Following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek in November 2020, the veteran game show has had several guest hosts, including show champion Ken Jennings, executive producer Mike Richards, Journalist Katie Couric, talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz and even Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. However, none have seemed to capture audiences fully.
Through a petition reportedly created by a person named Joshua Sanders and addressed to Sony Pictures Entertainment, Harry Friedman, and Mike Richards, a campaign is underway to get Burton on the show. “Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: the Next Generation, and filling the roll of Kunta Kinte in the ever important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” the description read. It continued, “This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we’d all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!” As of late, the petition has gained nearly 168,000 signatures from fans.
On Monday, April 5, the “Reading Rainbow” host reminded “the powers that be” on Twitter that he was still available for the job when he reposted a link to the Change.Org petition. “Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening…” he wrote.
Fans almost instantly flooded his comments section in agreement, including one fan who wrote, “While no one will ever be able to replace Alex, LeVar should be the one to carry the torch.” That person added, “He was a staple in many childhoods, encouraging young people to read, and explore this world. No one else comes close.”
Another commented, “LeVar Burton should be the next host of Jeopardy, because the show and its audience deserve someone who has devoted a portion of their life to making the world smarter since the show’s brand is the unapologetic display of, and joy for, intelligence.”
The 64-year-old has even garnered the support of several notable figures, including late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert, who backed the actor in a post shared to his Twitter page on Tuesday, April 6. “I think LeVar Burton should host Jeopardy! As Geordi La Forge. And the buzzers should be phasers. And Data should be the judge. And it should be in space. And just be Star Trek,” he wrote.
Actor Dick Van Dyke also shared the petition on his social, writing, “Sony Pictures Entertainment: LeVar Burton should be the next host of Jeopardy! – Sign the Petition!”
“And @levarburton SHOULD be the new host of @jeopardy,” comedian Yvette Nicole Brown expressed.