James Holzhauer, a Top 'Jeopardy!' Champion, Celebrates Mike Richards' Ouster

James Holzhauer, who enjoyed a 32-game winning streak on Jeopardy!, took a shot at Mike Richards on Tuesday via social media.

Soon after news broke that Richards was leaving his position as executive producer of Jeopardy!, Holzhauer tweeted out: "Do I think Mike Richards's podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No. But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no."

Also seemingly in reference to Richards, Holzhauer posted a GIF on Twitter of the "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" scene from The Wizard of Oz.


— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 31, 2021

Holzhauer is the third-highest-earning American game show contestant of all time. His 32-game winning streak as Jeopardy! champion in 2019 set the single-game winnings record of $131,127. He also won the show's "Tournament of Champions" in November 2019.

Through 33 appearances on the show, Holzhauer won $2,464,216, placing him behind only Ken Jennings in Jeopardy! regular-play winnings and number of games won.

With "Tournament of Champions" winnings added into his show total, Holzhauer is the third-highest winning Jeopardy! contestant behind Jennings and Brad Rutter.

Sony announced Richards was fired on Tuesday as the executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune after he previously stepped aside as host of Jeopardy! following his controversial hiring.

Richards was set to become Jeopardy!'s next permanent host, replacing Alex Trebek, who died in 2020 after serving as host for 37 years. Jennings and actor LeVar Burton were among guest hosts for the show who were thought to be frontrunners for the position.

Calls for Richards' ousting began after The Ringer published a story on August 18 that detailed sexist comments Richards made on a podcast several years ago. Lawsuits from his stint producing The Price Is Right that included accusations of sexist behavior also had some insist he should be disqualified as Trebek's successor.

My fall plans The McNear variant pic.twitter.com/bCkoR5GwbW

— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 31, 2021

Later on Tuesday, Holzhauer, who is nicknamed "Jeopardy James," seemingly posted another reference to Richards leaving the show. He posted side-by-side pictures, one of a TV screen turning off under the words "My fall plans." The other picture is a screenshot of a Jeopardy! screen with "The McNear variant" written above it.

The journalist who wrote the investigative article for The Ringer is named Claire McNear.

Actress Mayim Bialik will still serve as the Jeopardy! host for primetime specials and a spinoff series, though she has also stirred controversy for past comments regarding vaccinations, as well as an article she wrote for The New York Times in 2017 about the Me Too movement that some called an example of victim-shaming. She apologized for the Times article soon after it was published and has adamantly denied being anti-vaccine.

Michael Davies, executive producer of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, will assume Jeopardy! production duties in the interim.

James Holzhauer
James Holzhauer seemed happy about the announcement of Mike Richards 'Jeopardy!' departure. In this photo, Holzhauer is seen at the ABC Television's Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 08, 2020, in Pasadena, California. getty