Burton admitted that guest-hosting the game show made him realize he didn't want the gig.
LeVar Burton thought he wanted to host Jeopardy! -- until he did it.
The 64-year-old actor got candid about not being selected to host the long-running game show. While talking to Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, he admitted that guest-hosting Jeopardy! made him realize he didn't want the job.
"I made it public that I wanted it for myself, that it made sense to me, and [the fans] were all about it. It made as much as much sense to them as it did to me. And, so, they wanted it for me as much as I wanted it,” Burton explained. "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 when I didn’t get it, it was, like, well, OK, what’s next?" he continued. "And, so, the opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up. If you had given me a pen and paper and said, ‘Well, so what do you want this to really look like if it doesn’t include Jeopardy!?’ I wouldn’t have been this generous to myself."
Burton later added that he "never thought about hosting any other game show outside of Jeopardy!."
"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," he noted of his hosting abilities. "Let me see what I can do. We're trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be."
"As a longtime viewer of the show, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to guest host Jeopardy! And I’m proud to be here to honor Alex [Trebek]’s legacy," Burton shared as he opened the show. "I’m gonna do my best to ensure that these talented Jeopardy! contestants enjoy their moment here as well."
Prior to hosting the show, Burton said that taking on the job felt like a "natural progression" for his career.
"I think that having the job of hosting Jeopardy!, for me, it just feels like a natural progression," he explained during an interview on Tamron Hall Show. "It encompasses almost everything that I've been about for the last 45 years of my career. It just seems like a good fit to me."
"That's why I was so public about it," he shared. "It could have backfired, but I felt like if I didn't do everything I could to advocate for the job, I would never forgive myself. So, I took a risk, and was very, very public about wanting the job."