Finding a host to fill Alex Trebek’s legendary shoes has been hard, but Star Trek: The Next Generation alum LeVar Burton is many Jeopardy! fans’ top pick to fill the position permanently. And Burton has really been gunning for the hosting gig. And now that he's secured a guest host spot on the game show, the TV vet has explained why becoming Jeopardy!’s permanent host would represent a "natural progression" for his career.
LeVar Burton’s docile tone and thirst for knowledge are why fans have been advocating for him to become Jeopardy’s new host. That angle and his decades-long career haven’t been lost on the actor, either. The Star Trek veteran said about going after the Jeopardy! hosting job:
I think that having the job of hosting Jeopardy!, for me, it just feels like a natural progression. It sort of encompasses almost everything that I've been about for the last 45 years of my career. It just seems like a good fit to me.
The acting veteran was correct in saying his decades-long career prepared him for being Jeopardy!’s permanent host. LeVar Burton’s roles on Star Trek: TNG and Reading Rainbow alone make him the perfect candidate, as he's always been a huge advocate for knowledge and literacy. Plus, at this point in his career, Burton may be looking for something more stable than going from acting gig to acting gig.
Since LeVar Burton began campaigning to become the new permanent host of Jeopardy!, he's gained some serious momentum. The outcry of support for the Star Trek: TNG star started after some fans created a petition. At first, Burton seemed overwhelmed by the support before embracing the idea, but it didn't take him long to embrace it himself. But of course, the actor still has other things on his plate, as he's even scored an endorsement deal and a new TV gig in the midst of all the fanfare.
But the Roots star wasn’t done explaining his quest to become Jeopardy’s permanent host. While speaking on The Tamron Hall Show, LeVar Burton opened up about going after the hosting job so publicly. Burton said about taking a risk in advocating for the Jeopardy gig:
That's why I was so public about it. It could have backfired, but I felt like if I didn't do everything I could to advocate for the job, I would never forgive myself. So, I took a risk and was very, very public about wanting the job.
As the adage goes, you never know what will happen if you don’t try, and it seems LeVar Burton took that to heart. At this phase of his career, the actor has nothing to lose. Of course, it still could’ve backfired as he said, but it's admirable that he chose courage over fear in this case. It should also be mentioned that Burton’s Jeopardy! connection goes deeper than just hosting. The Star Trek vet revealed to Tamron Hall that he actually won Celebrity Jeopardy! many years ago and even recalled his Final Jeopardy! answer being late French president Charles de Gaulle.
LeVar Burton does indeed seem like a prime candidate for Jeopardy!'s permanent hosting, and he could end up earning it. But until that happens, you can catch Burton guest host on the game show from July 26-30.