LeVar Burton thanks fans for petition to have him host Jeopardy!

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Last week we lost Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, the host of the show since 1984. Fans are still mourning Alex’s death. Before he passed, Alex filmed new Jeopardy! episodes which will air through to Christmas.

Jeopardy! will need to find a new host for the show. In Jeopardy’s! statement confirming Alex’s death, the show’s executives stated that they will not be announcing Alex’s replacement anytime soon. Alex has jokingly suggested Betty White be his replacement. In 2018, Alex seriously suggested announcer Alex Faust or CNN legal correspondent Laura Coates as his replacement. However, fans of Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton created a Change.org petition calling for Jeopardy! to consider him as Alex’s Replacement. The petition has gotten over 90k signatures so far. LeVar stated in a post that even if nothing comes of the campaign that he was flattered. Below is more on the story from Entertainment Tonight:

“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 Change.org petition reads. “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!”

Burton reacted to the petition on Thursday, writing on Twitter, “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support! 🙏🏾♥️.”

Trebek joked about his successor in an interview with Good Morning America in July.

“I joke with the audience all the time and I say, ‘Betty White,’ because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier,” he said of the 98-year-old actress. “Betty and I have been friends for a long, long time.”

[From Entertainment Tonight]

I just feel like it is seriously tacky to be calling for Alex’s replacement already. Alex has only been dead a week and people need time to mourn his loss. For those who grew up watching Jeopardy! Alex is a TV personality who almost feels like family. So it’s gonna take some time for us to accept that he is gone.

When the show does begin to look for Alex’s replacement, hopefully they will consider Alex’s suggestions. Although I don’t mind the idea of LeVar Burton succeeding Alex Trebek, I think it would be cool if a Black women took over the spot. Laura Coates has a very unique background and would be a cool choice as there are hardly any women, especially Black women, hosting game shows. (Leslie Jones hosts the new Supermarket Sweep. I can’t think of any other Black women currently hosting game shows.) I will say that the idea of Betty White stepping in, even for just a season, would warm my cold dark heart as well.

It is premature to start calling for a new host of the show. I personally am still mourning Alex. He was definitely a staple on my TV growing up. I will miss his dry humor and kindness. He will forever be the host of Jeopardy! in my mind.

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21 Responses to “LeVar Burton thanks fans for petition to have him host Jeopardy!”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    As tacky as this may come across, I guess the saying is true: The show must go on. Maybe they are thinking this soon about a replacement because of how long it will take to get everything in place????? I don’t know. BUT I love the idea of LeVar hosting.

    • FancyPants says:

      That was my first thought: the show must go on! There are writers and camera people and set designers and caterers and etc., etc., who work on the “Jeopardy” production too and need to keep the ball rolling. Alex Trebek was a compassionate person and he knew he wouldn’t live forever, and I like to think he wouldn’t want his coworkers to miss a paycheck.

  2. Erinn says:

    Honestly they might as well just bring in the guy who’s won a ton of times 🤷🏻‍♀️ I think that would be a respectful move, and I think it would fit. The thing is – almost every single game show is pretty freaking lame. It’s just this big goofy embarrassing mess of bad jokes. Jeopardy is different though – it’s MUCH more subdued and serious but in a way that’s still entertaining. I hate most of the names floated around – someone ACTUALLY suggested that doofus Steve Harvey and I think that’s insulting – he’s a giant sexist douche and we already know he struggles to read the queue cards 🙄. I’d be okay with Levar though – I loved reading rainbow and I don’t think he’d be overly silly or anything.

    ETA: I think people are also quick to suggest replacements because we kind of knew we would need one in the near future. Alex put up an amazing fight, but he had late stage cancer. It was only going to be a matter of time, and I think myself and at least a good number of others had kind of started the grieving early? My grandmother was diagnosed with late stage kidney cancer about two weeks ago. She’s 95. I’ve been sobbing pretty much daily since then – the grieving process is in full swing and she is still alive. I think with things like cancer – especially when you’ve been given a ballpark span of time before a loved one leaves you – the grieving is a lot earlier.

    • Noodle says:

      @erinn, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. What terrible news in a terrible time. She sounds like a very-much-loved woman, which says a lot about her character.

    • holly hobby says:

      Steve Harvey is the worse emcee. He can’t read the questions out fast enough on Family Feud. They always had to tack on time because he either misreads or can’t do it fast enough.

      I would love LeVar Burton! He read to my kids when they were younger. He can educate them now on Jeopardy!

  3. Giggles says:

    Signed! Brilliant idea.

  4. Flamingo says:

    Betty hasn’t done any public events in a few years. She’s almost 100, I think that she’s decided to slow down.

