Season 38 of Jeopardy! kicked off this week and, along with a few tweaks to the set and music, viewers can’t help but notice that the host is Mike Richards. That’s because Richards stepped down as host and was fired as executive producer of the show last month, amid controversy surrounding his past. But since Richards taped five episodes of the show before exiting, fans will have to live with a little bit of awkwardness this week. Like after the way he opened the show on Tuesday.
“You know, the power of this show has always been derived from the contestants,” Richards said after taking the stage. “And my pledge to Jeopardy! fans everywhere, is to continue to make this stage a place where our contestants can shine their absolute brightest.”
Viewers were definitely feeling a bit uncomfortable by his presence, and took to social media with reactions.
Mike Richards, dead man hosting
— Mama's Pinky Toe (@MamasPinkyToe) September 15, 2021
Having to watch these Mike Richards Jeopardy episodes is AWKWARD. Just go away already please!
— ALewis (@djlanatron) September 15, 2021
It's so funny to watch this one week of Jeopardy episodes Mike Richards taped as new host before his nonsense caught up with him, and to see him out here thinking he really had it made.
— Caroline O. (@Caro130) September 15, 2021
this rapport matt amodio has with mike richards is not a good look for him lol
— josh jacobs (@ajoshjacobs) September 14, 2021
Respect to Mike Richards for pledging to put all nine of his future contestants first
— Jennifer Morrow (@jenniferemorrow) September 14, 2021
So awkward watching Mike Richards hosting Jeopardy.
— we are all connected (@dkbufny) September 15, 2021
This lone week of Mike Richards #Jeopardy episodes is already cringe AF. It's a guy proud of where he is and uncaring about the path he carved.
— Nick Grimes (@NickGrimesYT) September 15, 2021
it’s so weird to me that jeopardy has not said a single word about mike richards during the airing of his recordings this week lol
— Chelsea Cirruzzo (@ChelseaCirruzzo) September 14, 2021
Taking a perverse pleasure in this Mike Richards Jeopardy, knowing his banishment is imminent.
— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) September 14, 2021
Starting next week, Mayim Bialik will return as guest host for three weeks, followed by another series of rotating hosts. And while the hosts will keep changing, the champion may stay the same for a while. Amodio has now won 20 straight games, and amassed a total winnings of $678,801.
Jeopardy! airs weeknights, check your local listings.
Watch what viewers had to say about some of changes to Wheel of Fortune: