Among the COVID-19's new rampant delta variant and all its political, economic and social repercussions, the one true issue everyone is invested in is who will replace the beloved Alex Trebek as the new Jeopardy host? The obvious answer: Mayim Bialik.
After hosting for 37 years Trebek was forced to leave the show after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Due to his sudden absence, the show has gone to the unusual measure of testing new hosts, in hopes that someone can carry the torch.
The dozen of possible hosts since Trebek's passing in November of 2020 have run the gambit from actors, previous contestants, athletes, newscasters and scientists. Guests hosts have included past champion Ken Jennings, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric and Bialik.
The show seemed to have whittled down the choice to Mike Richards, the former executive producer of the show. But due to revelations of some past non-politically correct behavior, he was forced to step down from both positions within the production.
Bialik, on the other hand has shown through her guest- hosting that she is up to the task. After her 15-episode hosting stint, the public has given her rave reviews. This might be due to her experience in both show business and in academia, but there are other aspects of the show a good host must master.
A great host of Jeopardy is marked by their passion for the game. Trebek showed his passion every episode, never faltering from balancing a positive and professional attitude.
Bialik has more obviously shown her passion for the show by coming right out and saying it. She made a video to introduce herself as a temporary host in which she explained why this opportunity was so important to her.
“I so appreciate that Jeopardy is a show that tests all aspects of intellect and allows the brightest minds to shine,” Bialik said.
Her acting background might suggest otherwise but surprisingly Bialik has a deep appreciation for knowledge that began in high school and led her to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience.
The game of Jeopardy is also marked by the varied array of people the audience gets to meet every night. Trebek’s interviews allowed viewers to humanize the contestants and care about that damn double Jeopardy.
Bialik’s background in the sitcoms “Blossom” and “The Big Bang Theory” helps her to understand how to show connection through a screen. Although her character Amy on "The Big Bang Theory" wasn't very good at bonding with others on the show, Bialik humanized her. She made us care about Amy and whether her relationship with the show's lead, Sheldon, was going to work out.
A good host is also marked by their ability to understand that one must work with the game, knowing when to speed up or slow the pace to keep the audience's attention. With many decades of experience, Trebek had it down, but Bialik shows a good grasp for the rhythm of it all.
The only snafu that might hold her back is her opinion on vaccinations. The current pandemic has made it a very divisive topic and her opinion surprised most. She has been criticized online for announcing that her family would receive the COVID-19 and flu vaccines, but that they were the first vaccines they had received in a long time. Although she has come out also saying that she doesn't disregard the validity of vaccines, she is still under fire.
Despite this, Bialik is the obvious choice to replace the irreplaceable Trebek. Having a charismatic and intelligent woman at the helm of a national hit like Jeopardy will help to inspire little girls to pursue all of their interests, no matter how wide.