‘Jeopardy!’: Levar Burton Set to Finish, How Does He Stack Up Against Previous Guest Hosts?

by Chris Haney

As actor LeVar Burton‘s guest-hosting spot on Jeopardy! comes to a close tonight, we’re looking back to see how he fared compared to the other interims so far.

Burton made his desire to host the game show well known in recent months. Jeopardy! has used numerous celebrities as interims since iconic host Alex Trebek passed away in November 2020. In fact, the Roots and Star Trek star was the first person to reach out to Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards about the gig. Burton is a lifelong fan of the show and thinks he’d be the perfect full-time replacement for Trebek.

This past week, starting on Monday, he’s had an opportunity to take over the Jeopardy! podium for an audition of sorts. He’s been able to show fans of the popular game show what he brings to the table if he’s chosen as the next permanent host. Further, he gets to show the show’s staff what he’s made of. With a decision expected next month, we’re all looking forward to finding out who’s picked to take over the famous role.

Now that Burton’s time on the show is coming to a close, it’s time to see how he stacked up against the other guest hosts to date. TV Line shared a recent poll on Thursday asking viewers who their pick is for the next permanent host.

‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Vote For The Next Permanent Host

The actor and current guest host will be pleased with the results. Out of more than 1,600 fans, Burton led all other guest hosts with 22.5% of the votes, according to the TV Line poll. Following Burton, actress Mayim Bialik came in second (20.51%) and former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings came in third (19.76%).

In addition, many fans liked executive producer Mike Richards when he took over the show. He earned 8.94% of the vote, which put him in 4th place. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers came in 5th with 7.16% of the vote. And another former Jeopardy! champion, Buzzy Cohen, round out the Top 6 with 6.92% of the votes.

There were eight other guest hosts who have filled in for Trebek this season. In the poll, 5.18% of fans voted honestly and cast their ballot saying they were “Undecided.” Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta came in 8th place with 2.46% of the vote, and all other interims fell even further down the list. The rest of the guest hosts finished in this order: Robin Roberts, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, Savannah Guthrie, Bill Whitaker, Katie Couric, and then Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Guest Host LeVar Burton Admits to First Day Jitters

LeVar Burton’s one-week stint as Jeopardy! guest host seemed to got really well according to fans who voted. We’re not sure he could’ve asked for a better result considering he topped the poll. However, in a recent Associated Press article, Burton opened up about his first day. The Reading Rainbow host admitted his nerves got the best of him.

“I’ve jumped out of airplanes, I’ve walked over hot coals… [but] this was a real challenge,” Burton explained. “I came backstage after taping the first episode and I said to [my wife] Stephanie [Cozart Burton], ‘Well, how did I do?’ She said, ‘Ehhh.’ Now, this is a woman who loves me enough to tell me the truth. She said it wasn’t me.”