'We Don't Prefer You': Mayim Bialik Reveals Harsh 'Jeopardy!' Fan Jibes

Mayim Bialik has revealed that she has often been on the receiving end of harsh comments from some Jeopardy! fans, as she continues to share hosting duties with Ken Jennings.

The Call Me Kat star and all-time Jeopardy! champ Jennings have been serving as interim hosts of the popular syndicated quiz show for the large majority of Season 38, ahead of bosses announcing who will be permanently presenting.

With the host shakeup following the November 2020 death of beloved presenter Alex Trebek, Bialik has learned just how passionate fans of the of the show can be since heading up proceedings from the famed lectern.

Mayim Bialik discusses "Jeopardy!" fan encounters
Mayim Bialik is pictured on March 24, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. The TV personality has revealed some of the harsh comments she has encountered from "Jeopardy!" fans. Steven Simione/WireImage

Speaking with Justin Long on a recent episode of her podcast, Mayim Bialik's Breakdown, the TV personality revealed that viewers often compare her to Jennings.

Actor and comedian Long broached the subject, when he asked Bialik if she was ever made aware that she was favored over Jennings by Jeopardy! fans.

"Sometimes," Bialik responded, adding that "sometimes I get, 'We don't prefer you to Ken.'"

Noting how celebrities are often seen, Long said: "Isn't that wild—well, it's probably the only profession that I can think of, or maybe politicians—where people will tell you deeply insulting things but with a big smile?"

"[People will tell you] exactly how they feel," Bialik said in response. "Like, 'I saw you in magazine. I was very confused. You looked pretty.' I get that a lot."

"Oh, jeez," Long replied. "This sounds like I'm bragging but..."

"You're better looking in person?" Bialik interjected, as they both laughed, before going on to discuss other matters.

Back in April, Bialik told Newsweek that while she was thoroughly enjoying her experience as Jeopardy! host, encountering passionate fans online was something of a learning experience.

"It's been unbelievable. It's an unbelievable turn of events in my life and career to have this opportunity," Bialik said. "But yes, I did not know the depth of in particular the social media presence of people who are so passionate about Jeopardy!"

Bialik and Jennings were among a long list of celebrities who stepped in to guest host Jeopardy! throughout much of Season 37, with many vying to replace Trebek.

In August 2021, then-executive producer Mike Richards was named as the new host of the nightly show, with Mayim Bialik being drafted in as the host of Jeopardy! specials and tournaments.

However, just nine days after the announcement, Richards stepped down from his role amid backlash over offensive comments he had made several years ago on a now-defunct podcast. By the end of August, he was also out of his producer role.

"Jeopardy!" host Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings is pictured on January 06, 2020, in New York City. The TV personality has shared "Jeopardy!" hosting duties with Mayim Bialik for much of Season 38. Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

With Bialik now sharing Season 38 hosting duties with Jennings, fans had anticipated that one of the two were most likely to be named Trebek's successor ahead of Season 39 launching in the fall.

On Friday, Michael Davies—who replaced Richards as the show's executive producer—revealed to Variety backstage at the Daytime Emmys that "we hope to have a hosting announcement very, very soon."

He said: "But with all of our plans for Jeopardy!—which is more Jeopardy!, not less, more versions—we're going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience, to represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward."

Davies added that "Mayim and Ken have done [an] incredible job hosting."