Getting the role of Jeopardy! host is a dream of sorts for actress Mayim Bialik, who was part of a pool as a potential replacement for the late Alex Trebek, who passed in November 2020. On September 16, it was (sort of) realized when Sony Pictures Television announced that The Big Bang Theory and Call Me Kat star would share hosting duties until the end of the year with Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, who was one of the show's executive producers and also had a guest host stint. After backlash from his time as executive producer of The Price is Right and past comments made on a podcast, Richards was ousted from both roles on the game show. Also replacing him for now is first guest host & former champion, Ken Jennings. The actress and neuroscientist spoke with Glamour on a wide range of issues, from her vaccination stance to how it felt competing with fan-favorite LeVar Burton.
Why Mayim Bialik Wants to Be Permanent Host of Jeopardy!
"Having a full-time job [on Fox's Call Me Kat] didn't stop me from wanting [Jeopardy!]," Bialik said. "But it really was after those two days that I realized I had never wanted anything more than that job. I'm not a person who leans deeply into intuition. I wish that I was. But this was a case where I intuitively felt something very special had happened for me in my life. From just those two days [taping episodes to air over two weeks]. I said to the crew, 'I don't want to leave. I really don't want to leave.' And these are long days. These are not easy days. These are long days with someone, constantly, literally, in your ear. You need to think on your feet; you need to pronounce words in the Navajo language, which is not something I had ever done before. Learning to name the lakes of Africa, I'm literally being asked to squeeze my brain. It's not easy work. But there was something really special that I felt there, and I can't explain it."
When asked if Bialik rather be Jeopardy's permanent host, it was a no-brainer. "I think it's very clear," she said. "There's no other job I would rather have. I love my sitcom work, I do. I love all the other things I do. I love the podcast. But I absolutely have never had a better job." For more on her time working with Richards to prep for guest hosting, balancing time on the game show and scheduling on FOX's Call Me Kat, addressing her and her family's COVID vaccination status, and working with Jennings, you can go to Glamour.