Like all of America, Mayim Bialik, 46, was blown away by Amy Schneider‘s incredible winning streak on Jeopardy!. Amy, 42, won 40 games and nearly $1.4 million on the quiz game show until losing to Chicago librarian Rhone Talsmam on Jan. 26. Amy’s a trans woman, so her incredible success on Jeopardy! has been inspiring to so many people in the world like Mayim, who is sharing hosting duties with former champion Ken Jennings as she films her new Fox series Call Me Kat.
Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife, Mayim commended Amy for her “historic” run on the show. She also teased what’s to come on the Jeopardy! National College Championship, which premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 8, and just how life changing this job has been for her.
“Her run was historic in so many ways,” Mayim told us of Amy. “You know, she’s a really, really powerful figure. And I think it’s also so important to point out that, I consider Jeopardy a nonpartisan, non-political place. It’s a place where people want to tune in to be entertained by people in tremendous intellect. And Amy did that. Representation matters in the culture that we live in,” she added. “It’s tremendously significant and important that my kids, who are 13 and 16, they almost don’t want me to talk about how historic it is, because it should just be accepted. I completely get that. As we’re bridging our generation and theirs, it is important to say it out loud. The representation matters.”
The Big Bang Theory alum also told HL that she’s grateful for the opportunity to be hosting Jeopardy! “I can’t overstate how it’s changed my life,” she said. “To be able to combine more of my intellectual interests with sort of the presentation that I’ve been trained to be good at, it’s unbelievable.” Mayim noted that while “no one will ever match” Alex Trebek, who passed away in Nov. 2020 after hosting for 37 seasons, she’s still having a blast leading the show. “It’s like a family. It’s a really, really beautiful family. And we have a lovely crew and many of them have been there for a very long time. And it’s a joy.”
Although Mayim is currently on break from regular Jeopardy! (she’s back in March, she says), the actress is returning to hosting duties for the upcoming National College Championship. The two-week competition will feature 36 students from colleges and universities across the country battling head-to-head. “We definitely got to have fun with the college categories,” Mayim told HL. “They’re adorable. They’re young adults who are gonna do incredible things, and they have unbelievable minds.”
The UCLA graduate went on, “It was really adorable just seeing their excitement and their camaraderie with each other. Generally more chatty with each other than some of our adult contestants. But then also, there were some contestants who were really shy, and it was just a really sweet community.”