Editor’s Note: Mea culpa. This version corrects a glaring error in the original post. I know you’re not supposed to repeat the error, but I said Dustin Hoffman played “Mrs. Doubtfire.” He did not; Robin Williams did. Hat tip to Jamie Herbison.
To: The Production Staff at “Jeopardy!”
From: Jack Finklebaum, Founder, Finklebaum Talent Agency
Re: “Jeopardy!” Host Ideas
I feel sorry for you all over there at “Jeopardy!” You’re letting a gold-plated franchise get battered, beaten and badly bruised. What a farrago with Mike Richards! Did anybody vet this guy? Have you even heard of podcasts over there? Alex, God bless him, must be so pissed off right now! Mayim Bialik will be a good placeholder for a while, but frankly, you need to shake things up and reboot the franchise. As we say in show business, you’ve always got to turn your back on yesterday and face tomorrow. So, as a huge fan of “Jeopardy!” I’d like to make the following suggestions for a new host, pro bono. Keep your minds open and think out of the box, people!
Andrew Dice Clay: Since nearly every candidate can be undone by something they said or tweeted over the last 20 years (“Go home and rethink that pregnancy!”), just jump the line and go for a real bad boy. Suggested tag line: “Hickory dickory dock, you just ran out the clock!” We may have to lower the intellectual bar, but we’d get a lot of TikTok moments from the Dice Man.
Joe Rogan: Time for the king of podcasts to make the switch. Joe’s smart and can be funny when he needs to be. But the format will have to be lengthened to two hours. When Joe interviews the contestants he’ll want to ask them involved questions, like whether or not they’ve tried ayahuasca or how many times they’ve been reincarnated.
Elon Musk: Sort of a long shot because you never know if he’ll stay on-topic, but he’s got 60 million Twitter followers. Imagine the first show, when he gives every member of the audience a free Tesla! Now that’s what I call a strong launch! Speaking of launches, how about Elon hosting the first “Jeopardy!” in space?
Meryl Streep: Meryl’s unflappable and can function under any type of conditions. Plus, what’s she done lately? “Mamma Mia” and that streaming dud “Let Them All Talk,” which about five people saw? This could be a nice glide path for the rest of her career.
Kate McKinnon: Think of Kate as a younger, edgier Meryl Streep. Plus, the younger generation loves irony and who’s more ironic than Kate? Kate’s also cool because she’s kind of boyish and girlish at the same time and young people are into that gender fluidity thing (check out her Justin Bieber impression — killer!). And she’s an Emmy winner, did I mention that?
Ellen DeGeneres: She’s available, and she’s been vetted.
Dustin Hoffman: I know what you’re thinking, Dustin Hoffman? Who he? No, I’m going meta here — Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie! You know, the frustrated actor who dresses as a woman to land a part and becomes super popular. Who knew Dustin would become a prescient avatar for today’s gender issues? This will check off the “T” as you consider how to engage the LGBTQ viewing audience.
Snoop Dogg: Snoop proved he’s a huge crossover star with Martha Stewart, let’s take him all the way! Yes, there will be a weed tie-in, but remember — turn your back on yesterday and face tomorrow!
George Clooney: George doesn’t need the money, but I think he’d like the challenge. Like Snoop, there’s a logical product tie-in with George: Casamigos, his tequila company. Here’s the pitch: every Friday, we’ll do a “Drunk Jeopardy!” Miss a question, take a shot!
Dana Carvey: Dana’s sweet, approachable and safe. He makes everybody laugh. And his impressions! He does everybody! It would be like getting 12 hosts in one. Think about it. He could do a whole week as Jimmy Stewart, a week as George Bush, a week as Sean Connery . . . you get the idea. It will drive the audience wild. How about a special edition of “Wayne’s World Jeopardy!” C’mon man!
Kamala Harris: Keep this on the down low, but we hear she may be available soon.
Tom Hanks: Just ask him how much he wants and pay it. Win-win.
Bob Dylan: This guy won’t stop working! He’s got the energy, he’s got the presence and he’s a freaking Nobel laureate, which gives the show instant credibility. He’ll need speech lessons, though, he’s a low-talker and a mumbler, so consider this one carefully.
Pewdiepie or Charli D’Amelia: These two candidates are interchangeable — they’re the two hottest stars on social media right now, with 126 million and 115 million followers respectively. Compare that to “Jeopardy’s” viewing audience of 9 million. Order of magnitude, baby! Going this direction might require a whole rethink of the format, but remember! Turn your back on yesterday and face tomorrow!
Donald Trump: OK, don’t react immediately. Just think about it. He’s got a social media following. He was good on “The Apprentice.” He projects an air of authority. He could easily bring the “You’re fired!” tagline into the “Jeopardy!” format. It would be fun to build an “Alternative Facts” version of “Jeopardy!” And he’s available!
OK guys, I’m willing to spitball any of these ideas and more if you want. I love the show and I want to see it continue at the same high level Alex created, but with a contemporary twist. Now that I think of it, I would not be adverse to taking on hosting duties myself. I’ve said/done a few questionable things in my past, but I think we can get ahead of it with a pre-emptive apology and the creation of a foundation to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Let’s talk!