‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Gives ‘Special Shoutout’ to Person Who Started Petition For Him to Guest Host

by Thad Mitchell

Ever-popular quiz show Jeopardy! is forging ahead with celebrity guest hosts in the absence of the late Alex Trebek.

The longtime Jeopardy! host is a legend on the screen and an icon in the entertainment business. Since his passing last year, the show has employed a unique strategy with a rotating door behind the host’s lectern. The job is currently in the hands of journalist Anderson Cooper and he will remain in the position till next Friday. Before Cooper took the reigns, NFL superstar Aaron Rodgers presided over Jeopardy! matches. Rodgers, who says he wants the full-time hosting gig, drew excellent reviews for his tenure.

On Wednesday, Jeopardy! officials announced additional celebrity guest hosts that will round out the show’s 37th season. The list is highlighted by former “Star Trek” and “Reading Rainbow” star LeVar Burton. Others joining him on the list include journalist Robin Roberts, sports announcer Joe Buck and journalist George Stephanopoulos.

Jeopardy! Fans Get LeVar Burton a Hosting Gig

It took some doing to get Burton on Jeopardy! even after he lobbied hard for the position. A fan of Burton started a petition to get the television star a guest-hosting opportunity. When the Change.org fan petition began circulating, the goal was to get a few thousand signatures. As of Thursday morning, the petition was nearing 250,000 names that want to see Burton on Jeopardy!.

The petition is a success as Burton will assume the Jeopardy! hosting position later this year. His official hosting dates are not yet known but will be announced in the near future. On Wednesday, Burton thanked the person for starting the petition.

“Special shout-out to Joshua Sanders who started the petition!” he says in the Wednesday afternoon tweet.

On the surface, Burton appears to be the perfect fit for Jeopardy! hosting duties. Known for his intellect and calm demeanor, he will be more than comfortable in the game show’s bright lights. With a successful outing as guest host, the actor could receive consideration for the full-time gig. Upon learning that he would be getting the opportunity, he was quick to express gratitude to those who made it happen.

“THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!” he writes in a social media post. “I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy! I will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.”