Entertainment

Alex Trebek’s ‘Jeopardy!’ host pick Laura Coates addresses snub


We’ll take “Yet Another ‘Jeopardy!’ Scandal” for $2,000.

America’s iconic game show is in hot water once again after CNN legal analyst and radio host Laura Coates — a candidate hand-picked by Alex Trebek to succeed himself — said she “was told no” and didn’t get a chance to guest host in early 2021.

Speaking Monday on “Tamron Hall,” Coates, who had social media rally behind her cause last summer, said she “asked for the opportunity when it came time, when they were looking for people to possibly fill in.”

Eager to be considered among the likes of current Season 38 hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik, along with other fan favorites like LeVar Burton and Aaron Rodgers, Coates said she “certainly raised [her] hand and knocked on doors and found them closed.”

“And I asked for the opportunity. I was told ‘no.’”

The Post has reached out to Coates and representatives for the show for comment.

The show’s initial decision of awarding the gig to executive producer Mike Richards horrendously backfired after alleged sexist comments from the short-time host were revealed last summer. But Coates called the last few months a time “to remember to wear your own jersey.”

Immediately after the Richards scandal broke, Coates took the high road by posting one of her “favorite” Trebek quotes in late August: “Don’t tell me what you believe in. I’ll observe how you behave and I will make my own determination.”

“You have to remember to continue to be your own champion in other respects and sometimes the vision that you have for yourself, or those that surprise you — other people — don’t align with what happens and that happened there,” she told Hall.

Coates instead focused on what seems to matter most: the high regard Trebek has had for the “lifelong fan” who would watch the show multiple times a night on occasion.

“There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She’s African American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time. Very bright, very personable,” Trebek told TMZ’s Harvey Levin about his desired replacement, mentioning that Los Angeles Kings TV play-by-play voice Alex Faust — who was also snubbed from hosting — would be an excellent candidate as well.

Neither of Alex Trebek's desired host candidates were given the chance of a trial show.
Neither of Alex Trebek’s desired host candidates was given the chance of a trial show.
ABC via Getty Images

“I actually was as shocked as anyone else was when he first said it … and I was thrilled when he said my name,” Coates said.

“I thought, ‘My God. This person that I have watched my whole life really, even knows my name let alone thinks that I would be worthy enough to fill his shoes which frankly can’t be filled?’” she said, mentioning that she was able to personally thank Trebek and speak with him during his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Rather than harping on the missed opportunity or naming names, Coates decided to close the “Jeopardy!” dialogue with a bit of good humor.

“I tell you, with the work I do now, do you know how much easier my life would be if I had the answers in advance?”





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