Fired Jeopardy! Host Speaks Out About Behind The Scenes Drama

By Jennifer Muscato | Updated


Mike Richards once hosted the iconic show Jeopardy! Remember that? If not, that’s probably because he was fired after just one day.

Mike Richards Was The First Replacement Chosen For Alex Trebek


Mike Richards has produced huge games shows like Let’s Make a Deal and The Price Is Right. For the 2020–21 season, Richards became executive producer of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! He also has hosting experience, fronting GSN’s 2012 revival of The Pyramid, GSN’s American version of Divided and the reality show Beauty & the Geek.

When iconic Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek lost his 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer in 2020, a number of guest hosts were brought in, including Mike Richards. He says that when he was offered the job, he couldn’t believe it. Richards would have the coveted job for one day before he was fired.

Dumb Comments On The Randumb Show

The anti-defamation league called for an investigation into Mike Richards after an article on was published, claiming Richards had said disparaging things about marginalized communities while hosting his podcast The Randumb Show in 2014. Richards offered a public apology, but that wasn’t all that came out.

The Price Is Right

It also came to light that while he was executive producer at The Price Is Right, Mike Richards had been named in former wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuits filed by the show’s models. Richards told PEOPLE, “It was insinuated that I had been personally sued for sexual harassment. I never had.”

Ken Jennings


Since leaving Jeopardy!, Richards tells PEOPLE he’s been spending a lot of time with his family and that he’s speaking out now, “I feel like I can be a force for good as far as having open, honest conversations.”

As far as the permanent host, Ken Jennings, Richards says he’s not bitter about it and that Jennings is a great host.

Actress Mayim Bialik co-hosted Jeopardy! with Jennings, before he eventually won out. During the “Unscripted Storytellers” panel at the 2024 Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, showrunner Michael Davies said Jennings was made the sole host because there was a desire for more consistency in the long-running trivia show.

These days, Mike Richards says he’s working on packaging and selling more shows, but that he’s not pushing to be a host again.

The Guest Hosts

Mike Richards is also opening up about the Jeopardy! guest hosts during the search for a permanent host. As for the person who took to the job the quickest, that went to ESPN sportscaster Joe Buck. Richards says Trebek made the job look easy, but it is not.

Richards tells PEOPLE that Jeopardy! had a completely different look when Katie Couric hosted and he wonders if that was a missed opportunity to reboot the show with her as host.

Aaron Rodgers hosted Jeopardy! for two weeks and Mike Richards says he really wanted the job, despite the fact that his other job is being one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time. He says Rodgers was definitely the most prepared of the hosts.



Jeopardy! has been on the air for 40 seasons and more than 8,000 episodes. It first appeared as a daytime version on NBC on March 30, 1964. The syndicated show that viewers know today premiered on September 10, 1984. Alex Trebek hosted for 37 seasons.

Source: People