‘Jeopardy’ host Mike Richards was gross & misogynistic on his old podcast

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Last week, Sony announced the new permanent hosts for Jeopardy following Alex Trebek’s passing and a multi-month search for Trebek’s replacement. Everyone who loved Jeopardy and paid attention to the host-search wanted LeVar Burton to take over the hosting gig. Burton was not hired. Instead, the head of the host-search committee, Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards, chose himself as the full-time host, with Mayim Bialik stepping in as hostess of primetime Jeopardy and special programming. Just the fact that Mike Richards Dick Cheney’d himself into the job was reason enough to dislike him, but it turns out that Mike Richards is also a rampant misogynist and an utter douchebag. People began going through Richards’ old podcast The Randumb from 2013-14 and wouldn’t you know, they guy is completely f–king awful.

As first reported by The Ringer, Mike Richards hosted a podcast from 2013-2014 called The Randumb Show, billed as a behind-the-scenes look at The Price Is Right, where he previously served as executive producer. During one segment, his cohost and former assistant Beth Triffon discussed working as a model at the CES and he dubbed her a “booth ho,” “booth slut” and “boothstitute.” In another episode, Richards discusses a photo of Triffon and her friends, calling her friends “really frumpy and overweight” and said “they all look terrible in the picture … they look fat and not good in the picture.”

The comments seemingly echo the attitudes Richards was accused of having by former models on The Price Is Right in bias lawsuits, accusations he recently dismissed by saying “these complaints [do] not reflect the reality of who I am.”

Richards also reportedly during the podcast used the derogatory word for little people and a derogatory term for the mentally disabled. Twice during the podcast he also singled out white male hosts for praise seemingly only because they were white and male and assumed therefore he can get a hosting job too.

“Jeff Probst had a daytime talk show, which I was cheering for because I like, you know, the average white-guy host,” he said “I cheer for him to succeed because I feel like through his success I could have some success hosting.” Then later, when discussing former American Idol host Ryan Seacrest: “I think he’s actually made the world a safer place for what I like to call the skinny white host, like George [Gray] and I.”

In another moment, Richards reportedly described himself as “horrible at all trivia,” and rather ironically stated, “I never would have gotten on Jeopardy!”

Richards issued a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter about the podcast comments: “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. The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”

[From THR]

It’s clear that these were not just some off-hand comments made seven years ago. Like, if Mike Richards and his pod co-host Beth Triffon really were close friends, it’s possible they were just joking around about the “booth slut” stuff. Friends joke around like that – if CB called me a “gossip slut” on our Gossip with Celebitchy podcast, I would laugh and acknowledge that neither of us should host Jeopardy. But taken with everything else, all of his other comments and his professional history of treating female coworkers like absolute sh-t, of course it’s unacceptable and disgusting. It just sounds like this guy is an absolute toolbox. Fire him and hire LeVar!!

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90 Responses to “‘Jeopardy’ host Mike Richards was gross & misogynistic on his old podcast”

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  1. L84Tea says:

    This whole thing ended up being so disappointing. What a creep. They should have just hired LeVar Burton, as he really was the best choice. I won’t be watching with this yutz at the helm.

  2. Aang says:

    LeVar Burton was the host this show needed.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I suspect he’s not going to have this job for very long.

    • Merricat says:

      I think you’re right.
      I thought Joe Buck was fun, and Aaron Rodgers was nice to look upon and pretty good. I have long-standing love for LeVar, however, so I’d be fine with him taking over. All I really need from a Jeopardy host is someone who is not a jackass.

      • Becks1 says:

        My husband loved Joe Buck and said that he was his favorite out of all the hosts. I stopped watching because I’m over Matt.

      • Merricat says:

        He really was quick and funny and charming–Joe, I mean.
        So all this time, Matt has been unable to say he’s at Yale, because Jeopardy doesn’t allow you to name your employer. Every day, they say he’s from New Haven, and we always crack up.

      • manda says:

        I thought aaron rodgers did well too! But I knew he wasn’t going to be the permanent guy. My DVR messed up during Levar Burton’s time, and so I missed all of his. I saw a few with Katie Couric, she was blah.

