Mayim Bialik’s distaste for musicals nearly cost her her friendship with Neil Patrick Harris. The actress, 45, appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden on September 29, where she confessed that she wasn’t a fan of musical theater (“It’s not my thing”). She then recounted an incident during Neil’s run on Broadway in the late 1990s that resulted in a brief rift in their friendship.
The new Jeopardy! host said that she went to see her pal star in Rent in the lead role of Mark Cohen when she was a teen. While everyone gave a standing ovation at the end of the show, Mayim did not. “When everyone is clapping at the end and you say to your boyfriend next to you, ‘I don’t want to stand for this,’ and then you look up and Neil Patrick Harris is looking right at you, it’s a bad day,” she recounted.
Later, when she visited Neil backstage, he asked her point blank, “Why did you say you weren’t going to stand up?” After the incident, “We didn’t speak for a long time,” Mayim said the actor eventually forgave her. “He sent me flowers when he heard I was still carrying this terrible guilt,” the actress told host James Corden.
Mayim may not be a fan of musical theater, but she has no qualms about quiz shows. The Big Bang Theory alum and champion Ken Jennings have been tapped as Jeopardy! hosts for the remainder of the year following Mike Richards‘ controversy-tinged departure. The popular had been cycling through a series of guest hosts after the death of beloved longtime host Alex Trebek.
The actress addressed the new gig during her recent Late Late Show appearance, reflecting on the drama surrounding the host shakeup. “I was the headline on CNN three days in a row,” Mayim said. “Who knew people were so passionate about who hosts Jeopardy?” She added, “I mean, I’m just trying to read the clues. . . The thing about Jeopardy!, we spend our whole lives wanting to be seen, you know, and this job is like — people should think the least about me as possible. Meaning, it’s my job to be the host, just like read the clues.”