LeVar Burton Is FINALLY Getting His Chance To Guest Host Jeopardy!

LeVar Hosts Jeopardy
(Getty/Ian Tuttle)

It is finally happening. Jeopardy producers have heard the groundswell of support for former ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Reading Rainbow’ star LeVar Burton and have caved to the internet’s demands. The show named it’s final group of guest hosts for the season and emphasized Burton would be one of them. He is finally getting his chance to guest host Jeopardy.

It started with a petition, one that Dick Van Dyke even endorsed. Hundreds of thousands of fans added their voices to it. And then Burton even started campaigning for the spot, saying he’s been a fan since BEFORE the Trebek era and watches the show every night. And now, he will fulfill his dream and get his tryout as a host.

Will it be strong enough to remove the interim tag? Will the show go back to widely expected heir Ken Jennings? Time will tell on that front. But what is important is the producers, who seemed oblivious to the overwhelming chorus pulling for Burton, finally gave the people what they wanted.

Burton seemed ecstatic on social media.

“THANK YOU…to all y’all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy! and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.’

Joining Burton in the final group of guest hosts is Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Joe Buck, and David Faber. All pale in comparison to the legendary Burton.

Jeopardy producer Mike Richards (who made himself a guest host at one point as well) said “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”

The dates for the final guest hosts are still TBD, but it’s expected they will air over the summer as season 37 concludes in August.

Dick Van Dyke Wants LeVar Burton To Host Jeopardy

Van Dyke Backs LeVar Burton
(Change.org)

Since the late, great Alex Trebek passed away last year, Jeopardy has been allowing various celebrities to host the iconic game show. These short-term hosting gigs serve two purposes: they fill gaps, and they provide auditions.

Famous Jeopardy champion and Twitter comedian Ken Jennings, future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, even controversial celebrity doctor Dr. Oz have all taken turns guest-hosting as the producers of the show consider Trebek‘s permanent replacement.

One name that won’t go away is beloved TV personality LeVar Burton. famous for Roots, Reading Rainbow, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Burton is a beloved star who is openly campaigning for the role. There is a petition on Change.org asking for signatures in support of Burton as the host.

And now he’s getting some famous support!

TV legend Dick Van Dyke tweeted out the petition, making it clear that he wants to see LeVar Burton hosting the long-running TV show.

And Late Night host Stephen Colbert agrees, although he has slightly different ideas for the format of the show:

Nearly 200,000 people, including Colbert and Dick and Arlene Van Dyke, have signed the petition, which lists Burton’s bonafides as a TV personality: “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. 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!”

There is no indication yet that Sony has seen the petition or is paying any attention to it, and no decision is forthcoming. Aaron Rodgers is currently hosting – and getting roasted by contestants, and Anderson Cooper and Mayim Bialik are set to host soon.

While Donating His Father’s Wardrobe, Trebek’s Son Made Sure To Keep One Item

Trebek Son Memento
(Getty/Rob Kim)

Alex Trebek made such an impact on so many people during his life, and even after his passing, his legacy continues to make an impact. For instance, much of his wardrobe from his time as the legendary host of “Jeopardy” was donated to the Doe Fund. It was his son Matthew’s idea to carry on his legacy of giving, and together with the Jeopardy costumer, they donated more than 14 suits, 58 dress shirts, 300 ties, and more to the organization that helps homeless and formerly incarcerated people find stable jobs.

Trebek’s formal wear is now being used by folks hoping to make a great first impression on life-changing job interviews. But there was one memento Matthew kept to remember his dad. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Trebek said he kept one piece of his formal attire.

“I kept a tie that my mom had given my dad,” he said. “As far as clothing goes, that was probably the most important item. Almost everything from ‘Jeopardy!’ went to The Doe Fund, and now we just have his closet at home here. We’ll still sort through those (items), but for right now, those are kind of staying put.”

Matthew said seeing his dad’s suits on the men from the Doe Fund program has made him feel great, and that it’s “really meaningful and really heartwarming.” He also said his dad, who supported a wide variety of charitable causes, would feel pretty good about it too.

“I think giving second chances, and helping guys who had a bit of a rough past get back on their feet, I think it’s a great mission, and something me and my family all support,” he said.

While much of that wardrobe is being used for a great cause, there is that one tie that will be serving an even greater cause, helping a son remember his dad.

Trebek’s Daughter Pays Tribute to Dad’s Cancer Awareness Work

Trebek Tribute By Nicky
(Instagram/nickytrebek)

A few days ago Alex Trebek’s daughter reflected on her dad’s legacy on the two-year anniversary of his cancer announcement. The TV icon passed away from cancer late last year but left behind a lifetime of generosity, wit, and decades of quality entertainment.

