John Oliver addressed the recent appointment — and subsequent exit — of Mike Richards as Jeopardy! host on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight.
The opening sequence of his HBO show featured an image of Richards fading out with the words “Postus Hostus.” Oliver then went on to call Richards — who is also the show’s executive producer — a “smirking golf bag [who] was demoted from hosting Jeopardy! to merely running it.”
The jab comes a week after Oliver threw Richards’ name into a segment about parents who are angry about schools that are requiring their kids to wear masks. In that episode, Oliver showed a video where a school board member who voted in favor of masks was harassed outside the meeting afterward by people yelling things like, “You can leave freely, but we will find you, and we know who you are” and “You will never be allowed in public again.”
Said Oliver in response: “Holy shit! It is genuinely hard to imagine a five-word phrase less welcome than ‘We know who you are’ — aside from, obviously, ‘New Jeopardy! host Mike Richards.’“
Years ago, Richards also was the subject of a discrimination bias lawsuit during his time as executive producer of The Price Is Right.
And since last week’s Last Week Tonight aired, Richards again became the subject of controversy after episodes of his 2013-14 podcast The Randumb Show, billed as a behind-the-scenes look at The Price Is Right, surfaced in which he made several disparaging comments about women.
Richards was recorded mocking women’s weight, calling one model a “booth slut” and repeatedly praising “the average white-guy host.”
Two days later, Jeopardy! producer Sony Pictures Television announced the embattled Richards was stepping down from the role.