John Oliver Pokes Fun At ‘Jeopardy!’ And Mayim Bialik

During Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, the titular host took the opportunity to poke fun at Jeopardy!, likening the show’s struggle to find a suitable host to the odious immigration scandal in Del Rio. 

Oliver, who recently won an Emmy, is known for weaving absurd one-liners into serious stories, often making connections between pop culture and politics.

Oliver stated: 

“This administration’s record on immigration particularly on the southern border has been deeply underwhelming, and this week, they’ve been all over the map. While many Haitians were released into the U.S., we also sent thousands back to a nation that’s recently suffered an earthquake and a presidential assassination with no clear rationale for how those decisions were made.”

Oliver then smoothly transitioned into the messy Jeopardy! saga, referencing the show’s short-sighted hiring and subsequent firing of Mike Richards, followed up by the controversy faced by temporary host Mayim Bialik.

Oliver quipped:

“And it’s not great when our process for deciding who gets released and who gets expelled is as haphazard as the process in finding the new host of Jeopardy!. And, by the way, great job so far, guys. You dodged giving that dude the job permanently and now we’ve got somebody absolutely free of controversy, Mayim Bialik. A person I think is great cos I don’t have Google.”

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Oliver is referring to Bialik’s history of eye-wateringly terrible takes, such as her stance on vaccines expressed in her book Beyond The Sling, released in 2012, long before the new wave of vaccine skeptics sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. 

In Beyond The Sling, Bialik claimed that her children have not been vaccinated, but later clarified that they had, in fact, received their vaccines in a 2020 YouTube video. More recently, in an interview with ABC News, Bialik confirmed that she and her family have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Bialik is also facing scrutiny for a poorly judged Op-Ed (written for the NY Times in 2017), in which she criticizes the women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Yeesh. 

The quest for a new Jeopardy! host has faced a ridiculous amount of obstacles thus far, much to Oliver’s delight, as no less than three successors to beloved former host Alex Trebek have come close to inheriting the gig, only to be taken down by former controversies (and to be perfectly honest, none of them proved particularly popular with fans). 

Mike Richards, the former executive producer of the show, was widely suspected to have nominated himself for the position, essentially, but stepped down after misogynist commentary from a 2014 podcast he hosted resurfaced. 

Ken Jennings, a temporary host to the show alongside Bialik, was reportedly intended to become the new full-time host, until his tasteless former tweets were unearthed, including a joke from 2014 which read, “nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.” Needless to say, Jennings didn’t get the job (in 2014, offensive comedy was still very much in vogue). 

I’m not sure which is worse – being “canceled” for tasteless tweets, podcast commentary, or for a NY Times Op-Ed; the latter is more prestigious, I suppose. 

Meanwhile, the search for the perfect Jeopardy! host continues; in the meantime, I’m sure John Oliver will keep cracking jokes about the show, at every opportunity he gets.

The Tycoon Herald