Nicky Trebek took to Instagram sharing a photo with her late dad:

It was 2 years ago today while we were working on the Jeopardy set that my dad bravely stepped out in front of the cameras to announce he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He brought much-needed awareness to this terrible disease and provided hope to so many struggling. I’m beyond proud of him for his courage and integrity throughout his illness. So I’m continuing what he started and will fight for everyone affected by pancreatic cancer.

That’s why I support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in their mission to improve patient outcomes. You can too by visiting and donating.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nicky Trebek (@nickytrebek)

She also shared the panCAN.org website where others can join the fight. Inspired by her dad’s legacy, fans poured donations to the charity.

Alex Trebek made himself a fixture in people’s homes, in their hearts, and that lasting legacy will benefit the battle with pancreatic cancer for years to come.

Alex Trebek’s Wardrobe Is Donated To Organization That Helps Homeless Find Jobs

Alex Trebek's Wardrobe was Donated to Organization Helping Homeless Find Jobs
(YouTube/Eyewitness News ABC7NY)

Throughout his life, Alex Trebek was a vocal activist and a passionate philanthropist. He was active in World Vision organizations, donated land for conservation, visited military bases around the world to show his support for the troops, made substantial contributions to causes involving education and homelessness – truly, the list goes on. As someone who was both passionate about philanthropy and fatherhood, Trebek passed his drive to help others onto his kids.

Matthew Trebek, Alex’s son, followed in his dad’s generous footsteps, actively supporting organizations like The Doe Fund. According to its website, “The Doe Fund’s mission is to break the cycle of homelessness, incarceration, and recidivism by providing holistic services, housing, and work opportunities.”

The Doe Fund’s “Ready, Willing & Able” program helps men with histories of homelessness, incarceration, and unemployment become self-sufficient through a combination of social services, sobriety support, career training, and more. As men work through The Doe Fund’s program, they attend interviews to secure jobs that will allow them to become self-supporting.

As with any job interview, first impressions are essential – but when you’re unable to afford professional clothes, the stress of a job interview becomes even greater. While mourning the passing of his dad, Matthew Trebek had an idea – one that would allow his dad to do one final charitable act.

Matthew and Jeopardy! costumer Steven Zimbelman packed up Trebek’s wardrobe and donated hundreds of articles of clothing to The Doe Fund’s admirable cause. 58 dress shirts, 14 suits, 300 ties, 25 polos, 14 sweaters, 9 sports coats, 9 pairs of dress shoes, 15 belts, 2 parkas, and 3 pairs of dress slacks will now help hard-working men make a winning first impression.

“During his last day on set, Alex extolled the virtues of everyone opening up their hands and their hearts to those who are suffering,” Mike Richards, Executive Producer, Jeopardy! Told Deadline. “Donating his wardrobe to those who are working to rebuild their lives is the perfect way to begin to honor that last request.”

Alex, we salute you.

Jeopardy Superfan Creates Incredible LEGO Tribute to Trebek

Jeopardy Lego
(YouTube/Douglas Hughes)

As Jeopardy navigates through the post-Trebek era and the brave new world of interim hosts, some fans still aren’t yet ready to say goodbye to Alex. After the longtime iconic gameshow host passed away last fall from his battle with pancreatic cancer, everyone in the community paid tribute and memorialized the legend.

And some fans have found their own way to pay tribute to his memory. One Jeopardy superfan in Canada took it to the next level, though, with his kinetic Lego recreation of Trebek presiding over the Jeopardy GOAT tournament of champions.

The creation has actual moving pieces, including the GOAT contestants Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter reaching for their buzzers and the podiums also light up. Doug Hughes created the masterpiece to honor Trebek’s memory. His wife shared it on social media.

Ken Jennings, the first interim host, saw the creation and was pretty impressed. And, true to his style, he was quick with a dad joke-esque pun: “LEGOAT”

NFL Star’s Alex Trebek Cleats Auctioned Off for Pancreatic Cancer Charity

Trebek Cleats
(Twitter/athielen19)

Alex Trebek was one of the most iconic TV hosts of all time, and his passing was truly one of the low moments (of many) in 2020. Fans and admirers of all stripes are now paying tribute to the legendary host, and among those is one of the most electric wide receivers in the NFL

Minnesota Vikings star Adam Thielen honored Trebek’s passing with a pair of FIRE custom cleats. And now, he’s auctioning them off to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the deadly disease.

“In honor of the last episode airing today of Jeopardy! with the late, great Alex Trebek hosting, Thielen Foundation is auctioning off my custom pre-game worn cleats,” he wrote.

In case you’re curious how much magic is in those cleats, Thielen did catch two touchdowns in the game after warming up in them.

The cleats feature Trebek in a halo and a Jeopardy! clue style image with “We will miss you, Alex” in the placard. Trebek was dedicated to raising awareness for pancreatic cancer prevention and charities during his battle with the terrible disease, and his advocacy will certainly make a difference in the lives of many.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers To Guest-Host Jeopardy After Playoffs

Rodgers to Guest Host Jeopardy!
(Twitter/PatMcAfeeShow)

For 36 years, Alex Trebek and his famous mustache were the face of Jeopardy. In November, the beloved game show host passed away after a valiant battle with cancer, and now the producers of the show are scrambling to find a replacement. But whoever takes over for Trebek will have big shoes to fill, and the people behind the decision are not taking it lightly.

Many names have been tossed around, and several celebrities will appear as guest hosts over the next few weeks before a final decision is made. Ken Jennings, the popular former champion with a large Twitter following and quick wit, went first, Katie Couric is coming soon, and now a football player with a history of competing may be next. But potentially not until after the Super Bowl.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a longtime fan of the show and even won the Celebrity Tournament in $50,000 (and donated his winnings to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).

The QB, currently prepping for his team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Rams in this Saturday’s divisional round of the NFL playoffs, appeared on the Pat McAfee show and spilled the beans.

“I’m really excited about it. We’ve been talking about it for a little bit,” Rodgers said. “I think I may have jumped the gun a little bit so I apologize to ‘Jeopardy’ if they wanted to announce it, I just got so excited on the show earlier. It just went down the last couple of days, us figuring it out. It is very exciting, it’s for the offseason, we’ll be even more excited when that opportunity gets a little closer.”

The former MVP and Super Bowl champion told McAfee how much the opportunity means to him, as a huge fan of the show.

“The show has been so special to me over the years,” Rodgers said. “It’s been a staple at my house here in Green Bay for the last 16 years – 6 o’clock watching Alex and trying to get as many questions as I can. When the opportunity came up in 2015 I mean that was a dream come true, it really was, to be on there, to get to meet Alex was just such a special moment, and we’re all obviously sad about his passing. I’ve said it before I think when he passed, but there’s this nostalgic connection to certain figures in our life based on our childhood and where we were at and the times we had those memories, it almost makes these people feel like family, like you know them.”

The odds of Rodgers hanging up his cleats and taking over for Alex Trebek anytime soon are probably pretty low. The show’s producers are considering a slew of other potential hosts, including LeVar Burton and Jane Lynch, but Rodgers has proven himself to be more than capable of handling the show’s material, so never say never.

Ken Jennings Pays Heartfelt Tribute To Trebek in His First Appearance as Interim Host

Jennings Trebek Tribute
(YouTube/Jeopardy Twitter/KenJennings)

After posting a final farewell to its iconic host, “Jeopardy!” has entered a new era, airing the first episodes without Alex Trebek. After the final episodes Trebek recorded aired, the show has moved on with its first interim host, Jeopardy GOAT Ken Jennings. And before his first episode, he paid a moving tribute to the iconic former host.

“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” he said. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace — really, there’s no other word for it.”

“Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex. Very much. And I thank him for everything he did for all of us.”

He was fighting back tears as he declared moving the show forward was the best way to honor Trebek’s legacy, by continuing the game he loved and dedicated so much of his life to.

“Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor him by playing the game he loved,” Jennings said.

And so we moved forward, into the Trebek-less era. Jennings did have a special Trebek memento in his pocket when he did his first episode as guest host. It was a ticket stub from a studio taping of the first episode of Jeopardy hosted by Trebek in 1983.

His piece of quiz show history was his good luck charm as he took over the franchise temporarily. Jennings is widely seen as the favorite to take over as permanent host, but Jeopardy will welcome a number of other interim hosts before any decisions are made.

This officially closes the door on the Trebek era of the show, but his spirit will live on every time someone answers a clue in the form of a question.

Jeopardy Champ Recalls Alex Trebek’s Infamous “No Pants” Prank

Trebek No Pants Prank
(YouTube/Jeopardy)

Trebek tragically passed away from pancreatic cancer in the fall, but not before giving us a lifetime of wisdom and entertainment. It’s fair to say he goes down as one of the most beloved TV hosts ever, something we’re remembering more after his final episodes of Jeopardy aired in early January.

What made Alex Trebek a legend was his ability to find levity in the moment, and to be serious when the situation called for it, while also being able to deliver a delightfully subtle burn or execute a flawless prank. This was really apparent in the final tribute to Alex that Jeopardy just released. Well, now we have even more details about one of his most legendary pranks. A former Jeopardy champ this week is recalling Trebek’s infamous no-pants prank during a tournament of champions.