        I for sure don’t like this new guy. I don’t like the look of him, and I don’t like what I hear, and I keep hearing more things I don’t like. I had no idea he hired himself. I mean, what the hell? Weren’t people like, so, was all this just for show? I have recorded jeopardy every night for years but really haven’t been watching since Alex died

      • whatWHAT? says:

        I was hoping Joe Buck would get it so he’d have to stop doing sportscasting.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I liked Joe Buck.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      Hopefully. I mean, what a surprise, misogynists in the industry. He essentially put forward my favourite kind of defence, which is: “my comments do not reflect who I am.”

      I love that defense. My comments, my behaviour, do not reflect who I am as a person. Your complaints calling me a misogynist due to my comments do not reflect who I am as a person.

      Um…your words TELL US WHO YOU ARE. If we are not our words and our actions, who TF are we?? How can anyone know who we are, as people, beyond our words and our deeds?

      The best is when some white celebrity is taped using the N-word and then they say, I’m not a racist. If using the N-word in casual conversation isn’t racist, what on earth is? Not using the n-word? How on earth can we tell that you are not racist person when you used racist language and behave in a racist way? LOLOL.

      • Christina says:

        Exactly!!! You did it and you said. Should I not believe you?

      • Otaku fairy says:

        LOL yes! See also, “How dare u judge a stranger based on words! That reflects on u, not me! Get help to absorb misogyny and racism like any other regular disagreement or criticism!”

    • HeyJude says:

      Absolutely, the ratings will crash and he’ll damage the legacy of the show so much they’ll be forced to change.

      They couldn’t have just done the right thing from the beginning and hired the black man who fit perfectly.

      It’s ruined the reputation of the show in some way IMO. They no longer are this well respected brand. I mean look at this guy and how smarmy and slimy his face simply is just standing there. That’s all I see in his expression- pure smarm. That’s not appealing.

  4. Becks1 says:

    Won’t someone think of the poor average white guy who just wants to host a game show?!!?!?!?

    Here is where I admit that I love Jeopardy and paid attention to the guest hosts and LeVar Burton was not my favorite. Maybe if he had had the full two weeks some other hosts had he would have been better? But he wasn’t my first choice for the job. Mike Richards wasn’t either though yet here we are.

    • Merricat says:

      It took me a long time to warm up to Trebek. Lol. Mike Richards is not going to last as the host of the most prestigious game show in television history, not with his past pouring out like a river of filth.

  5. BearcatLawyer says:

    Once again mediocre white man wins. It’s just too exhausting in 2021.

  6. Kalana says:

    Nobody wants this guy. How did he make the other decision-makers go along with this?

  7. Noki says:

    If this guy has any self respesct he will just move aside at this point,how many signs does he need to be told he is not welcomed.

  8. questions says:

    Why DOES he want this job? I think I’d prefer to just have the back-office job, which still is quite well-paying, without having to follow in Alex Trebek’s footsteps. Unless you’re a born entertainer as most of the previous hosts have (sort of) been, I don’t really understand why someone who has been behind-the-scenes most of his career would want this.

    Being a host just means being professional and reading what’s on the card so I don’t know how these people manage to screw up the gig, though (i.e see Chris Harrison). You need the charisma for people to like you, but beyond that you just need to keep your head down and not generate controversy. It’s baffling to me that the “not generating controversy” part would be so hard.

    • purple prankster says:

      he wants the job because, as i understood it, he would like some success hosting a show.

      • questions says:

        Interesting. It seems a bit hard to achieve success after following Alex Trebek, but what do I know. Go big or go home, I guess.

  9. superashes says:

    Oh look, another mediocre white man hiding behind his wife and kids when getting called out for being an absolute jerk.

  10. Willow says:

    Fans were already angry about the fake host tryouts and then this buffoon tries to convince people that men call women, sl*ts, and hahaha, it’s edgy humor. If this guy doesn’t go, Jeopardy is done.

    • Pix says:

      I agree with you. There are far too many people who do not want to watch a creep on one of the few shows that are legitimately fun and relaxing. I’m not going to watch. Old people will stick by the show, but in the not distant future they are going to lose a generation of fans who can’t support a show who PAYS this misogynist host.

  11. rawiya says:

    They really could have had it all ala Adele. They had three excellent candidates: the lady whom Alex wanted; Levar, who the public wanted; and Ken, who had great ratings. I don’t think anyone would have been too upset had they decided to go with the Lady, for example, and said that it was to honour Alex’ wishes. But instead, they decide to go with Mr. Sexism and Racism and now everyone’s mad at Jeopardy.

  12. Jais says:

    He’s gross.

