‘Jeopardy!’: Mayim Bialik Said ‘It Felt Like I Was Hanging Out With My Kids’ During College Championship Games

Mayim Bialik is hosting Jeopardy!‘s National College Championship, and it’s bringing some of the brightest college students in the country to compete on the Alex Trebek Stage for big money and the title of Jeopardy! National College Champion.

The host recently commented on her experience with this younger set of contestants, saying it was a lot like being with her own teenage children.

Mayim Bialik hosting the 'Jeopardy!' National College Championship on the Alex Trebek Stage.
‘Jeopardy!’ National College Championship host Mayim Bialik | Casey Durkin/ABC via Getty Images

Bialik’s son told her ‘Jeopardy!’ was looking for guest hosts

Following the death of the show’s legendary host Alex Trebek from pancreatic cancer in November 2020, Jeopardy! decided against naming a new host right away and instead went the guest-host route. The program welcomed big names in entertainment from Today‘s Savannah Guthrie to sportscaster Joe Buck.

Bialik explained, as she told the show in her guest-host interview, that it was through a teenager, her older son Miles, that she found out about the opportunity.

“My older son is the one who originally said ‘Did you know they’re looking for Jeopardy! hosts?’” Bialik revealed. “’I saw on the internet that maybe you should find out.’ So, he was really, really proud. He’s very, very excited. He, at his age, knows the impact of this show.”

Mayim Bialik said the National College Championship was just like being with her own kids

In a chat with the hosts of ABC’s The View, Bialik talked about working with the distinctly different demographic group of college students on the show’s primetime program. And she revealed that it was very similar to being with her own teenage sons.

“I’m just excited because I could be their mom,” the host said. “It’s true, like seeing these kids, they’re phenomenally, phenomenally smart, and they each bring their own flavor. As the mom of a 16- and 13-year-old, it felt like I was hanging out with my kids with all the confusion that brings up, and also the excitement.”

The collegiate contestants come from various states and colleges

The competition is putting some of the sharpest students nationwide in the limelight. And the players aren’t just from the larger, familiar schools. As Bialik told Variety, the contestants come from “all backgrounds and different shapes, sizes, colors, sexual orientations, from colleges that are Ivy Leagues, public colleges, historically black colleges.”

Just a few of the colleges and universities represented include Brown University, Spelman College, University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, and Pomona College.

Bialik added that some of the contest’s categories reflect the interests of its younger players, with clues on popular artists, musicians, and films.

“I think having young folks — kids, as I call them because my kids are about their age — brings a different energy to Jeopardy!,” she said. “That’s definitely fun for us. Jeopardy! is always fun, but there’s something to 36 college students bopping around on their phones and being their adorable, generational selves. The categories are a little peppier, a little spicier.”

Watch the ‘Jeopardy!’ National College Championship from Feb. 8 – 22 on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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