Mayim Bialik wants to host ‘Jeopardy!’ full-time: ‘There’s no other job I would rather have
Mayim Bialik is making it known: “Yes, I want to host ‘Jeopardy!’ full-time.”
The “Big Bang Theory” star was originally enlisted in August to host just the show’s primetime specials and tournaments, but Sony announced last week that Bialik and former “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings will fill in as hosts of the beloved game show for the remainder of the year after host and executive producer Mike Richards’ exit.
Bialik has not publicly commented on Richards’ departure, telling Glamour that she avoids the “drama” and doesn’t “read the news,” but the actress is now making it “very clear” that she wants the highly coveted hosting gig. “It is a dream job,” she said.
“There’s no other job I would rather have,” Bialik, 45, said in a new interview published Tuesday. “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.
Bialik, an Emmy-nominated actress who earned a degree in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles, said hosting the game show requires her “to squeeze my brain.
The “Call Me Kat” star said she realized she “had never wanted anything more than that job” after filling in as a guest host in May.
“I said to the crew, ‘I don’t want to leave. I really don’t want to leave,'” she said. “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… It’s not easy work. But there was something really special that I felt there, and I can’t explain it.
In August, Richards was announced as the successor to Alex Trebek as “Jeopardy!” host. He resigned from his new role less than two weeks later amid controversy over past comments disparaging women, Jewish people, and the homeless. Richards stayed on as the executive producer, but he was removed from that role in late August.
Mike Richards fired as ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune executive producer
Although “Jeopardy!” has been making the headlines daily with the hosting shakeup, Bialik said she doesn’t “read the news” or “engage” in “the court of public opinion.”
“I was basically relying on my 15-year-old… telling me what the internet said,” she said. “In some cases, that’s a detriment, because I don’t always know what’s going on. But I’m not checking Twitter on my way in to see who thinks should be on ‘Jeopardy!’ that day. I go to work, and I do my job.”
She said her ultimate goal is to help “Jeopardy!” transition back to its reputation as a “low-drama, no-drama form of entertainment.” She added, “What I want is stability for the crew and for the staff and, as much as possible, for the viewers.”
Bialik returned as guest host Monday, where she’s behind the lectern through at least Oct. 8.