The long-running quiz show Jeopardy! bid farewell to longtime host Alex Trebek when he passed away last year after battling cancer. In his stead, the show has continued, bringing in guest hosts like former champion Ken Jennings, the show’s executive producer Mike Richards, news anchor Katie Couric, and even Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But at some point, the show will have to find a new permanent host for Jeopardy!, and Star Trek: The Next Generation cast member and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton has thrown his hat in the ring for consideration. And he’s making it very clear that he wants the job for real.
Two months before Alex Trebek passed away, LeVar Burton casually mentioned interest in taking over as host of Jeopardy! whenever the time came for the iconic game show host to retire:
Not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the @Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires. #Jeopardy https://t.co/N1HrMTCaYI
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) September 22, 2020
As you can see from the number of likes, fans thought that would be a pretty good idea. After Trebek passed away, Burton was also one of the most frequently mentioned names from fans as a hopeful replacement host. Despite all that uproar, Burton still hasn’t been tapped to make an appearance as guest host, but that might change now that the actor is actively campaigning for the job.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Burton went all-in on making a run for the gig as Jeopardy! host:
“I think my whole career is an advertisement for being the host of Jeopardy. I’ve thought and thought and thought — I’ve asked friends and family to help me identify someone out there who’s more qualified for the job than I am. I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me. And I will go to my grave believing that.”
Burton certainly has the right disposition to be the new host of Jeopardy!, and he also has a history with the series. The Roots star competed in an edition of Celebrity Jeopardy back in 1995, and not only was it a dream come true for the actor, but he ended up winning. Combine that with a passion for learning and knowledge that Burton has had since his days hosting the PBS children’s program Reading Rainbow, and you’ve got the makings of a fine Jeopardy! host on your hands. Stephen Colbert certainly thinks so (kind of):
I think LeVar Burton should host Jeopardy! As Geordi La Forge. And the buzzers should be phasers. And Data should be the judge. And it should be in space. And just be Star Trek.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) April 7, 2021
Months ago, fans started signing a petition to make LeVar Burton the new host of Jeopardy!, and it’s currently amassed over 230,000 signatures at the time of this writing. Burton finally shared this petition recently, and he couldn’t be more happy with the support he’s gotten. The actor said, “They want this for me as much as I want it for me, I believe, because it makes so much sense to them too.”
So now all we need is for Jeopardy! producers to pay attention and get LeVar Burton a guest hosting gig on the show. It seems like all the guest hosts are going through a trial run of sorts to figure out who might be best suited for the job, and if Dr. Oz can get a spot on the show, I’d say it’s about time to give LeVar Burton a shot at the Jeopardy! podium. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
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