‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Reacts to Being Tapped as Guest-Host, ‘Overjoyed, Excited, and Eager’

by Joe Rutland

When “Jeopardy!” super-fan LeVar Burton found out on Wednesday that he’s getting a chance to guest-host the game show, he was really happy.

Well, saying that Burton was really happy is an understatement. Burton had been open about his desire to get a chance behind the lectern. The final list of guest hosts was released on Wednesday and his name is on there.

In a tweet following the announcement, Burton appeared overjoyed with the news.

Burton joins ABC’s Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, FOX Sports broadcaster Joe Buck, and CNBC anchor David Faber to rap up the show’s 37th season.

Burton Fans Actively Petitioning For Actor To Get ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Role

Fans of the actor have been petitioning for weeks to get Burton on there. One of them reached more than 200,000 signatures. Burton hasn’t been silent in his desire to take over for the late Alex Trebek on a full-time basis on “Jeopardy!”.

“This is something that I really think is a good idea,” he said during a USA TODAY podcast. “I think it’s a good fit of what the show is, what the show requires and what I feel like I bring to the table. I feel as strongly about my rightness for this as I did about Kunta and Geordi. And I’m that invested in getting the job.”

Burton references his Kunta Kinte role in ABC’s award-winning TV series “Roots.” He also tips his hat toward playing Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

‘Reading Rainbow’ Became Doorway For LeVar Burton To Advance Literacy

Many children grew up, though, watching Burton as the host of PBS’ “Reading Rainbow.” Burton has been active in supporting literacy programs throughout the United States.

If “Jeopardy!” wanted to have a host with some educational ties already on TV, then Burton would fill that spot.

“I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me,” Burton said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “And I will go to my grave believing that.”

Fans certainly seem to agree. Burton first became interested after that fan petition came to his attention. It’s reached more than 220,000 signatures and keeps on growing. Burton takes that petition to heart.

“They want this for me as much as I want it for me, I believe, because it makes so much sense to them too,” Burton said. “Love of the franchise, check. Loves knowledge and curiosity, check. I spent 26 years talking directly to people through the camera lens, check. I bring an audience of Gen X-ers and millennials—checkmate!”