  13. Anna says:

    I’m so sick of people pretending 2013 or 2014 is ancient history and no one had any idea of what was rude or bigoted. It was seven years ago! Everyone knew calling women those names was disrespectful!

    This guy is a loser all round, but I just can’t with his warped sense of time. In 2013, I was 32-33. I had a Ph.D. and a job at a university, and I certainly knew the score on men who thought it was okay to “joke” about sluts or prostitutes. They only did that with people they didn’t respect.

  14. MsIam says:

    Maybe this is just me, but it seems both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune attract a lot of MAGA audiences. So they will eat up the “poor beleaguered white guy” spin, especially since he’s being attacked by “woke” Hollywood. So maybe that’s their thinking. But supposedly there was a poll that named LeVar as the top choice for host, so hopefully this dude will get the boot.

    • Merricat says:

      I don’t think that’s true at all. Jeopardy respects knowledge, especially science, none of which any MAGA is known for. I don’t know about Wheel of Fortune.

      • MsIam says:

        MAGA’s like “clean” shows that are not “woke” and Wheel and Jeopardy fit the bill. If you look at their advertising they are marketed together as a package deal. So I think that’s definitely why they didn’t pick LeVar but some white guy douche bag. Doesn’t mean that non MAGA folk don’t watch too.

      • Merricat says:

        Sorry, I don’t buy it. We’re probably not going to change each other’s minds on this, but I don’t mind having a difference of opinion.

    • questions says:

      I can’t picture a MAGA person watching Jeopardy. The trivia is pretty hard.

      • MsIam says:

        Oh I can. There is a lot of racist arrogance among the “intellectual ” folk. Maybe you haven’t been on the receiving end of it. Plus not all the trivia deals with hard subjects and some people find it entertaining to watch just like any other game show.

      • Esmom says:


    • SarahCS says:

      To throw my thoughts into this debate, my grandmother and uncle are basically French MAGA (MFGA??) and they love this sort of show and watch regularly. They absolutely think of themselves as pretty smart (and overall they’re not stupid once you filter out the conspiracy theories and racism) and this is nice and mainstream with nothing ‘liberal’ about it.

    • Eurydice says:

      I don’t know about MAGA, but the Jeopardy audience is mostly over 50 and more women than men. Wheel of Fortune audiences are even older.

  15. Jessica says:

    I’ve got my fingers crossed he doesn’t make it on air. What a creep, just looking at him skeeves me out. It really sucks, cause I love Jeopardy, I love trivia, and I love knowing the answers. I have been watching Jeopardy all my life, even today I watch almost every night. I’m really torn about it, because I don’t want to give up this part of my life but I don’t want to support this guy.

    • kimmy says:

      He seems to be a very poor choice following Alex, who was, as far as we know, a class act.

      • TIFFANY says:

        He literally chose himself. No one else on the selection panel voted against this cluster in the making.

  16. FancyPants says:

    What? The guy who orchestrated fake auditions for ratings buzz all the while knowing he was just gonna hire himself was always a jerk? I’m shocked, shocked I tell ya!

  17. Poodlemom says:

    He would fit into the category…”Famous Douchebags on Jeopardy”.

  18. Case says:

    It’s wild how men just decide their qualified for these jobs they’re not qualified for. Game show host, president…

    • StormsMama says:

      Mediocre white men really can just be and do anything. It’s BS

      I knew this guy was problematic bc of the price is right lawsuits. That right there should’ve been enough of a red flag for the board to say no to him. There were other people on the board – he chose himself but other (probably white men) were like Yeah that’s a great idea bro.

      It’s infuriating and disgusting. Definitely not gonna watch this guy.

    • SarahCS says:

      I used to work in construction/engineering and my boss and I were a big part of trying to get a bit more diversity into our business starting with gender. So many people were against it and talked about ‘merit’ and ‘capability’. She won a lot of women to our cause by pointing out that it would be nice if mediocre women could have as many opportunities as mediocre men. That pulled a lot of people up short!

      • GrnieWnie says:

        “Merit.” Ahhhh yes, the default argument from white males who have never had to compete fairly against women and minorities because they excluded us from the workplace. Yes, THOSE are the people who should lecture the rest of us about “merit.”

  19. Jane Wilson says:

    So a year of misogynistic, racist podcasts is “a moment”.
    If the network steps in and fixes this ugly mistake, this creep will be forgotten in an actual moment.