Brad Rutter was a finalist in the 2005 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, going against a rising young whippersnapper by the name of Ken Jennings. Rutter told a radio station recently about how nervous they all were, and how they joked with each other that they should just do the show without pants since they were only visible from the chest up behind their podiums.

The players, unaware of how television works, did not realize their mics were picking up the private conversation. So they did not expect what happened next; when legendary Jeopardy announcer Johnny Gilbert introduced Trebek, he came out to the set dressed sharply in his shirt, tie jacket, socks and shoes and zero pants.

The contestants doubled over in laughter as Trebek explained what was happening, and then went to grab some pants and start the show.

Truly a legendary moment in show history, and another reason why Trebek will always be the GOAT.

Jeopardy Pays One Final Tribute To Alex Trebek in Touching Video

Alex Trebek Final Tribute
(Twitter/Jeopardy)

For 36 years, Alex Trebek was the face and voice of one of the most iconic game shows of all time. Even through his battle with pancreatic cancer, Trebek continued recording episodes of Jeopardy – not because he had to, but because he truly loved what he did. The final episode of Jeopardy featuring the beloved host was originally going to air on Christmas of 2020, but instead, the episode was pushed back to last Friday.

The last episode of Jeopardy aired more than two months after Trebek’s death, allowing fans to bid a final farewell to the game show legend. In a touching tribute, the episode concluded with a 90-second video packed with heartwarming moments from throughout Trebek’s Jeopardy career.

While we typically see Trebek’s more serious side, the montage is filled with his more playful moments. Trebek dances, laughs, and even shows up on stage sans pants. Though it’s evident simply by watching the show itself, the montage really highlights just how deeply Trebek loved his job.

For those who didn’t see the episode (or for those of us who want to watch it on repeat), Jeopardy shared their moving tribute on Twitter with the caption, “Simply the best. Thank you, Alex.”

The video’s comments quickly filled with kind words about Trebek, from fans of the show to former contestants.

The Jeopardy! host treated each contestant with kindness and respect, and even when battling cancer, he gave the show everything he had. Trebek’s legacy will live on, and even though Jeopardy will continue, it will never be the same without him.

Jeopardy Airing Alex Trebek’s Final Episodes in Early January

Trebek
(Twitter/Jeopardy)

The list of grievances with 2020 is certainly not short, and on that list is the passing of Alex Trebek. So it’s only fitting that our final new episodes of Jeopardy with Trebek as host, taped before his passing from pancreatic cancer in the fall, will air in 2021.

Jeopardy originally planned to air his final episode on Christmas day but made the decision to push his final episodes back a bit so millions of fans can watch Trebek’s final episodes. The program aired two weeks of repeats around the holidays, in a special block of programming called “Around the World With Alex.”

According to Jeopardy, his lifelong interest in people, cultures, and languages is why they chose those repeats for the special. “History is the past,” he once said, “geography is the future.”

This leaves us with his final episodes, which were taped on October 29th. They are currently scheduled to air January 4th through 8th. His executive producer Mike Richards recently told media outlets that Trebek “was a warrior” during his final tapings, as he wanted more than anything to be one of the first shows back in production after a COVID-19 pause.

“We knew how much he was fighting, and that’s what made the performance even more impressive,” he said. He said the final episodes were moved so fans wouldn’t be stressed about possibly missing them during the holiday chaos. “We wanted our fans to be able to really savor those last five.”

After our last Trebek-led Jeopardy episode on January 8th, the mantle gets passed to the first interim host, Jeopardy GOAT Ken Jennings, with more interim hosts on the way.

Alex Trebek Recorded an Inspiring Thanksgiving Message Before His Death

Trebek Thanksgiving Message
(Twitter/Jeopardy)

We lost a true gem in Alex Trebek’s passing, but the iconic Jeopardy host recorded an inspiring Thanksgiving message in one of the last episodes he recorded. Our collection of new Trebek episodes is quickly dwindling, but his witty outtakes will always be are timeless.

One of the episodes he recorded before his passing aired on Thanksgiving, and it included an uplifting message we all could hear right now (a few times).

“You know, in spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful. There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors, and that’s a good thing.

“Keep the faith,” Trebek concluded. “We’re going to get through all of this, and we will be a better society because of it.”

It’s impossible to watch that without the room getting a little dusty, as we savor every last special message from Trebek, with each taking on new meaning and importance after his passing.

There’s a reason Trebek was so beloved, and there’s no question we could all take his message of helping one another, being thankful, and keeping the faith to heart right now, as we endure what’s supposed to be a difficult winter before turning the corner on our global pandemic.