Jeopardy! Legend Ken Jennings Will Help Host The Show While They Figure This Whole Mess Out

To paraphrase a certain Mad Titan: all that unnecessary drama, all that controversy, and where did it that bring you? Back to the guy everyone assumed would get the "Jeopardy!" hosting gig in the first place, apparently. 

At this point, the story of the behind-the-scenes headaches that have plagued the long-running and widely-loved game show since the passing of Alex Trebek have cast an inescapable shadow over the actual show itself. While the hunt for a permanent, full-time host is still ongoing in the wake of the scandal-prone producer Mike Richards' abrupt exit last month, the decisionmakers have apparently settled on a pair of temporary hosts to split duties for now: Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik. Both of whom, it should be noted, come with their own recently-unearthed closet skeletons.

Haven't We Been Here Before?

In a fitting twist for the kind of year that 2021 has proven to be so far, this has officially become the saga that will simply never end. After a series of self-inflicted missteps on the way towards deciding a new host to step in for the legendary Alex Trebek, "Jeopardy!" most recently found itself in the awkward position (to put it mildly) of airing five new episodes hosted by embattled producer and would-be host Mike Richards ... after having already publicly parted ways with him. Variety now reports that Sony has settled on a pair of temporary hosts, Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik, who will split duties for the rest of the year until a suitable replacement can be found.

Bialik had been previously announced to join the show as a daytime host and will now begin hosting on September 20, 2021 and continue until November 5, 2021. Jennings, the former "Jeopardy!" contestant and repeated winner who reportedly received the highest ratings during his guest-hosting tour, will subsequently step in and the two will continue in this pattern until the end of the calendar year.

Under most circumstances, the inclination to come back to a previously-announced host and the presumptive fan-favorite candidate would be understandable. In this case, however, a spotlight has been placed on the character and behavior of both hosts after Alek Trebek set such a high standard throughout his decades on the job. Whereas Richards came with quite a bit of unsavory baggage, both Bialik and Jennings have spotty track records of their own. Bialik notoriously came under fire when previous comments she's made in the past regarding vaccines were unearthed. Jennings, meanwhile, saw his image tarnished when social media rediscovered his past tweets mocking individuals with disabilities. This was compounded when Jennings came to the defense of his podcasting friend John Roderick, another public figure with his own sordid history of insensitive tweets whose viral tweets led him to internet infamy when he became known as "Bean Dad."

Have I mentioned that this has been an endless, absurd, and unbelievable saga yet? At least I've made it this long without calling upon the name of LeVar Burton, the glaringly obvious and rightful host who could've been hired right from the start and helped the company avoid this embarrassing sequence of events. Alas, this journey isn't quite over yet.

"Jeopardy!" is currently airing its 38th season.