The rise and swift fall of Mike Richards has resulted in a scramble for the next permanent “Jeopardy!” host, with newly named primetime specials host Mayim Bialik stepping back in as guest host of the syndication mainstay as the search resumes.
Richards, an executive producer of the show who previously worked on “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal,” was initially selected by Sony Pictures in part because he was not an established personality with a profile that might overshadow the game itself. However, when offensive comments he made on a podcast seven years ago resurfaced last week, along with a discrimination lawsuit he was involved in, prompted a call for investigation by the Anti-Defamation League, Richards stepped down from the hosting role.
But despite his rapid downfall, Richards is far from the first — and won’t be the last — on-air personality to hold a short-lived hosting gig. Variety looks back on some of the shortest hosting stints in TV history, from Magic Johnson’s failed talk show in the ’90s to Jackie Gleason’s “You’re in the Picture,” a one-episode game show that warranted an on-air apology.