“Who is LeVar Burton?”
For followers of the famend “Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” star, that’s merely the proper method to answer a lingering “Jeopardy!” clue as the sport present churns via visitor hosts following Alex Trebek’s dying in November.
As of Wednesday morning, greater than 167,000 followers have signed a Change.org petition urgent Sony Pictures Entertainment to faucet Burton to exchange Trebek completely, and a host of celebrities have doubled down on their help.
“Everyone wants this!” tweeted Ahmed Best, who performed Jar Jar Binks within the “Star Wars” prequels. “Do the right thing and make Uncle Levar the host!!!!”
On prime of 23 years internet hosting “Reading Rainbow,” the 64-year-old Emmy-winning actor and director performed engineer Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek” and Kunta Kinte in ABC’s “Roots.”
According to fan archives, Burton additionally won a match of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” in 1995 in opposition to Olympic gold medal pace skater Dan Jensen and “The Young and the Restless” actress Melody Thomas Scott, incomes $14,500 for the Somalia Foundation. He’s additionally participated in a number of episodes by studying clues to contestants, together with a 2004 match that featured a complete “Reading Rainbow” class. He’s additionally been talked about as an actor or host in at the least a dozen “Jeopardy!” clues since 1989, archives present.
The beloved actor has different sport present credit as nicely, serving a number of occasions as a celeb visitor on Dick Clark’s “Pyramid” reveals within the Eighties, and he received $167,500 for Junior Achievement of Southern California by topping William Shatner and different “Star Trek” actors in a particular version of “The Weakest Link” in 2001.
Currently internet hosting a podcast, “LeVar Burton Reads,” Burton shared the favored “Jeopardy!” petition on Twitter this week, “in the event the powers that be are listening.”
His “Next Generation” co-stars, Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, additionally fired off messages of help on Twitter on Tuesday. “When is Jeopardy going to get it? The public wants LeVar Burton to host the show!” Spiner stated. Jane Lynch, the actress and comic host of “Hollywood Game Night” and the “Weakest Link” reboot, stated in March that Burton can be “such a solid choice!”
Even again in November, sports books placed Burton third behind record-breaking “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos as the almost certainly to get the gig. Actress Geena Davis, tv journalist Katie Couric and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers, who’s internet hosting this week, have additionally been named as contenders for full-time MC.
Burton advised MSNBC’s Joshua Johnson in March that, “in many respects, I feel like I have been preparing my whole life for the job … should that job come my way, I would be exceedingly glad.”
According to USA Today, NCS anchor Anderson Cooper, “Today” host Savannah Guthrie, NCS medical adviser Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker and actress Mayim Bialik are lined up as future visitor hosts.
Executive producer Mike Richards says the everlasting host could not take the rostrum till the present kicks off its thirty eighth season in September.
“Let’s make sure we get someone we are going to feel even better about in a decade than we do this year,” Richards advised USA Today.
Richards made clear that he’s not essentially on the lookout for an enormous title to exchange Trebek, contrasting “Jeopardy” with “Match Game,” which “demands” that Alec Baldwin “go on and be a superstar.”
“You have to have on ‘Jeopardy!’ someone who’s larger than life, but also humble in the same way that isn’t going to make the game about them, in any way,” Richards stated.
In November, when the petition for Burton launched, he advised his followers, “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much I appreciate all y’alls love and support!”
He additionally stated that whereas he’s flattered by the push to make him the brand new host, his ideas had been with Trebek’s household and the longtime host’s “millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend.”