  20. LillyfromLillooet says:

    They would have gained a new viewer in me as I love LeVar, I loved the love of the campaign. Give the People What They Want. This choice was shockingly stupid and not the right one for the fans or the show.

  21. girl_ninja says:

    He’s a below average looking white guy who though he deserved more. Once the Jeopardy hosting gig became available he was dead set on making it his.

    He’s so boring and doesn’t have a 10th of the charisma that LeVar has nor Alex Trebek.

    • Betsy says:

      That’s kind of you to say. I was going to call him a gorgon, which he is.

      I actually don’t watch Jeopardy and never liked Alex Trebek but I’ve been fascinated with this whole process. This guy really stepped in it.

  22. TIFFANY says:

    If you have a choice of the throne or being power behind it, it really is a no brainer.

    But since Mike is nothing but mediocre, this is what he chose and may his fall be epic and the internet stay forever.

  23. Teebee says:

    Jeopardy is not just a trivia show. Alex Trebek turned it into an American institution. To fill his shoes with such an average, attention-seeking, underachiever who clearly is gaming the system (pun intended) to get a coveted hosting gig and is so obvious about it tarnishes this show’s legacy and will reduce it to a shadow of its former self. If they don’t get rid of him I hope they regret it with falling to non-existent ratings and then that may force them to recast his spot. He deserves to be booted, loudly and publicly. He exposed himself as nothing more than a fame-seeking Know-nothing, wanting to ride the coattails of a beloved public figure who has transformed trivia into a cool thought-provoking brain sport. I always think of Jeopardy as the cream of the crop for game shows. This diminishes everything!

    • Kalana says:

      Mike Richards wants the clout of Jeopardy for himself while bringing nothing to the table. Seriously, this guy brings absolutely nothing to recommend him. Alek Trebek made that show what it is and Mike Richards is not fit to carry on Trebek’s legacy.

  24. Chels says:

    Loooongtime lurker but I’ve never commented! Gotta be on a Jeopardy post. Mike Richards did well with the hosting gig but of course outs himself as an @ss now, another mediocre privileged white man. I get the sentimentality of LeVar but he WAS THE WORST GUEST HOST.. He was seriously so bad and cringey, and I was rooting for him. I have been a daily Jeopardy watcher for 15 years. LeVar sucked, unfortunately. He needs another children’s show, for sure. And the campaign for him to be the permanent host months before his week even aired?! And then he sucked. Mayim Bialik did amazing though. I was rooting for her and Richards throughout- they did the best at hosting. I’d be fine with perma-guest hosts though. Joe Buck and Aaron Rodgers were also ok, but some of the news anchors were meh. But LeVar did the worst out of anybody!! I was upset hahah. I’m convinced those who are still rooting for LeVar didnt see his week bc it was during the Olympics

    • Marcie says:

      Yeah, you’re right about Burton, he wasn’t smooth at all. Joe Buck did really well but it could be that I was comparing him tonBurton. Mayim was actually really good at the gig, with all the baggage of Mike, they should drop him and make her the host. They really botched up handing the baton of a beloved show to an asshole.

      • Betsy says:

        Or they could just go with Laura Coates for the main gig and leave Mayim her side gig. I’m still mad at her about her anti-vax crap over the years.

      • Lkay says:

        I honestly thought Joe Buck did worse than Burton. Burton’s first show wasn’t good but he improved. Joe Buck’s tempo was off.

    • Linda says:

      Yes! 100% agree that Levar is a good man and good at a lot of things, but he was a bad host. I’m a big Jeopardy fan and really hope they change their minds on this quickly, but not sure who the best option is. I would love to see Laura Coates get a chance if she wants it.

    • Nic919 says:

      Did Ken Jennings guest host? I thought he had done a few a while back and seemed pretty good so I wasn’t sure why he wasn’t part of the guest host list. Knowing after the fact that the producer who organized the guest hosts wanted the job it became obvious that he either sabotaged the guest hosts or picked people that had other jobs that would interfere with doing this full time. (Robin Roberts and George Stephanopolous were never going to quit their gigs and Aaron Rodgers wasn’t going to either. )

      So on top of the shady behaviour from the producer who wanted the job himself, we find out he’s a creep. This is a massive disaster and whoever owns the show rights needs to step in.

      • Becks1 says:

        Ken did guest host, and I thought he was fine, but not as good as I had expected.

