LeVar Burton is READY for Jeopardy! The former Reading Rainbow host is not only preparing for his two-week stint as guest host in late July, but he is also hoping that he scores the permanent host gig of the iconic game show.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, LeVar reveals why Jeopardy is his dream gig. “It’s difficult to explain, but there’s something inside me that says this makes sense. I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do,” LeVar explains. “I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant.”
Burton further shares, “Look, I have had a career for the ages. Roots, Star Trek, Reading Rainbows. Won a Grammy. Got a shelf full of Emmys. I’m a storyteller, and game shows are tremendous stories. There’s a contest, there’s comedy, there’s drama. If you don’t know your sh– on Jeopardy! you’re sunk in full view of the entire nation. The stakes are high. I love that.”
LeVar Burton Discusses His Planned Approach to Guest Hosting Duties on ‘Jeopardy!’
While revealing how he is planning on approaching the guest-hosting gig, LeVar Burton comments, “My goal is to be authentic to myself as well as have a relationship with those that I come in contact with through storytelling. That’s the nature of who I am. We love to make each other feel good, and feeling good is one of the privileges of being human, as is feeling at all. I gravitate towards the good vibe. As Jessica Rabbit said, ‘I’m just drawn that way.’”
LeVar also says that he has somewhat influence on those who watch Jeopardy! and grew up watching Reading Rainbow. “I feel like in some respects that I helped raise these younger generations that grew up watching Reading Rainbow, Burton notes. “That means something to them, and it means something to me. We’re invested in each other’s successes.”
In regards to his reaction if he doesn’t get the full-time gig on Jeopardy! LeVar Burton adds, “It will hurt. I’m not going to lie. But if that happens, I will get over it. I will be fine. Remember: Everything happens perfectly and for a reason. That is my default. It’s all going to be OK. Because it always is.”
LeVar Burton is set to guest host on Jeopardy! from July 23rd – July 30th. There is currently a petition on Change.org that is dedicated to LeVar Burton becoming the permanent host of Jeopardy! and nearly 255,000 people have signed it. The show has so far seen hosting talents from Savannah Guthrie, Anderson Cooper, Aaron Rogers, and Ken Jennings. CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is set to kick off his two-week stint on the Jeopardy! stage this evening.