On the same day that Mike Richards stepped down as host of “Jeopardy!” amid widespread backlash over past offensive remarks he made, somebody leaked his 2007 audition tape for host of “The Price Is Right.” Every once in a while, the Internet comes through when we need it most.
The aptly-named YouTube channel, “Mike Richards Vid,” Friday uploaded Richards’ audition for the iconic game show before Drew Carey took over. While it’s clear that Richards’ hosting skills have certainly improved over the last 14 years, let’s just say, Bob Barker he is not.
You can feel Richards reaching for the carnival barker energy required for the show but he’s just a bit too bland and stilted to make it work. One Twitter user said they couldn’t make it through the first 10 seconds, let alone the full 18-minute video, while others compared his delivery to the likes of “Saved by the Bell” character Zack Morris, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz and “American Psycho” narrator Patrick Bateman. Ouch.
Richards will not be back on television screens anytime soon. He informed the “Jeopardy!” staff in an email Friday morning that he would be stepping down from his freshly-minted hosting gig, writing that, “It has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”
“Jeopardy!” will return to its short-term guest hosts until a permanent host is chosen. Richards will remain as executive producer.
Production on the new season of the quiz show began on Thursday with Richards reportedly taping five episodes as host. An individual with knowledge of the situation tells TheWrap that they will all still air in spite of Richards’ resignation and surrounding controversy.
On Wednesday, The Ringer reported that during Richards’ 2013 podcast “The Randumb Show,” he “repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women’s bodies.” The podcast, recorded during his time as executive producer on “The Price Is Right,” was co-hosted by Richards and his former assistant Beth Triffon and ran for 41 episodes.
According to the outlet, Richards’ comments included calling his female co-host a “booth slut” for modeling at CES and seeming to make a Jewish stereotype joke (after somebody else made a comment about big noses, Richards reportedly said, “Ixnay on the ose-nay. She’s not an ew-Jay”).
The fervor over Richards’ remarks was so great that the Anti-Defamation League weighed-in, calling for an investigation into the producer’s “pattern” of offensive, harmful statements.
Richards issued an apology on Wednesday for the jokes he made on the since-deleted podcast, calling that time in his life a “terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity.”