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Mike Richards's Failed Price Is Right Audition Has The Internet Howling

It's been nearly a year since the long-time host of "Jeopardy!," Alex Trebek, passed away on November 8, 2020, after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. As "Jeopardy!" sought to continue on without its calm and caring host, it spent much of 2021 running with an ongoing series of guest hosts including former contestants Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, along with industry vets like Mayim Bialik, Katie Couric, and fan-favorite, Levar Burton.

However, after many pseudo-auditions, it was ultimately decided that there would be two new hosts: Mayim Bialik and Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards — at least at first.

Immediately following the announcement of Richards as host, fans lashed out. It didn't take long for offensive statements Richards made on his 2013-2014 podcast "The Randumb Show" to surface. Eventually, Richards agreed to step down as the new host before he even began.

However, as Richards continues on in his executive producer role on "Jeopardy!" new footage has surfaced of his attempts to host another game show Richards executive produced — "The Price is Right". It turns out that critics of Richards' ascent to "Jeopardy!" host are enjoying the archive footage, although likely not in the way Richards would hope for.

Richards as a stilted, nervous host on The Price is Right

Mike Richards served as executive producer on "The Price is Right" from 2008-2018 which encapsulates more than 1,600 episodes. As we know, following the long-time host of "The Price is Right," Bob Barker, departing the series, the new, permanent hosting duties ultimately fell to stand-up comic and sitcom star Drew Carey. However, there was a point when, much like with "Jeopardy!," Richards also tried out for the role of host.

Footage of Richards' guest host on "The Price is Right" surfaced on YouTube on August 20. In short — Richards is underwhelming. Have you ever seen a kid clomp around in their dad's dress shoes and pretend that they're the proverbial man of the house? That's kind of the energy a much younger Richards has as he works his way through hosting duties on "The Price is Right."

Throughout his audition, Richards seems nervous and off-balance. He tries to embrace that classic, Bob Barker friendly demeanor but struggles to engage with both the contestants and the crowd.

Part of why people are likely enjoying the off-kilter performance from Richards is due to people's awareness of the discrimination lawsuits he experienced during his tenure on "The Price is Right," including one with Brandi Sherwood-Cochran who accused Richards of firing her due to her pregnancy.

Twitter user @MikeSington posted a clip of Richards' audition on Twitter writing in part, "He's no Bob Barker. Needless to say, he didn't get the job." Responses to that tweet ranged from "It's fine to have goals, being a decent human being should be one of them," to the much more brutal, "Dude's a loser."

Another former producer of The Price is Right weighs in

However, arguably the harshest response to Richards' leaked audition for hosting "The Price is Right" comes from the long-time producer of the show, Roger Dobkowitz. Dobkowitz did not hold back when talking about his feelings regarding Richards not making it as host of "Jeopardy!"

"I am certainly not sorry to see what happened to Mike Richards," Dobkowitz wrote in a Facebook post. " I worked with him on an audition tape we did for CBS ... I had no trouble with him then and he seemed like a nice person. It was shortly after he began to work on Price that my opinion of him completely changed ... I had lots of friends still working the show...staff, stagehands, and technicians...and they reported to me how badly he would treat people...he would yell and berate people...he would act like a little Napoleon, demanding them to do as he wished...it seemed no one like [sic] him."

As though it were not self-evident that being a mean boss isn't a great idea, Dobkowitz zeroed in on exactly why Richards' behavior makes him a bad producer.

"Good producers don't need to berate people to get things done...good producers know that one needs to work WITH people...there is no need to act like a jerk," writes Dobkowitz. "He was not, in my opinion, a nice person."