Mike Richards steps down as Jeopardy! host; happens now?

JeopardyIn the wake of a controversial podcast surfacing earlier this week, Mike Richards is now firmly out as Jeopardy! host.

This morning, a full memo (per TVLine) was released where Richards first announced the news. Here is some of what he had to say:

“As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role … However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately.”

There is nothing in here that suggests that Richards will be stepping down from his executive producer title, but now the search for a full-time host continues. The memo notes that Jeopardy! will revert back to having guest hosts for the foreseeable future, and we’ll have to wait and see what they decide to do now.

Ultimately, we think that the show needs to hone in on someone who is directly associated with the pursuit of knowledge — someone who feels like the perfect fit for the Jeopardy! brand from top to bottom. We’re thinking here of either a former contestant (think Buzzy Cohen) or someone like LeVar Burton, who has been about education for much of his life. While the show may be about the contestants, you want there to be an aura around the person in charge. What made the late Alex Trebek so special was that you actually wanted to impress him if you were up on that stage! He was almost a Jeopardy! parent as much as he was the host.

We’re sure that this sentiment has been said before, but we think whoever is the next host would be best suited to be synonymous with trivia. Richards may have hosting experience, but he was never the right fit with that in mind.

What do you think about Mike Richards stepping down as Jeopardy! host?

Be sure to let us know right now in the attached comments! After you do that, stick around for some other updates. (Photo: Sony.)

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