‘Jeopardy!’: Why Mayim Bialik Chose a Specific Wardrobe for Guest Hosting the Show

Emmy-nominated actor Mayim Bialik is picking up where Buzzy Cohen left off as guest host of Jeopardy!. While she’s used to comedic performances after eight seasons on The Big Bang Theory, Bialik is taking her post at the quiz board very seriously, which includes assembling the right look.

Mayim Bialik in the 'Double Date' time period premiere episode of 'Call Me Kat'
Mayim Bialik | FOX via Getty Images

Mayim Bialik had an ensemble in mind for ‘Jeopardy!’ guest hosting gig

While acting is what she’s known for, Bialik also holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience and encourages women to pursue careers in STEM. The Big Bang Theory alum noted that women are often stereotyped regarding fashion styles, and wanted to rectify that perspective while guest hosting Jeopardy!

“This is actually something that I felt instantly really passionate about,” she said in a Jeopardy! video. “As much as women are accomplished in many fields and we’ve made so many changes in how we are represented and how we are seen, it’s by in large a confusing time I think still for women in terms of what we’re expected to look like and what people think when we dress a certain way or don’t.”

With her strong scholarly background, Bialik wanted to reflect the intellectual recognition Jeopardy! has earned over the years, thanks to the late game show legend, Alex Trebek.

“I really just wanted to look like the academic that I was trained to be,” she remarked. “And to me, that does mean a certain amount of formality and decorum. And also in great respect to Alex Trebek, the image I have of him is in a suit, it’s ‘blazer’d’ up.”

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‘The Big Bang Theory’ alum wanted to add just enough ‘flair’ to the ‘Jeopardy!’ podium

Choosing formal blazers and blouses while moderating the quiz board, Bialik wanted to give off an academic vibe with a touch of style.

“Not because I’m trying to look like a man, or because I want to look masculine, I wanted to choose things that were flattering and that I feel comfortable in,” she explained. “As an actress, you almost never get to have those things. I also wanted to bring a little bit of flair, but not too much.”

Bialik expressed her gratitude at being a part of Jeopardy! and showing audiences that being smart can be very cool.

“It is an unbelievable honor to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Jeopardy!” Bialik said. “I’m especially honored to be able to represent women who love game shows and facts and all things geek — especially when they combine with something as entertaining as Jeopardy!

Mayim Bialik hopes to honor ‘Jeopardy!’ icon Alex Trebek

Trebek died in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer after manning the iconic Jeopardy! lectern for 37 years. Bialik studied Trebek’s mastery of the trivia board, which helped her keep pace with the fast-moving game.

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“Alex was about the economy of words, meaning you don’t need to have a full dialogue every time someone gets something correct or incorrect,” she told the USA Today. “And part of that is really respecting the timing of the show. It’s a lot of clues to get through (61), and you don’t have time to be adorable. You don’t have time to ad-lib a ton. So really finding the least number of words to communicate where we’re at in the show and what’s coming up, that’s really what I tried to hone.”

Bialik raved of Trebek’s class and authenticity, which resulted in his massive fan base over the years.

“There’s a reason that he had the success and longevity that he did,” she commented. “He was the perfect combination of authority and host and friend, and also, from what I’ve heard, an incredibly generous and lovely man.”