‘Jeopardy!’: Mayim Bialik Endeared Herself to the Crew With 1 Habit

Mayim Bialik’s Jeopardy! gig keeps getting extended. She remains a cohost through April and still hopes she can continue after that. Bialik started guest hosting in 2021 while the show looked for a permanent host. She said the crew liked her immediately.

'Joapardy!' Mayim Bialik holds the Final Jeopardy question
Mayim Bialik | Casey Durkin/ABC via Getty Images

Bialik was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top Five podcast on Feb. 4. When describing her whirlwind Jeopardy! journey, Bialik did boast of one skill the crew appreciates. 

Mayim Bialik was not ready for ‘Jeopardy!’

Jeopardy! began with a larger pool of guest hosts. Bialik wasn’t even expecting a call. She was filming her TV show Call Me Kat and had some personal crises to which she had to attend. 

“I was initially sort of called in for like two days that week,” Bialik said on TV’s Top Five. “I happened to be on hiatus. The god’s honest truth is my boyfriend had hip surgery the morning that this all went down. I was literally in a hospital in the waiting room when I got this call. So I was also dealing with the love of my life being incapacitated and balancing that with needing to hire someone to take care of him while I went to Jeopardy!

On ‘Jeopardy!’ Mayim Bialik learned fast 

Bialik said she turned herself over to the Jeopardy! crew. They’ve been doing it for decades.

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“It was a madhouse first week and ultimately I placed my trust in Sony’s hands in terms of we kind of lived week by week for a time,” Bialik said. “And in a lot of ways, I live summer to summer is how I like to describe it. I kind of know my Jeopardy! schedule through April and then the universe hopefully will reveal more information about what I’m supposed to do next. But it was a very steep learning curve.”

Bialik proved adept at the Jeopardy! learning curve, and the crew appreciated her speed.

“I didn’t really speak Jeopardese yet,” Bialik said. “I hadn’t really had enough time to get my feet under me. So I was very nervous and really just wanted the crew to feel good and safe and happy. I am known for getting us out pretty early so I think we had dinner at dinner time is what I like to say, a lot of days.”

The drama disappears for 12 hours 

The Jeopardy! hosting gig has also had its share of drama. Mike Richards stepped down after appointing himself permanent host. LaVar Burton was not happy to be passed over. Even Bialik endured a lot of scrutiny, but she said it does not distract her from hosting. 

There’s a lot of drama in our industry already and yeah, this was a lot for Sony but I’m grateful. I have nice reps who are really honest with me and who have guided me through this process just to be able to say we take it a week at a time or we take it a month at a time and this is where we’re at. To be honest, when I show up for work there, it’s just head down for 12 hours in heels and different blazers. I don’t really think about that other stuff. I think about those three people who are having a unique and awesome experience that many of them have dreamed of their whole lives. 

Mayim Bialik, TV’s Top Five, 2/4/22

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