The internet’s mission to help LeVar Burton become the host of the long-running game show Jeopardy! has come to an end now that Burton himself ain’t interested in the gig. This adds another chapter into this Summer’s odd saga of “Who Will Host Jeopardy!”
In an interview with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, the former Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek actor explained why he was no longer interested in hosting the show.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something… they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” Burton explained on The Daily Show’s September 16 episode. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like ‘Well, okay, what’s next?’”
Back in April 2021, Burton himself made it publicly known via Twitter that he wanted the role. The previous host, beloved personality Alex Trebek, passed away on November 8, 2020 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. This prompted Sony to field a series of guest hosts while figuring out the game show’s future.
Many online pushed hard for Burton to get the role, and he did end up guest hosting the show from July 26 to July 30.
Other interim hosts included the surprisingly solid Aaron Rodgers and the completely awful and idiotic Doctor Oz. However, it was revealed on August 11 that the new host for the show would actually be executive producer Mike Richards. Many suggested he had essentially picked himself to host the show. Others just found him boring and a bad choice. None of this really mattered because just a week after becoming the new host, Richards was out following the reveal of sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic comments he had made on a past podcast he produced. Eventually, he was completely let go by Sony late last month and is no longer the EP on either Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy!
After all this, and some other nonsense with Mayim Bialik—a different bad host hired by Sony—many just wanted Burton to be given the gig they felt perfectly suited him. However, LeVar Burton is no longer interested in hosting the show.
“The opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up,” said Burton. “If you had given me a pen and paper and said, ‘Well, so what do you want this to really look like?’ If it doesn’t include ‘Jeopardy!,’ I wouldn’t have been this generous to myself.”
Burton did tease that one of these new opportunities might be a totally new game show designed for him, telling The Daily Show he and his partners were trying to “figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be.”
Meanwhile, Sony has announced Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will host the remaining episodes of “Jeopardy!” for the rest of the year, though Variety reports that the hunt for a new, permanent host is still ongoing. Maybe, Sony will finally pick someone that doesn’t suck!? One can hope. I mean, how hard can it be? Really. Seriously.