Mayim Bialik Reveals She Needs To Be Told She’s Good As Jeopardy! Host

Mayim Bialik's time as host of Jeopardy has been universally disliked, though she admits on a podcast her ego needs to be told that she's doing good and is a good person.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Mayim Bialik jeopardy

Mayim Bialik, the embattled Jeopardy host, admitted on a podcast she feels the need to receive approval and appreciation as the backlash continues to grow. Contestants and fans have been critical of the new host, claiming she’s unprofessional, inexperienced, and doesn’t read the questions correctly. Newsweek reports that The Big Bang Theory star wants to hear, “You did good, you’re a good person.”

The topic came up when discussing ego with Timber Hawkeye, author of Buddhist Boot Camp, with Bialik admitting that her inner child feels the need for validation. She recognizes that her ego wants love and acceptance, a natural feeling and part of being well-balanced. Especially now, when long-time fans of the celebrated game show are taking to social media en masse to protest against the new host, being told “your good” is important.

Now may not be the time to discuss these feelings in public, given the overly negative sentiment from the fan base. Once Mayim Bialik took over full-time hosting duties of Jeopardy for the first time (previously, she was only hosting spin-offs), fans started discussing a boycott until the return of Ken Jennings. The two trade off hosting, but Jennings will return on March 10th, months ahead of schedule.

The pair have bonded over their treatment from online fans, with Jennings admitting that during his run as a contestant in 2004, long before social media, he was already getting hate mail regarding his dominance. With the longest winning streak in the show’s history, fans that were sick of Jennings had to put up with him for over 70 episodes in a row back in 2004. Mayim Bialik’s history with Jeopardy is much more recent, starting when she filled in following Alex Trebek’s passing in 2020.

Ken Jennings on Jeopardy

Bialik admitted that she commonly hears from fans that they prefer Ken Jennings over her and that those words still hurt even if she is also proud of the work done by her co-host. Adding to the ongoing problems with the show, beyond the rotating hosts, is a recent editing problem that spoiled the final results of the episode and an ongoing issue with what fans call the worst clues in Jeopardy history. Because of the issues, finding audience members has been difficult, with over 100 empty seats left over at the most recent tapings.

Mayim Bialik has the attitude that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that the Jeopardy fan base is so diverse that there’s no pleasing everybody. The size of the audience contributes to what can seem like an overwhelming backlash when in reality, only a fraction of the fan base goes online to express their negative views. Still, the quick return of Ken Jennings to the podium, when he wasn’t originally scheduled to return until later this spring, means even the producers are starting to feel some of the heat.

For now, Mayim Bialik can keep searching out positive reinforcement wherever she can, but it’s not likely to come from Jeopardy fans. It will be interesting if the in-person audience numbers go up, along with the ratings, once Jennings is back in as host later this week.