LeVar Burton Reveals the Bright Side To Not Getting the ‘Jeopardy!’ Hosting Gig

by Taylor Cunningham

Jeopardy! has been having one heck of a time trying to replace the legendary and overwhelmingly loved Alex Trebeck since his passing last year. The 37-year-old game show initially chose Mike Richards to fill Trebeck’s shoes, but that hire quickly ended after an onslaught of drama.

Then, Jeopardy! cycled through a few guest hosts and finally landed on a patch solution, which puts Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings behind the coveted podium. Throughout the rest of the season, the two will take turns running the show while the series continues its search for a permanent replacement.

One celebrity guest who tried his hand as Jeopardy! host was Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton. Burton was a natural in the position, and he had fans asking for more.

And at first, Burton had his hopes set on becoming the new full-time host. But ultimately, he didn’t get the gig, and he was okay with that decision.

“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,” he told NBC News.

Since declining the position on Jeopardy!, LeVar Burton has signed on to host the upcoming Trivial Pursuit series. And in an interview with Rolling Stone, The Star Trek alum shared that everything—including his failed run on Jeopardy!—happens for a reason.

“Even when we can’t figure out what it is in the moment, in the fullness of time, the answer always reveals itself. In this case, it happened sooner rather than later,” he said. “I didn’t have to wonder. It was demonstrated to me, the regard that I hold in people’s eyes. That’s worth so much more than a job, or money, or a car. It really is priceless to know that you have made a positive impact on lives.’

LaVar Burton Believes There Not Getting the Hosting Job with ‘Jeopardy!’ was a Blessing in Disguise

If Jeopardy! execs called LeVar Burton and offered him the job as host of their game show, you know what he’d say?

“You’ve got to be kidding me! You’re out of your mind. Goodbye!”

At least, that’s what he told the Daily Beast last month.

During an interview, the new face of Trivial Pursuit admitted that hosting Jeopardy! was initially his dream job. But he’s since realized not getting the gig worked out better than he “could ever have imagined.”

“I want to make it clear, for the record, that I’m really happy with the way things worked out,” Burton said. “I was disappointed to not get the job, but I’m the sort of person, I believe that everything happens for a reason. And if I didn’t get that job, that meant it wasn’t supposed to be for me, and I accepted that almost instantly and willingly.”