Mike Richards is the latest guest host on Jeopardy! and some fans of the show on Twitter are calling for him to be the permanent host. The 45-year-old former game show host is the current executive producer of Jeopardy (as well as the executive producer of Wheel Of Fortune), and will be stepping in for the next two weeks, USA Today reports.
The network wasn’t able to find a celebrity guest host in part due to COVID fears, so Richards stepped in with three days’ notice. He offered words, as well as a dedication, to the man that has come to define the long-running game show.
“Jeopardy is an incredibly important American institution,” Richards said in the video, “It’s about making people that are smart the most important people in the room. I just think it’s so important to keep that going and to continue Alex’s legacy. His ability to straddle that line of being super cool with himself, super smart himself, and everything that he was is really a part of this entire place.”
“Greatest of All Time” Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings guest hosted the show in the weeks after Trebek’s death of pancreatic cancer in November. Jennings completed his six-week hosting gig on Friday.
Jeopardy announced a roster of celebrity guest hosts in the coming months to fill the hosting spot, but people seem to like Richards as a permanent replacement.
Mike Richards is better at this than Ken Jennings. #Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/Q3sz63ZVK8— ross (@OnceUponARoss) February 23, 2021
Can Mike Richards be the standard for future #Jeopardy hosts?— Ed Murdoch (@emurdoch1) February 23, 2021
Mike Richards is A+ so far. Super palatable, just the right amount of jokes, not trying to bask in the limelight. Keep him! https://t.co/OBmipupejN— Maggie (@mags_rogers) February 23, 2021
Please keep Mike Richards on @Jeopardy for forever. He’s confident, charming, and easy on the eyes 👀.— Julia Kwan (Chiu) (@juliamkwan) February 23, 2021
No one will replace Alex, but Mike is the next best thing. https://t.co/ViIGGL201J
At the end of Monday’s episode, Richards said, “I just want to say, as Alex said, we’re trying to build a kinder and gentler society. And if we all pitch in just a little bit, we’re going to get there. See you next time.” The statement followed with a dedication to Trebek. “Forever in our Hearts, Always our Inspiration.”
Richards is best known as the second host of Beauty and the Geek, first airing in 2005.
The roster of guest hosts over the next few weeks includes Mayim Bialik, Katie Couric, 60 Minutes‘ Bill Whitaker, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.