Word came today “Jeopardy!” will retain its two hosts — Ken Jennings, previously a multi-game and multi-million dollar winner; and Mayim Bialik, co-star of one of my late brother’s favorite sitcom’s, “The Big Bang Theory”, and noted neuroscientist — after the two had been guest-hosting this season.
The season started with Mike Richards as the permanent host. Also serving as executive producer, he’d lose both those gigs and similar EP responsibility at “Wheel of Fortune” after controversial comments arose from a podcast and word of backstage drama during his time as EP of “The Price is Right”.
So, why aren’t the powers that be at “Jeopardy!” narrowing this down to one host? I have a hypothesis or two…
\ They’re working on a newish clue crew.
The clue crew as fans knew it has disbanded. Jimmy McGuire left the show after serving as a clue crew member and, later, stage manager — but not before one more round of giving answers from the field at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a NASCAR category. Sarah Whitcomb-Foss is behind the scenes (her Twitter indicates she’s a producer; a fan-built website indicates she’s an associate director). Kelly Miyahara left the show in 2019 — and was recently a contestant on “Weakest Link” (voted out just before the head-to-head final — and she was the strongest link; natch!).
So, when Ken’s hosting, Mayim could deliver clues from the field — and vice versa.
\ They’ve got an eye on the future.
At age 94, Johnny Gilbert, the longtime announcer, sounds fantastic. But let’s say he retires. Who would fill his shoes? At least temporarily?
Let’s say Mayim’s hosting an episode post-Gilbert. I could see Ken providing the opening narration even if they have to do it in post-production and Ken records from a remote location (home office/studio, for example).
The “Jeopardy!” team has proven resilient ever since Alex Trebek’s passing, the rotating guest hosts, the Richards controversy, and this still-existing COVID-19 pandemic. Post-production audio for the opening would be a minor challenge in comparison.
Of course, I could be wrong on these. And I’m sure if Geof were still with us, he’d see flaws in my thinking. You’re probably seeing flaws, too — and that’s okay.
Geof, who was hungry and thirsty for knowledge ever since he could talk (bugging the rest of us to say certain words he, at a young age, was seeing in print), once said he’d love to see a cable channel dedicated to nothing but “Jeopardy!” reruns.
Since he started singing perfectly with the angels, as one of his choral directors opined, Geof’s wish is, eventually, coming true. The PlutoTV streaming service announced an all-“Jeopardy!” channel earlier this month. It’s slated to debut next month.
Finally, this is my first post in about three years. I hope to blog more often. This is also my first post since Geof’s passing. To honor him, the best thing we, the surviving relatives, could think of is making memorial contributions to the math and science school in Columbus, where the aforementioned choral director still works.
That thirst and hunger for knowledge took him to Columbus after he completed his sophomore year of high school. Geof spoke highly of the school long after graduation.
From my Instagram, here’s how to contribute…