Mayim Bialik Explains What Leads To 'Embarrassing' Moments Hosting 'Jeopardy!'

·3 min read

Bialik and co-host Ken Jennings opened up about pressures of stepping into the roles permanently.

Jeopardy! hosts Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings have big shoes to fill—and they made it clear that it's not always easy to do so!

Following the untimely death of the legendary Alex Trebek in 2020, the two have been sharing hosting duties for the long-running game show. Executive Producer Michael Davies announced in a statement last month that they will be stepping into the split-duty roles permanently for the show's 39th season come September 2022.

The pair recently spoke about the pressures associated with the gig in an Aug. 29 episode of the "Inside Jeopardy" podcast.

“I feel a tremendous responsibility for other people’s happiness,” Bialik said of the stress of dealing with such a passionate and dedicated fanbase.

She continued to explain how difficult it can be to live up to the standard that Trebek set. “I watched Alex do it up close, and I couldn’t understand the kind of ease and grace because you’re doing so many things at once, right?” she commented, adding, “You’re trying to run the show for the contestants, you’re part of the game just like the writers of the board, but you’re also trying to interpret it for the folks at home. So it’s like you’re a sportscaster almost. And it goes so fast.”

The Call Me Kat star also spoke of how the game’s speed can sometimes get overwhelming, noting that viewers “don’t realize how many things you’re calculating.”

“I feel like if I make a mistake, even if we can go back and edit it, it feels very embarrassing," the actress admitted of the pressures of presenting perfection. "Because I think people are like, ‘Oh, she’s a celebrity’ or ‘Oh, she’s got a PhD. She shouldn’t make simple math errors.’ But sometimes I do it and it’s very stressful.”

Jennings chimed in, agreeing with his co-host's sentiments. “Smart contestants, smart audience, and then on the toss to commercial, I like say my name wrong or something, and I’m like, ‘What is even happening?’” he joked.

Despite the demanding position becoming nerve-racking at times, the pair both acknowledged that hosting the beloved show can be quite gratifying. “It’s just a very intense adrenaline experience you kind of chase for the rest of your life,” the Jeopardy! GOAT remarked.

“And when the games get really good out here, when the players are really cooking and it’s intense and it’s close, I kind of feel like I’m in there playing, you’re part of the game. You’re part of the show. There’s this transcendent thing that happens where the audience is locked in and I just look for that,” Jennings said in closing.

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