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As Jeopardy! continues shifting into a series of episodes trying out guest hosts to replace longtime and beloved host Alex Trebek, we’ve finally gotten a clearer picture of who all will be standing behind the podium. The syndicated series released a slew of names this week. One of the women who will be joining is Big Bang Theory star and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, who also shared her feelings following the big announcement.
The star may be known for holding a Ph. D as well as for her sitcom work, but she’s about to add Jeopardy! host to her list of accomplishments. There are a lot of people who will be attempting to fill Alex Trebek’s shoes in the coming weeks and I’m interested in all the feelings people who are taking on the gig are having. The good news is that Mayim Bialik seems tickled pink.
I’ll take #DreamComeTrue for $500 please. From being an answer on the show... to guest hosting... this is literally a dream come true for me. I’ve been such a fan of Jeopardy and Alex Trebek since I can remember. It will be an honor to guest host & celebrate his great legacy.
Now, I mean someone will need to break it to her that $500 is no longer actually an option in the first or double Jeopardy categories before she hosts, but that’s just me nitpicking. (In fact, Jeopardy! made its last big changes to its dollar amounts on November 26, 2001.) The point is, she shared on Twitter that she’s been a fan for a long time, which is probably why she remembers the $500 dollar amount in the first place. She's even been a clue on the show before!
Meanwhile, Mayim Bialik is not the first nor will she be the last person to try her hand at becoming the Jeopardy host. Ken Jennings kicked off the new guest host list earlier this week. The full list was released by the series yesterday and includes the already announced Katie Couric and Aaron Rodgers. In addition, now Mayim Bialik, 60 Minutes’ Bill Whittaker and Mike Richards, who produces the show, has also been added.
Virally, a lot of fans were interested in seeing what LeVar Burton could do with the role, but so far there’s been no indication he’ll be nabbing one of those guest hosting slots. Burton is nearing retirement age, so I’m not sure if he’d be the best longterm choice for being a Jeopardy host, but given most of the people on this list likely won’t take the gig on over the long haul, I still personally would have been interested in seeing what the Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek actor brought to the table. (To also note, Bill Whittaker’s older than Burton.) But alas, if I've learned anything from the Internet it's that fancasting doesn't often happen.
At the end of the day, I don’t really envy anyone taking on Alex Trebek’s role. He is an icon and was the face of the show for decades, not to mention he will be remembered for a long time and whoever fills his shoes will have a bit of a slog ahead of them to win over new audiences. That’s why this guest hosting stuff should be both fun for the fans, something to look forward to, and also a good way to transition into a new era, no matter who ultimately takes on the Jeopardy! role.