‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Thanks Fans for ‘Love and Support’ After Ending Bid To Host Show

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

In case you haven’t heard, LeVar Burton is kindly finished with being considered as a host for “Jeopardy!”. Despite hundreds of thousands of fans clamoring for him to get the job, it’s lost its appeal to Burton.

The former guest host revealed that the permanent host job is no longer at the top of his wish list in a recent interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. He reflected on how incredible the fans’ encouragement has been over the past year, and how he never realized how much reach he had with so many people.

“You know, we did a Kickstarter several years ago,” Burton said. “I discovered then that the generation of adults now, who grew up on ‘Reading Rainbow,’ they were down with whatever it is I wanted to do, and the same was true with this ‘Jeopardy!’ thing. I made it public that I wanted it for myself, that it made sense to me, and they were all about it. It made as much sense to them as it did to me. And, so, they wanted it for me as much as I wanted it.”

But the former “Jeopardy!” guest host also learned that sometimes the things you want the most can change in the blink of an eye.

“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 explained. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like, well, okay, what’s next?”

LeVar Burton Thanks His Fans For Fervent Support of Him Being Next ‘Jeopardy!’ Host

Trevor Noah compared Burton’s “Jeoaprdy!” experience to “the shipwreck that leads you to the magical island.” That analogy really resonated with Burton, who agreed that “what’s next” could be very magical indeed.

He used the analogy himself when he thanked all of his fans on Twitter. Burton quote tweeted The Daily Show’s interview with him and included the messsage, “My sincere thanks to all y’all for your love and support. I’ll see you on the island!” Magical island, that is.

Burton hinted that not accepting the “Jeopardy!” job actually has opened several doors for him that he didn’t have access to before.

“The opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up,” Burton continued. “If you had given me a pen and paper and said, well, so what do you want this to really look like? If it doesn’t include Jeopardy!’? I wouldn’t have been this generous to myself.”

He concluded with, “I never thought about hosting any other game show outside of ‘Jeopardy!’ But now, they went in a different direction with their show, which is their right, and now I’m thinking, well, it does kind of make sense, let me see what I can do. So we’re trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be.”