Who knew that a simple game show could cause so much drama?
The saga of “Who Will Host Jeopardy?” has been keeping the internet riveted ever since beloved longtime host Alex Trebek lost his battle with cancer late last year. The show has been auditioning countless guest hosts, including former champions, current NFL players, TV stars, even its own executive producer. All this in the face of much of the public’s, Ryan Reynolds, and Dick Van Dyke’s, desire to see former Star Trek and Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton get the gig.
Well, LeVar no longer wants it.
Burton finally got a chance to host the show in July, just before the drama with Mike Richards – the aforementioned executive producer of the show who seemingly installed himself and then had to step down after questions of the process, and problems with past behavior and comments he’d made on his podcast – exploded. But now, despite his initial desire to give the people what they want, Burton is out.
He appeared on The Daily Show this week and explained to Trevor Noah how the fan support emboldened him. “You know, we did a kickstarter several years ago. 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.
“I 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.”
And then he explained that losing out on the gig was the best thing that could have happened.
“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, OK, 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.”
So we may not be seeing Burton behind the Jeopardy podium anytime soon – the show just announced that Mayim Bialik and former champ Ken Jennings will be sharing hosting duties for a while, while the search for a permanent host continues – it sounds like we’ll be seeing him plenty of other places.
Hopefully, places that are a lot more drama-free than Jeopardy.