      • kelsey says:

        Ken’s episodes – I believe – were the highest rated of all the guest hosts. There are a lot of Jeopardy fans who wanted Ken to have the job and secretly I think Ken wanted it to. Apparently Alex Trebek wanted Laura Coates and/or Ken Jennings to host. His wishes should have been taken under consideration.

        Ken was sabotaged by Mike Richards when he missed one episode and Richards stepped in to take over.

        This entire mess was a set up from the start to give Mike Richards the job. The person I feel most bad for is Aaron Rodgers who – apparently – almost retired from the NFL because he was led to believe that he was the top contender for the job.

    • kelsey says:

      If you read The Ringer article, LeVar Burton (and Ken Jennings to a lesser extent) was set up to fail. All his episodes were taped in a day, he only got one week hosting when everyone else got two and his episodes were scheduled to air during the Olympics when the show would be delayed or not shown in some areas due to the Olympics.

      I think Levar was so excited to host he rushed a little. But if given more time I think he would have evened out.

  25. Christina says:

    Men have to be “husbands and fathers” to get credibility back. I don’t think that’s worked for any woman except for Chrissy Teigen in recent memory. We don’t get to use that to polish up our images.

    He’s smart enough to produce, but NOT to host. Asshole…

  26. Giggles says:

    Is it just me or does this guy have “dead eyes”?

    • Mandy Purr says:

      I don’t like to comment on people’s looks but I find him very disturbing looking for some reason. Knowing that he hired himself and now what’s been unveiled in this story are certainly creating these feelings in me. I would definitely not watch anything with him in it.

      • Janice Hill says:

        I agree. He looks self-satisfied and dictatorial. It’s like he’s thinking, “Out of the way, losers.”

      • elle says:

        I do as well – can’t look at him. He serves the same Uncanny Valleyesque animatron-trying-to-be-human vibes as Jared Kushner and Mark Zuckerberg.

      • Esmom says:

        Elle, yes. With a dash of Brett Kavanaugh.

      • Lola says:

        YES!!!! I’ve been trying to put my finger on what’s so uncanny about him. He has the absolutely blandest looks so why does he look SO “off” in a way that makes you want to steer clear of him? Someone above said Jared Kushner and I thought for a second that’s who he reminded me of. Then I realized the one he really reminded me of is actually Stephen Miller and that’s why I was so creeped.

      • Claire says:

        I think “plastic” is the word you’re looking for? At least that’s what pops in my head when I look at him, lol…

      • elle says:

        @Esmom – holy cow, that’s it. He looks like he cycled back to “calm” mode after a burst of spittle-flying faux outrage.

  27. Barbie1 says:

    Levar or Joe. This azzhole needs to go. Not fit for the job.

  28. Plums says:

    It’s so obvious in hindsight that the entire guest host tryout season was just a publicity stunt and this was a fait accompli the entire time. I hope it blows up in his face. Not that I want Mayim Bialik to become the full time host, because she’s also a terrible person.

    Really, I know he wasn’t the best host in the world compared to some others, but they should have given it to Ken anyway, unless he just really didn’t want it. It would have been the least controversial choice in the world. True, he’s a white guy, but I feel like people would have understood given his history with the show, even the Levar fans. And I don’t think Levar should have become host- he wasn’t actually that good, and he’s pretty old. Jeopardy is an institution. Having a host there for multiple generations of viewers is part of it’s thing.

  29. Janice Hill says:

    So average white guys make better hosts than amazing and inspiring black guys or intelligent and talented Jewish gals? That’s a sad state of affairs.

    • rawiya says:

      Turns out the woman Alex wanted to host is black. The man the majority of the public wanted to host is black. And instead they went with the abusive white guy WHO HAS NO QUALIFICATIONS!! (They couldn’t have even gone with the smart, likeable white guy in Ken. Noooo, they went right for sexism and racism. I’m laughing.)

  30. Deering24 says:

    And he’s arrogant enough to admit he’d never qualify as a contestant. These people…🙄

  31. Yaya says:

    After reading this I complained to Jeopardy using this link:
    I think everyone who is unhappy with this terrible choice should as well!

  32. The Recluse says:

    Yep, Keith Olbermann was on Twitter saying that he was hearing from people in the industry saying that this guy was problematic. It is wonderfully reassuring to see how quickly it all began to surface as soon as he claimed a job he wasn’t qualified for.

  33. North of Boston says:

    Times up, dude-bro!

  34. Claire says:

    Jackass just resigned/was forced to step aside as host. Staying on as executive producer.