Sports

‘Jeopardy!’ Producer Mike Richards Says Aaron Rodgers Might Actually Be A Better Game Show Host Than Quarterback Someday

Monday night starts the second week of Aaron Rodgers guest hosting Jeopardy! and the first five shows were any indication, there will be plenty to keep an eye on while the Green Bay Packers quarterback has control of the board. Rodgers is a serious student of the game, and he’s even said he wants to be in the running for hosting the show full-time. And if you believe the people at Jeopardy! that’s far from impossible.

Deep into Peter King’s Football Morning In America column is an interview that details a bit more about Rodgers’ time guest hosting the legendary game show. We’ve already heard a lot about what Rodgers did to get ready for the gig. But as executive producer Mike Richards told King, no matter how much you prepare for the role, the “real game is totally different.”

“The intensity goes up in the real game, which Aaron found out,” Richards told me from California on Friday night. “You can see, even with the second show, his voice got better, his command got better, he started to enjoy it and have fun. But the truth is, you never truly relax. You’ve got the open, introducing the categories, 15 questions, the short interviews with the players, 15 more questions, 30 questions in Double Jeopardy, sum up, introduce Final Jeopardy, then do that, and through it all, you’re the arbiter of every question.

“And,” said Richards, “there’s no huddle.”

Richards would know, as he pulled guest hosting duties after Ken Jennings’ run finished earlier in the year. The interview also detailed a bit more about the schedule Rodgers would need to sustain if he actually wanted to pull double-duty and both play football and host the show. The shoot for two weeks-worth of shows took three days, with a rehearsal and then five shows filmed a day after that. Richards said that Rogers was “exhausted” after the grind of the show’s schedule, but noted how complimentary he was to everyone on the show and that “we hated to see him go.”

It will be Richards that plays a part in picking who the next permanent host is once Rodgers and the other guest hosts finish up. And Rodgers told King that, whether the Packers quarterback gets the job or not, the future is bright for his TV career if he’s interested.

“What I find fascinating about Aaron,” said Richards, “is his second career could be better than his first.”

Richards also teased another fun Packers-related moment for Rodgers sometime in this week’s episodes. Hopefully it’s not something about the way last season ended and is a bit more fun for the quarterback to think about over the long, but eventful, offseason.

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