Claire McNear of The Ringer did some digging into the background of Mike Richards, the newly-named host of “Jeopardy!” She found a podcast he hosted several years ago, “The Randumb Show,” in which he made all sorts of misogynistic remarks. McNear writes:
The conversations among Richards, his cohost and former assistant Beth Triffon, and occasionally Jen Bisgrove — the podcast’s producer and Richards’s assistant at the time — are freewheeling, skipping between pop culture news, upcoming TV lineups, and the latest goings-on at Price. Many have a gossipy edge, with Richards displaying a tendency to turn bawdy and sometimes vulgar. In one 2014 episode, Triffon discusses once working as a model at CES; Richards subsequently calls her a “booth ho” and “booth slut.” When the subject comes up again in a later conversation with Let’s Make a Deal announcer Jonathan Mangum, both Mangum and Richards repeatedly call her a “boothstitute.”
Triffon did not respond to multiple requests to speak about the podcast. Bisgrove, who joined Sony in 2019 and is now listed as a production coordinator at Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, did not respond to a request either.
Women’s bodies and clothing are recurring subjects for Richards. On a 2013 episode, he says that women “dress like a hooker” on Halloween; on another, he tells a story about a former Price employee who had taken up baking: “We said that we were going to have to saw her out of her room because she was going to be so giant that she wouldn’t be able to fit out the door.” When discussing weight gain, Price announcer Gray says, “There’s a lot of guys that would not be entirely upset with a petite woman that’s curvy”; Richards repeatedly uses the term “huskadoo.” He saves his praise for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the former cohost of The View and Fox & Friends: “She’s, like, kind of my type. You know—blond, good-looking.”
After seeing a photo of Triffon standing by two friends at a lake, he says one-piece swimwear is “genuinely unattractive.” “Not good. Not becoming. Not flattering.” Richards says that the swimsuits had made her friends “look really frumpy and overweight.”
McNear says that when she asked Sony for a comment, the company’s spokesman claimed it didn’t even know Richards had a podcast. If true, that’s a lousy job of vetting someone you’re about to make the host of one of your most beloved (and most profitable) syndicated shows.
If you read McNear’s full piece, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion I did: Mike Richards is a sleazeball and an HR nightmare.