  5. FHMom says:

    I have no idea who could replace Alex. Maybe Ken Jennings if he is interested? Honestly, though, I’m not sure he has the personality. It seems to early to be talking about a replacement. Maybe Jeopardy! should take a long hiatus. Rest In Peace, Alex.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Ken Jennings is too bland, Buzzy Cohen and Austin Rogers are too…. not bland. I think if they are interested in pulling from their pool of winners, Brad Rutter would be the best choice. But I would not have a single issue with Laura Coates or LeVar Burton. They would be wonderful.

      • MrsRoper says:

        Buzzy Cohen wanted the gig so bad.

        I would nominate Sam Elliott, but that’s only because I want to hear him read the answers in That Voice.

  6. SJ Knows says:

    LeVar is looking good in these pics!
    He’d be good as a host.

    $5 says Ken Jennings gets the job, tho.

    It is gonna take some time to get a new show up and running, heck even the daytime soaps were shut down for a while. Btw, lockdown has caused me out of shear boredom, to turn on the Y&R. Haven’t seen it in about 15 years, yeah, I’m watching it for the fashions, which are pretty good + they cast some pretty dang hecking good looking men. Stupid plots are still in vogue tho.

  7. jessamine says:

    I don’t think I would ever have come up with Levar Burton as an Alex Trebek replacement on my own, but I love it. Jeopardy is something I grew up watching and the only game show I’ve every truly enjoyed but I think Levar could have the ultra-low-key warmth and humor that Alex exemplified. As long as it doesn’t keep him from his podcast!!! Levar Burton Reads is a medically necessary staple of my 2020 Pandemic Hellscape survival pack.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Alex was fighting stage 4 cancer. The show had to know this day was coming sooner rather than later.

    We, the audience, knew he was fighting stage 4 cancer and knew that replacing him was going to come sooner rather than later.

    It would be tacky if Alex’s death really came as a surprise.

    I think there are going to be guest host for about six months and then a host will be announced.

  9. FilmTurtle says:

    Nicole Byer is the host of “Nailed It!” on Netflix and was the first Black woman to be Emmy-nominated for hosting a game show this year.

    She’s VERY high-energy/wacky, in the Leslie Jones mold. I think Jane Lynch is hosting something now, but Nicole and Leslie are the only two Black female game show hosts.

  10. Mrs. Peel says:

    I nominate Neil deGrasse Tyson – he’d be perfect.

  11. Amelie says:

    No one will ever be able to truly replace Alex Trebek. His subdued yet witty energy and his kindness to the contestants are hallmarks you can’t replace. He was a decent human being who took his job seriously but he also had fun doing his job and it showed.

    I wouldn’t mind having Levar Burton host Jeopardy! and in a lot of ways it makes sense. But I really do think Ken Jennings is the one being groomed for the job. A few months ago it was announced he was being hired on as a “consultant,” a very thinly veiled move indicating he intends to remain heavily involved in Jeopardy!. To me it’s clear they will announce Ken in a few months, once Alex’s final episodes have aired and the public has had time to mourn.

  12. bettyrose says:

    Thanks for the link. I signed!

  13. ClaireB says:

    I’m apparently in the minority, but Alex Trebek always creeped me out. Something about his eyes looked soulless to me. Lots of industry people say he was a great guy, so I’m sure I’m wrong, but I never got into Jeopardy because of him.

    I don’t know how LeVar Burton would be as a host, but I do have lots of fond memories of him from RR and ST:TNG. I think if they just give it to another white guy, even if he is the all time winner, they’re missing a good opportunity to commit to on-screen diversity.

    • bettyrose says:

      I think Levar Burton would excel at this because – per RR – he can display knowledge on a subject without being smug. The host of jeopardy has to appear to be familiar with all the topics (even though that’s not humanly possible). Also, I just pushed my SO to sign the petition by promising him Burton would wear the visor.

  14. Kristen says:

    I really like Levar Burton, but his personality is really, really different from Alex Trebek. Trebek was an incredibly kind and gracious human, but he also had a pretty stiff, formal personality (that was a great fit for the show). Someone like Ken Jennings is actually better suited to a trivia program than Burton.

  15. Chrissy says:

    You guys, I have been honestly been watching Jeopardy since the 80’s. My dad, may he rest in peace, would have us sit and watch as a family every night and now my family does the same. I think the clear winner for Alex’s replacement, which I agree – it is a bit too soon to be discussing as the man just passed – is Ken Jennings. Though these are great suggestions and I think they would both be great as hosts, Kenn is the all time Jeopardy winner and a consultant on the show now.