A new report uncovered more lewd, problematic comments made by new Jeopardy! host Mike Richards on his former podcast, and of course, he’s already trying to clear the air
After Jeopardy! lost its longtime host, the legendary Alex Trebek, late last year, fans were hopeful that his replacement would be someone as sharp and funny as he was, while also being a genuinely good person. Naturally, we got neither — with Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards taking the helm as the show’s main host, fans are getting a mediocre white dude with a reported history of harassment and lawsuits against him from the not-so-distant past.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, as one reporter recently uncovered about Richards. Claire McNear dug further into Richards’ past for The Ringer, uncovering a slew of comments from his former podcast, The Randumb Show, which he co-hosted in 2013 and 2014. The most benign comments McNear found were Richards admitting he is “horrible at all trivia,” adding, “If I had gotten on Jeopardy! — well, I never would have gotten on Jeopardy!, let’s be square.” Things only get worse from there.
In an episode that was published after the 2014 iCloud Celebrity Photo Hack, Richards reportedly asked his (much younger) co-host and former assistant Beth Triffon, to go through her phone to see if she had “booby pictures.” He also reportedly called her a “booth ho,” a “booth slut,” and a “boothstitute” in a 2014 episode. In 2013, he reportedly said that women “dress like [hookers]” on Halloween.
On another 2014 episode, Richards reportedly said that one-piece swimsuits made women look “genuinely unattractive” and “really frumpy and overweight,” calling women “huskadoo[s],” and remarking that a Price Is Right model who had taken up baking would need to be sawed out of her dressing room “because she was going to be so giant that she wouldn’t be able to fit out the door.”
Don’t worry, friends. It gets even worse. He reportedly repeatedly referred to Trifon as a derogatory slur for a little person and used the R-word. He also made crude comments about famous women, including Miley Cyrus, Kristin Chenoweth, and former co-host of The View Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
There’s also some anti-Semitism sprinkled in, with Richards responding to a “nonspecific” remark about big noses by sharing, “Ixnay on the ose-nay. She’s not an ew-Jay.”
He also reportedly made classist remarks about unhoused people, criticizing Triffon’s economic status as well as people who rely on “unemployment and food stamps.” “The dangerous side about the crack that you just took is that not everyone is like you,” he reportedly said of Triffon. “But everyone can collect unemployment, which is why we have so many people on unemployment right now. Which is why we have so many people on food stamps.” He then asked Triffon if she felt “a little dirty” for receiving government assistance, with McNear noting that Richards himself accepted a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan for $127,906 in May 2020 and a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan for $150,000 later that year.
When McNear contacted Richards’ team for comment prior to publishing the story, all episodes of his podcast were scrubbed from the internet. He did issue a statement, which McNear included in her story. “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago,” he said. “Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”
“The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around,” he continued. “Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”
The TL:DR here: Another day, another terrible dude allowed to fail upwards multiple times and still score millions of bucks to host a beloved family quiz show.