The search for Alex Trebek's replacement as Jeopardy! host has been... chaotic, to put it lightly. The gameshow auditioned a whole slew of potential quizmasters, including G.O.A.T. champion Ken Jennings, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Reading Rainbow legend LeVar Burton. Jeopardy! didn't seem to care what fans wanted (ahem, Burton) and named its former executive producer Mike Richards as permanent host. But since he has a well-documented history of saying sexist, racist and generally bad things, all recorded for posterity on his own podcast, his tenure was short-lived. Richards was ousted from that gig as well as his EP position, and Jeopardy! announced that Jennings and Mayim Bialik would tag-team hosting duties through the end of the year.
In response to that latest development, fans once again cried, "But what about LeVar?" However, Burton went on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Thursday night and set the record straight: he doesn't want the hosting gig, thank you very much. "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," he explained.
Burton's fans will be thrilled to learn that *not* getting the Jeopardy! job has led to a bunch of other exciting prospects for the beloved Reading Rainbow alum. "When I didn't get it, it was, like, well, okay, what's next?" he said. "The opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn't have dreamt it up." Noah observed that it's kind of like "the shipwreck that leads you to the magical island."
We don't know exactly what's next for Burton, but it sounds like a different sort of gameshow tailor-made to his strengths — perhaps a competition based on literature. "I never thought about hosting any other game show outside of Jeopardy! But now, they went in a different direction with their show, which is their right, and now I'm thinking, well, it does kind of make sense, let me see what I can do. So we're trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be," he told the late-night host.
Burton praised his fans while chatting with Noah and thanked them for their dedication. "The generation of adults now, who grew up on Reading Rainbow, they were down with whatever it is I wanted to do," he said, referring to his bid for the Jeopardy! job. "They wanted it for me as much as I wanted it" — to the tune of 300,000 signatures on a change.org petition. But since the gameshow clearly didn't show him the respect he deserved, Burton is saying good riddance. He's on to bigger and better things, and that's Jeopardy!'s loss.