Mike Richards is no longer the host of Jeoaprdy!. Just nine days after he was named the regular host (with Mayim Bialik getting special episode duties), Richards has agreed to step aside. This follows some controversial stories from Richards past resurfacing and the Anti-Defamation League calling for an investiation.
Despite his incredibly short tenure Richards saga will be taught in history books, if history books start to cover gameshow host searches. RIchards, a producer on Jeopardy!, was part of the original group tasked with finding a premanent replacement for Alex Trebek and then he amazingly emerged as a potential choice. At this point he reportedly recused himself from that search committee and the people who remained gave him the job.
When it was announced that he was a finalist for the job, people started looking back at the time he was involved in lawsuits from his time as a producer on Wheel of Fortune. Earlier this week The Ringer published a piece with clips from a podcast Richards hosted a few years ago called Randumb where Richards made a number of disparaging comments about women and lamented the success of other "average white guy hosts." That's when the ADL stepped in and a few hours later Richards is out.
Jeopardy! had been taping new episodes with Richards as host so it will be interesting to see if those games ever see the light of day. Those people did play those games and Richards never did anything on air that was embarassing for the show. In fact, it was his solid performance as a host that helped land him the job in the first place.
So... the search for a Jeopardy! host begins anew! Ken Jennings and LeVar Burton seem like they should be the front-runners, but Jeopardy has now taughts us two things: Answer in the form of a question and expect the unexpected! Maybe they can still get Aaron Rodgers to come back.
The only real question is whether RIchards will now rejoin the search committee.