pat Sajak or whatever.

edit: also i know that generationally as a reading rainbow kid i'm extremely biased towards levar burton, but his delivery felt a lot more trebeck-y to me. i'm aware that there were hosts pre-trebeck but that kind of inflection is the only version of the show i've known and I felt he carried on that tone much better, richards feels like turning it into every other gameshow
 
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Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Picking a cardboard nobody may turn zero fans away from Jeopardy, but I cannot imagine it interesting a single new viewer. Levar Burton would have drawn in at least a few people to check out his new run (in addition to being way more interesting and charismatic in general).
 
I just want to clarify something. When I said "the winning contestant gets to drink from the fire hose," I meant this:


I mean geez, didn't anyone watch UHF? (Don't answer that.)

Anyway. I'm surprised by the reaction to some of the guest hosts. I haven't been watching the show, but I have been talking to friends who have, and reading articles from television critics, and the common consensus seems to be that Mayim Bialik did quite well as host, being something of an intellectual herself. Maybe not top three material or even top five, but certainly in the top half of the hosts who, uh, hosted.
 

karzac

(he/him)
I'm not enthused about the selection of Richards (more on that in a sec), but as somebody who does watch Jeopardy every night, I want to dispute the idea that the guest hosts were part of a public audition process - I don't think it was ever marketed that way. The vast majority of the hosts have been people like Katie Couric, George Stephanopolous and Joe Buck - people with lucrative and prominent day jobs, who are doing this for charity and for a lark, rather than auditioning for the job. Some of the hosts, like Burton and probably Bialik and Jennings, were hoping to get the permanent gig, sure, but this wasn't an American Idol situation. I'll accept that the show couldn't have done a better job of making that clear though.

As for Richards, I found him solidly B-tier as a host - spoke quickly, didn't fuck anything up, was reasonably loose. Nothing great, but not Dr Oz. I personally would have preferred LeVar Burton to get the job (and have thought Ken Jennings was a lock since Alex announced he was sick), but to be honest, Burton's week was a little shakey - he had a great energy about him, and seemed genuinely interested in the contestants, but was clearly very nervous, and had a tough time keeping the flow of the game moving. I'm sorry that we won't get the opportunity to improve. Honestly, of all the guest hosts, I think Joe Buck, who's on right now, has done the best job of all the guests, and I shouldn't be so surprised - play-by-play sports broadcasting is really a similar skillset.

Going back to Richards, far more worrying than his hosting style is implication in a discrimation lawsuit from former Price is Right models. And while I generally enjoyed Bialik's time as a host, I'm not a huge fan of past comments she's made about vaccines ( not full anti-vaxx, but the "we vaccinate our kids too much" type, although she did come out in favour of the COVID shots) and she's a self-professed liberal Zionist whose done a lot of equivocating and both-sidesing of the Israeli occupation of Palestine
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
She's just a bad person. Blamed victims during 'Me Too' and is anti-vaccine. I was excited for a new age in Jeopardy and the whole producer picks himself has just killed my love for the show.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I just want to clarify something. When I said "the winning contestant gets to drink from the fire hose," I meant this:

Oh, I know what your are referencing. But outside of that context, a famous comedian who had a famous racist breakdown spraying contestants with a high powered firehouse is horrifying if the contestant is non-white because history.


Going back to Richards, far more worrying than his hosting style is implication in a discrimation lawsuit from former Price is Right models. And while I generally enjoyed Bialik's time as a host, I'm not a huge fan of past comments she's made about vaccines ( not full anti-vaxx, but the "we vaccinate our kids too much" type, although she did come out in favour of the COVID shots) and she's a self-professed liberal Zionist whose done a lot of equivocating and both-sidesing of the Israeli occupation of Palestine
Yeah, its... not super great. Most people have been mentioning that one football dude and Ken Jennings as the most successful ones. It sounds like Levar Burton kind of fumbled a bit but frankly I wouldn't have minded the show go through some growing pains for him. Sometimes its worth investing in someone finding their feet.
 
Haven’t seen him on Jeopardy but Joe Buck is really good at his job and most of his skills probably transfer over very easily. He also has done play calling for the biggest sporting events in the world for decades now. The ironic part in relation to this is that Joe Buck was undoubtedly the beneficiary of a lot of nepotism early in his career getting started, and that it took him like over a decade of calling sports at the highest levels to finally find his voice and become good at his job.
 

karzac

(he/him)
The Ringer has a piece delving further into Richards' history, and I've gone from "maybe this carton of milk is a few days past its expiry" to "oh wait, that's a carton of vomit."

The more I think about this whole process, the more I'm crushed by it. Alex Trebek was by no means of perfect person, but he had a genuine love of the show and humility about him, at least in his on screen performance. Richards doesn't seem to have any of that, and from the looks of it, the initial impression of "oh, so he just hired himself?" seems to be right on the money.

Jeopardy is my favourite TV show, by far. I watch it every night. It's my dream to be a contestant, and I'm closer than ever to reaching it - I'm in the contestant pool, just waiting to be sent my invitation. But now if and when I do get the call, it's going to hit a much more bittersweet note.
 
Sorry you didn't get that chance with LeVar Burton at the podium. I was crossing my fingers for that to happen, even if it was just during the week that he hosted.

EDIT: This Ringer article is a fascinating read. Evidently, Alex Trebek had gotten close to Ken Jennings in the time they'd spent together on television, and had all but chosen him as his successor. Unfortunately, personality void Mike Richards swept in to cut Jennings' time as guest host short, and influenced the guest hosting process, choosing the clips sent to focus groups and thumbing the scales in various other ways. Skullduggery to become the next host of a popular television show, against the previous host's wishes? Why does THAT sound familiar...?

Richards got his start in television in 1997, as an intern for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

Oh.
 
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Yeah, some of the stuff he said on podcasts several years ago show he's just a creep. And it's telling that as soon as the writers at The Ringer started asking questions, those podcasts were immediately taken down and everything associated with them raised to the ground. It's such a shame.
 
Okay, here's a pitch. Win Buzzy Cohen's Money. You get a Jeopardy-like show that's more fun than the real thing, without the high expectations that come with the Jeopardy brand, and without the taint of Mike Richards.
 
I know one, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. What's the other one? Ruff Ruffman?
(I do not include Where in Time in this list.)
 
Well, that went down in flames. Mike Richards won't host Jeopardy after all... he just stepped aside according to a report on Variety. He'll remain the executive producer, though.
 
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