Mayim Bialik Reveals Her Biggest Jeopardy! Failing

By Britta DeVore | Published

mayim bialik

Since co-hosts Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings took over the podium as hosts of Jeopardy! the legendary trivia show has faced its fair share of pushback. While Jennings has taken some of the hits, most viewers have banned together to share their disdain for Bialik. In a recent chat with Bill Maher on his Club Random podcast, Bialik revealed what would be her biggest failing on the show yet – and it isn’t hosting – it’s joining the game as a contestant.

“People ask if I know all that stuff, and I’m like, ‘no.’ No. First of all, answering things like that under pressure with a timer is not gonna happen for me. It’s hard!”

Mayim Bialik

Apparently, it’s a question that Mayim Bialik is asked a lot – if you were given the chance to compete on Jeopardy! do you see yourself coming out on top? Citing the “pressure” and encompassing knowledge of any topic under the sun, Bialik said that it simply isn’t “gonna happen for me. It’s hard!” 

Mayim Bialik jeopardy
Mayim Bialik

Praising those who have taken home bragging rights as top dogs on the long-running game show, Mayim Bialik explained to Maher that they get into a certain type of “rhythm” and that if they bounce from that pattern, it’s all over. “If you get something wrong, it can be debilitating. I would cry, I think,” Mayim Bialik admits of falling off a hypothetical winning streak on Jeopardy!

“There’s a rhythm that winners get into – there’s a huge psychological component. If you get something wrong, it can be debilitating. I would cry, I think.”

Mayim Bialik

Still, that isn’t to say that Mayim Bialik couldn’t compete on Jeopardy! if she wanted to. While she’s made a name for herself in the world of television entertainment as the titular character in the ‘90s sitcom Blossom, one of the main players in The Big Bang Theory, and the lead on the recently-canceled Call Me Kat, she’s also a brainy academic.

With a full understanding of Neuroscience and topics like “Hebrew and Jewish studies,” one would think that Bialik could make the jump from host to player.

But Mayim Bialik admits that this isn’t the case and doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of the knowledge needed for Jeopardy! She’ll be the first to say that while she’s a self-proclaimed crossword puzzle aficionado, the trivia game is much more in-depth than her vast amount of knowledge prepared her for.

An example she gives of a topic that she’d be unable to cover is “18th-century British poets,” adding that it would be an immediate out for her.

“The knowledge I have is not necessarily Jeopardy! knowledge. I’m trained in science, and I am a crossword puzzle person. Hebrew and Jewish studies, but it’s a different knowledge. If it were a topic like “18th-century British poets, I don’t know!”

Mayim Bialik

Both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik’s hosting duties on Jeopardy! have been dotted with pushback from disgruntled fans who have pointed out everything from reused material to incorrect answers and chastising tones. To be fair, filling in the shoes of the late, great Alex Trebek was going to be a tough task for anyone to do, and it makes sense that fans are extra critical of the new hosts.

As for Mayim Bialik’s future with Jeopardy! along with not ever wanting to take up the gauntlet as a contestant, the television personality took a hiatus from her hosting duties a few months ago to show her solidarity with the writers’ strike.

Now that the writers have reached a truce with the unions, Bialik will continue to picket on behalf of SAG-AFTRA who continue their fight. Still bringing the questions to audiences daily and continuing to present challengers with the toughest queries in all of trivia, Ken Jennings stands strong behind the podium as the gameshow’s one and only host at this time.