RuPaul jokes that he can host ‘Jeopardy!’: ‘I’m right here, b—!’
RuPaul's jokes came after the show's executive producer Mike Richards stepped down as host just days after he was announced as Alex Trebek's replacement
Amid all the talk and uproar over who will be the new and permanent Jeopardy! host, RuPaul says he wants a shot.
While guest-hosting a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, Aug. 25, RuPaul referenced Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards recently stepping down as the show’s host amid scandal.
“And finally, Jeopardy! is still seeking a new host after producer Mike Richards stepped away from the job last week,” the famous drag queen said during a segment titled “Gayer News.”
“Sources say the show is looking for someone with poise, authority, and natural intelligence. In gayer news, I’m right here, bitch!” he joked.
The hunt for a new host has been taking place since longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer in Nov. 2020. Several notable faces put in their bid for the gig, including Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton, NFL star Aaron Rodgers, Robin Roberts, and Katie Couric — all of whom guest-hosted the series until a final decision was made.
Ultimately, Richards was chosen as the permanent host and the announcement was made on Aug. 11.
Days later, Richards issued an apology after past comments he made about women on his former podcast, The Randumb Show, resurfaced.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Richards said: “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.”
He then announced he was stepping down. The podcast has since been deleted but is archived online via transcript.
“As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show,” he continued. “As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.”
Richards will remain the show’s executive producer but will participate in sensitivity training.
Additionally, The Washington Post reported that during Richards’ tenure on The Price is Right, he was named by the show’s models in two lawsuits: one for pregnancy discrimination and another for sexual harassment. The pregnancy discrimination lawsuit resulted in a $7.7M settlement in 2012 for the plaintiff.
Big Bang Theory star and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik is filling in as interim host. She will begin filming three weeks of episodes of Jeopardy! for the show’s 38th season which premieres on Sep. 13.
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