LeVar Burton Is Set to Make His Highly-Anticipated Debut As Host of ‘Jeopardy’

Image: Emily Berl for The Washington Post via Getty Images

LeVar Burton will finally realize his dream of hosting one of the most iconic game shows in the history of television on Monday.

The Reading Rainbow host and producer, who’s known for his classic performances as Kunta Kinte in Roots and Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation will host Jeopardy through July 30, according to the show’s website.

Burton received a groundswell of support when it became known that he was interested in hosting the show.

In 2013, LeVar Burton tweeted, “My dream job…? The new Host of #Jeopardy,” adding the hashtag #notevenkidding.

He even tweeted a link to a petition that nominated him as the new host after Alex Trebek’s retirement.

“Not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the @Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires,” Burton tweeted in 2020.

Trebek, who hosted the show for 37 years, retired in 2020. Trebek died on November 8, 2020, at age 80, after a 20-month battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

After almost a decade, Burton feels that hosting Jeopardy would be one of his greatest accomplishments. 

“It’s difficult to explain, but there’s something inside me that says this makes sense,” Burton told The New York Times in an interview last June. “I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. 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.”

In an interview with Good Morning America, Burton explained his excitement and preparation for the hosting gig.

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“For me, my standard of excellence is so intense that my initial approach was to try and be as good as Alex was,” Burton said. “Of course I realized right away that that was an impossibility—the man had 37 years to perfect his mastery.”

Burton’s wife, Stephanie, was on set working as his makeup artist during his first episode and she gave her honest opinion after his first taping. After seeing his performance she told him, “it wasn’t you.” Upon hearing his wife’s opinion, LeVar changed his approach and hosted the show in his own way.

Burton spoke about the importance of Stephanie’s words.

“Thank God for marrying a woman who will tell you the truth—what you need to know, when you need to know it,” Burton continued. “So after I got the heads up from Steph, I just went out there and tried to bring as much LeVar to the moment as I possibly could and I’m hoping that that worked out better.”


Jeopardy! airs weeknights on ABC at 7 p.m.

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