Last November, the game show world lost one of its legends: longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek following a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. (It wasn’t the TV personality’s only big program. Buzzr viewers can see him lording over the slightly less cerebral Classic Concentration.) Since then the show has had a revolving door cast of temporary hosts, one of whom, it was believed, would eventually take the reins permanently. And on Wednesday, it seemed the powers-that-be had finally found their person…and it wasn’t what most expected.
That person, according to Variety, is Mike Richards, who not only hosted the show from late February to early March of this year, but who’s also one of its executive producers. It was a shock to those who were hoping for fan favorites like LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers or superstar champion Ken Jennings. And though technically Richards is still only in “advanced negotiations” with Sony Pictures Television, the news was met with, shall we say, a lot of opinions on social media.
Some were annoyed that, after all that, in the year of our lord 2021, they seem to have gone with another white guy.
“why did you choose Mike Richards?”
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) August 4, 2021
YALL COULD HAVE A WHOLE ICONIC LEVAR BURTON BUT YOU PICKING CHAD MCWHITERSON FOR… WHAT???https://t.co/Ks2I7ymhYi
— Luvvie is the #ProfessionalTroublemaker (@Luvvie) August 4, 2021
Lots of people were hoping for LeVar Burton.
Everyone: We would love to have Levar Burton host of Jeopardy.
Levar Burton: Yes please.
Jeopardy: We will give the job to the guy who hosted Beauty and the Geek, Mike Richards.
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) August 4, 2021
Some found him to be “generic.”
Mike Richards looks like he was manufactured in a factory where they make generic game show hosts https://t.co/w8KnF8E9Tm
— Jayden (@JaydenNavarro5) August 4, 2021
There’s also his name. Indeed, there were a lot of Cosmo Kramer jokes.
kramer is an iconic sitcom character but i don't think this is the right move https://t.co/YTdrZmlchF
— ace attorney aficionado (@fivepoisonskid) August 4, 2021
When I read that Micheal Richards was gonna be the new Jeopardy! host and thought it was the guy who played Kramer… pic.twitter.com/to0bWApyul
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 5, 2021
There was also this: Since Richards is a Jeopardy! executive producer, and thus at least partly in charge of the hunt for a new host, it sounds like he simply chose himself.
"After an extensive and totally fair job search, I have decided to hire…myself" – Mike Richards
— Max Weiss (@maxthegirl) August 4, 2021
A: Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Me.
Q: What is the process that Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richards used when choosing Mike Richards as the new host? https://t.co/vb17wW8KYm
— Paul Ogata (@PaulOgata) August 4, 2021
mike richards when the executive producers picked the permanent host. pic.twitter.com/yKKQpRiQZd
— corey (@c0r3yv) August 4, 2021
Which is basically what Dick Cheney did when George W. Bush asked him to find him a running mate for the 2000 election.
He’s one of the executive producers. This is like when Dick Cheney helped Dubya pick a VP and chose himself. https://t.co/Yu7fL4Iv0d
— Desi (@DesiJed) August 4, 2021
The Dick Cheney approach: We searched high and low and it was ME all along! https://t.co/5Jj7PW7gl4
— Hank Stuever (@hankstuever) August 4, 2021
Major “Dick Cheney picking himself for VP” vibes https://t.co/jMw63RROo0
— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) August 4, 2021
Others were simply not a fan of Mr. Richards.
I have watched Jeopardy! every day for decades. The Mike Richards news is a bummer.
— Sean Fennessey (@SeanFennessey) August 4, 2021
jeopardy viewers finding out mike richards is the new host pic.twitter.com/hHJQQzMUBM
— entitled (@PythonBro) August 4, 2021
Others didn’t know who he is, clearly unaware of the former host of the aughts program Beauty and the Geek.
who the fuck is mike richards https://t.co/KizotJr8pR
— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) August 4, 2021
Then again, people asking “Who is Mike Richards?” was apropos for this particular show.