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Game Show Champ James Holzhauer Takes Hilarious Shot At Jeopardy's Host Sitch To Hype Up ABC's The Chase

James Holzhauer on The Chase.
(Image credit: ABC)

When he was crushing at life on Jeopardy!, James Holzhauer was known for his unique style of play, jumping around the board and making huge bets. Since his 32-game win streak ended in June 2019, the professional sports gambler has continued to attract attention, not only by joining The Chase as one of the expert “chasers,” but also with his social media snark. Nobody’s safe from Holzhauer’s pot shots, especially his favorite target — fellow super champ Ken Jennings. With Jennings stepping away from The Chase while in the midst of his current hosting stint on Jeopardy!, you can bet Holzhauer had a zinger ready to hype the premiere of his ABC game show's third season premiere.

It’s unknown if the aforementioned exit is an indication that Jeopardy! has made a decision regarding whether Jennings or Mayim Bialik will continue as permanent host after the current season. But when The Chase returns May 3, James Holzhauer will be rejoined by Brad Rutter, with Buzzy Cohen, Brandon Blackwell and Victoria Groce lending their overstuffed brains in replacing Jennings and “The Beast” Mark Lebbett. One aspect of the cast that’s not changing is host Sara Haines, and Holzhauer seemingly delighted in pointing out how stable the ABC show’s hosting situation is compared to Jeopardy!’s. 

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The Illinois native was, of course, referring to the Mike Richards debacle, in which the  game show's former executive producer was arbitrarily named Alex Trebek’s permanent replacement on Jeopardy! following the lengthy audition process involving celebrity guest hosts. Richards stepped down from his role after just one day of filming (equaling one week’s worth of episodes) and was ultimately fired after discrimination lawsuits and offensive comments from his past resurfaced

James Holzhauer has never been shy about voicing his displeasure over the still-unfinished quest to find a permanent Jeopardy! host. The former champ mocked the classic quiz show’s original decision to name two hosts after Mayim Bialik was announced at the same time as Mike Richards to be taking over primetime episodes and tournaments, and he absolutely blasted Richards for behavior that Holzhauer apparently witnessed when he was still competing on the show.

There's virtually zero chances of seeing a repeat situation go down on The Chase, which originally premiered in the United States in 2013 on Game Show Network. In those earliest days, Brooke Burns joined on to host, with Brad Rutter and Mark Labbett as the chasers. While the UK original has aired nonstop since its 2009 debut, the GSN iteration only lasted for two years, but ABC revived The Chase in 2021, and The View co-host Sara Haines was tapped to head things up. And all without having served as an EP beforehand.

Given James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings’ penchant for social media banter, I look forward to more barbs being traded now that the two will actually be on competing trivia shows, rather than going head-to-head on the same stage as part of a GOAT Tournament. The sports gambler can’t help but take shots at the part-time Jeopardy! host, as he even found a way to do it when congratulating recent history-making champion Amy Schneider.

As far as Jeopardy!’s hosting situation goes, fans are hoping to hear news of something more permanent after the conclusion of Season 38 in July. In the meantime, be sure to check out Ken Jennings’ buddies over on ABC for the Season 3 premiere of The Chase. It’s set for 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, May 3, and you can check your local listings to see when and where Jeopardy! plays in your area. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.