During a recent interview with “Entertainment Weekly,” the 64-year-old pleaded his case as to why he should be the one to take over for the late Alex Trebek, who hosted the show from 1984 to 2020. Trebek passed away on Saturday, November 8, 2020, after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Burton maintains that he’s the candidate for the job, telling the outlet, “I’ve thought and thought and thought—I’ve asked friends and family to help me identify someone out there who’s more qualified for the job than I am.” He continued, “I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me. And I will go to my grave believing that.” The “Reading Rainbow” host also believes his “whole career is an advertisement for being the host” of ‘Jeopardy.’
Burton has been adamant about earning a permanent place as host of the show. Two months before Trebek’s passing, Burton took to his Twitter account, writing, “Not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the @Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires.”
He isn’t alone in the quest to get him on the game show. A petition on Change.org was reportedly created by a person named Joshua Sanders and addressed to Sony Pictures Entertainment, Harry Friedman and Mike Richards in an attempt to hire the star. The campaign has since accumulated over 228,000 supporters by way of signatures since its creation several months ago.
The description read, “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 role 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.” 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!”
On Monday, April 5, Burton shared the petition on his Twitter page with the caption, “Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening…”
“Jeopardy!” has had several guest hosts since Trebek’s passing, including show champion Ken Jennings, journalist Katie Couric and talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz.