Stephen Colbert mocks ‘poorly handled regime change’ at Jeopardy!

Stephen Colbert addressed “the big story everybody’s talking about right now” on Thursday’s Late Show, “which continues to be the chaos surrounding the poorly handled regime change … over at Jeopardy!”.

The renowned quiz show had drawn criticism all week for its selection of Mike Richards to succeed the late Alex Trebek as host. After a months-long host search that included tryouts from such celebrity candidates as Anderson Cooper, LeVar Burton, Katie Couric and Aaron Rodgers, the show’s executive producers chose Richards, Jeopardy!’s executive producer with little public profile, as permanent host. (Big Bang Theory star Miyam Bialik will host the show’s primetime tournaments.)

“Wow, what are the odds?” Colbert deadpanned. “Exactly the same as me getting named Stephen Colbert magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.”

Richards had already drawn public scrutiny before his selection as host for multiple lawsuits dating to his time as executive producer of The Price is Right in the early 2010s, which alleged mistreatment of female employees and pregnancy discrimination. The suits were settled out of court.

On Wednesday, the Ringer followed up with excerpts from a podcast Richards hosted in 2014, in which he made crude comments about women, Jews and Haiti.

In one episode, Richards asked his two co-hosts, both younger women, if they had ever taken nude photos, “like booby pictures”.

“‘Booby pictures?’” Colbert mocked. “Is this the man about to become the host of America’s most beloved quizshow or a 12-year-old boy trying to sneak into an R-rated movie?”

In light of the audio excerpts, Richards released a statement, saying: “It’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes.”

“That’s an interesting apology,” said Colbert, who compared it to saying: “I know I drove drunk and plowed through your rose garden, and to prove I’m sorry, I recycled my empty liquor bottles.”

On Friday morning, Richards stepped down as Jeopardy! host.

“For a year and a half we’ve been battling a deadly virus to save as many lives as possible,” said Seth Meyers on Thursday night, while the GOP’s “main priority is standing in the way and making it harder”.

The Late Night host pointed in particular to Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who has blocked schools from implementing mask mandates and opposed hospitals requiring employees to be vaccinated, even as the state faces some of the highest rates of Covid cases in the US.

“He also does that Trump thing where he says a line he thinks the crowd loves but if you think about it, it just doesn’t make any sense,” Meyers said, pointing to a recent quote from a DeSantis press conference: “Politicians want to force you to cover your face as a way for them to cover their own asses, that’s just the truth.”

“What does he mean?” Meyers mused. “Has he been reading bumper stickers outside the Tampa AutoZone? I know it sounds like an applause line because it’s short and pithy and people clap at the end, but it doesn’t actually make any sense.

“We need a layered approach: vaccines, masks, ventilation,” he added. “I don’t know why rightwingers get so mad about this. Complex problems require complex solutions. They don’t want to hear that, which is why they’ve spent the entirety of the pandemic lining up behind a guy who once asked his medical advisers if we could just give people a flu shot to cure them of coronavirus.”

And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon ticked through a litany of business and culture news. First, the release of the film Paw Patrol in theaters this weekend. “There’s a lot riding on this movie,” he said. “If it’s a hit, it could lead to the next wave of drunk characters in Times Square.”

Meanwhile, Amazon announced plans to open several department stores across the US. “It’s all part of Amazon’s plan to put Amazon out of business,” Fallon joked.

And the website OnlyFans announced that it’s going to block all explicit content starting in October. “What? This would be like Playboy only printing articles,” said Fallon. “If you’re watching this with someone and they quickly ask ‘what’s OnlyFans?’ trust me, they know exactly what it is.”

Comments are closed.