There’s been so much drama in selecting the next host of Jeopardy!, with the hiring and subsequent resignation of Mike Richards, to Mayim Bialik’s constant shifting in position, to the reported reintroduction of one-time hosting hopeful Ken Jennings. As it stands right now, Sony Pictures Television and Jeopardy! producers have confirmed that they’ve locked in Mayim and Ken as co-hosts for the rest of the season until they can decide on a forever host. And during this messy process, you haven’t had to look very far to find someone yelling, “Jesus, just give the job to LeVar Burton!“. A whole lot of people wanted to see LeVar Burton replace Alex Trebek after his passing. And at one point in time, LeVar himself wanted to be that person. But then LeVar got a chance to host the show as one of the many, many guests hosts, and that’s about as far as he’d like his Jeopardy! journey to go.
LeVar appeared on The Daily Show Thursday night, and he was asked by Trevor Noah about the intense fan reaction to his Jeopardy! stint and the fan-led campaign to get him hired as the permanent host. LeVar knows how supportive and committed those fans were, but to LeVar, a big part of the excitement came from competing for the job. And, he was absolutely ok when he didn’t get it because better opportunities presented themselves as a result. via GoldDerby:
“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. 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.
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. 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? And, so, the opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up. 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.”
Trevor added that it’s like the shipwreck that leads you to a magical island, and LeVar agreed, saying the island was where he was meant to be all along.
“When you set your sights on something, 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.”@levarburton opens up about his “Jeopardy!” saga and the new game show he's cooking up. pic.twitter.com/IPywwJGNFi
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 17, 2021
LeVar didn’t get super specific with where that magic island is located, or what kind of job opportunities were awaiting him there. It’s a magic island, so I assume he won’t have to do regular shipwrecked island jobs, like making a coconut radio, or preventing Gilligan from getting into any wacky hijinx. But Trevor suggested LeVar start developing a literary game show for himself, to which LeVar confirmed that’s something he’s doing. That is a game show I’m into. Jeopardy! has too many confusing, difficult categories, like Cold War World Leaders and Greek History. Books, I can do. Well, okay, not all books. Some books. A few books. Look, I would absolutely kill it in a category called Trashy Memoirs, or Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries.