LeVar Burton Is 'Proud' to Honor Alex Trebek’s Legacy as He Makes 'Jeopardy!' Hosting Debut
By Zach Seemayer
LeVar Burton is finally taking his place behind the podium. After a massive fan push to see Burton take the helm as the new Jeopardy!host, the star began his run of guest-hosted episodes on Monday.
Before the game kicked off, Burton took the stage and delivered a message to the fans watching, in which he shared his gratitude and hope to live up to Alex Trebek's indelible legacy during his time as the show's temporary trivia master.
"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’s legacy," Burton shared. "I’m gonna do my best to ensure that these talented Jeopardy! contestants enjoy their moment here as well."
Burton -- best known for his roles on Reading Rainbow, Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation -- will be the guest host through July 30.
Burton's time on the show comes as part of a rotating line-up of guest hosts who have stepped into the role following Trebek's death in November after a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The nine-time Emmy winner hosted the show for 40 years, throughout his cancer fight and all the way until his death.
Unlike many of the guest hosts who have helmed the show in recent months, Burton has long been a fan favorite to be named as a permanent host. Efforts have included a widely spread petition, which Burton has vocally endorsed.
On Monday, many of Burton's fans took to social media to share their love and support for his time behind the storied Jeopardy! podium.
"I think that having the job of hosting Jeopardy!, for me, it just feels like a natural progression," he explained. "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 shares. "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."