With Mike Richards‘ two-week stint as Jeopardy! guest host concluding on Friday, we’re offering up fans of the iconic game show something of a Sophie’s Choice: Who would you rather see behind the lectern full-time, Richards or inaugural interim emcee Ken Jennings?
Since his run began on Feb. 22, Richards — who doubles as Jeopardy!‘s exec producer — won over social media with his movie-star looks, warm demeanor and magnetic charm. The positive reviews are all the more impressive when you consider that the onetime Pyramid host was an 11th hour pick.
“I didn’t know I was going to be doing it until three days before, and so I had not prepared myself to host in the way that I know other guest hosts are,” Richards recently told USA Today. “So there was just a lot to unpack.
“Plus, I also only owned one suit, so there was a little bit of scrambling there,” he added. “It was very fun; humbling doesn’t begin to describe the feeling. It hit me like a ton of bricks when Johnny Gilbert announced my name. That’s of course the last thing you hear when you start to walk out. … and it was overwhelming in the moment.”
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Richards picked up the guest-hosting baton from Jeopardy! GOAT Jennings, whose similarly well-received six-week tenure ended in mid-February. Richards, in turn, on Monday will hand the gig off to Katie Couric. The former Today co-host will be followed by NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, 60 Minutes‘ Bill Whitaker and Big Bang Theory vet Mayim Bialik. Additional guest hosts will include CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta., as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz and Today‘s Savannah Guthrie.
Meanwhile, a decision on who will succeed the late Alex Trebek permanently may not be made until the launch of Season 38, in September. As Richards told USA Today, “Let’s make sure we get someone we are going to feel even better about in a decade than we do this year.”
Did Richards prove himself worthy of the full-time job? Or more pointedly, if it comes down to Richards vs. Jennings, who would you choose? Vote below!