‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Suggested Laura Coates or Alex Faust To Replace Him as Show’s Host

Alex Trebek, Laura Coats, Alex Faust
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images; Gregg DeGuire / Stringer; Instagram

As controversy continues to surround new Jeopardy! host Mike Richards, a resurfaced interview with Alex Trebek revealed who the late host had in mind as his potential replacement.

In a 2018 interview with TMZ founder Harvey Levin for his show OBJECTified, Trebek was asked who he thought would make a “good, solid host of the show” should he retire. Trebek named the two candidates at the top of his list: CNN legal analyst Laura Coates and L.A. Kings hockey announcer Alex Faust.

“I mentioned to our producer not so long ago that the fellow that does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings — they should consider him,” Trebek told Levin. “He’s young. He’s attractive. His first name is Alex.”

When asked about a woman in the role, Trebek mentioned Coates, noting that she is “very bright” and “very personable.” At the time, Coates tweeted her response, writing, “Incredibly honored & humbled @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids.”

However, neither Coates nor Faust received an audition for the role and weren’t included in the revolving door of guest hosts. It’s especially astounding in Coates’ case as only one Black woman, Robin Roberts, was included in the guest host lineup.

This has upset some fans who believe Sony has gone against Trebek’s wishes in hiring Richards as the new permanent host.

Coates herself got involved with a pointed tweet, which included one of her favorite Trebek quotes.

Richards was appointed the new host earlier this month (with Mayim Bialik hosting spinoffs and specials). However, several controversies have arisen since the announcement, including employment disputes that accuse Richards of pregnancy discrimination on The Price is Right and sexist comments made on an old podcast series.

“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry,” Richards said in a statement earlier this week.

Following The Ringer‘s report into Richards insensitive comments made on the podcast, the Anti-Defamation League tweeted that the exec producer’s pattern of behavior warrants investigation.

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