Jeopardy! executives, LeVar Burton wants you to lose his number. Don’t bother calling him, even with a job offer.
He’d take the call then say: “You’ve got to be kidding me! You’re out of your mind. Goodbye!’”
Why the change in attitude, considering Burton really wanted the permanent hosting gig for Jeopardy!? That career window closed and Burton is cool with that, he told The Daily Beast in a recent interview.
“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.
“I know that the opportunities that are in front of me right now wouldn’t have come my way had I gotten the job, so I’m certain that this has worked out better for me than I could ever have imagined.”
With the Jeopardy! window shuttered, others opened. Last week, the Rose Bowl named Burton as its grand marshal for its 2022 event. Plus, Burton recently completed his second children’s book. It’s called “A Kids Book About Imagination.” You can pre-order now. The book is available next month.
When Alex Trebek died last November, Jeopardy! producers turned to a rotation of guest hosts as the show carried on. However, the quiz show still has no replacement for Trebek.
Burton Fans Petitioned ‘Jeopardy!’ to Make Him a Guest Host
Burton and his fans really pushed for the former star of Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation and PBS Kids Reading Rainbow. Burton wasn’t originally included among the brainy celebrity hosts.
However, there was a groundswell of support for Burton, with fans petitioning Jeopardy! to consider him as host. Burton did a five-day stint as host this summer. He made so much sense as a host. Burton won on Celebrity Jeopardy! in 1995 and is a long-time fan of the show.
While Burton certainly had the passion for the job, Jeopardy! executives probably already had their minds made up. Mike Richards was the permanent host — for a few days. After some of his past statements came out, Richards was dumped. The show now is using former grand champion Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik until it figures it all out, again.
And Burton still is holding steady about Jeopardy! So don’t call him.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something, you know, 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 said during an interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
“I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won,” Burton said. “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”