RuPaul Jokingly Volunteers to Host Jeopardy! After Mike Richards Exit: 'I'm Right Here, B—!'
"And finally, Jeopardy! is still seeking a new host after producer Mike Richards stepped away from the job last week," said the RuPaul's Drag Race star, 60, duriing a segment called "Gayer News."
"Sources say the show is looking for someone with poise, authority and natural intelligence. In gayer news, I'm right here, bitch!" he joked.
Months after longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died in November 2020, the search for his replacement commenced. Stars including LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers, Robin Roberts and Katie Couric stepped in to guest-host the series, but Richards was announced as the permanent host of the daily syndicated series on Aug. 11.
Days after the announcement, Richards issued an apology after inappropriate comments he previously made about women on his former The Randumb Show podcast resurfaced. In a statement to PEOPLE, he said: "It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry."
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Richards then announced he was stepping down as host in a memo to staffers obtained by PEOPLE. "It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter," he wrote.
"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," he continued. "As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today."
Big Bang Theory alum and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik will fill in as the show's interim host. Bialik, 45, was previously announced as the host of Jeopardy! primetime and spinoff series, including Jeopardy! National College Championship, an all-new tournament which will air in primetime on ABC in 2022.
With production resuming this week, Bialik will begin filming three weeks of Jeopardy! episodes. Jeopardy! will tap additional guest hosts for the show's 38th season, premiering Sep. 13.