Jeopardy! announced Wednesday that actor LaVar Burton, will serve as a guest host.
Since it was launched last year, almost a quarter of a million people signed the Change.org petition to have the Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor host the over half a century year old game show. The star expressed his support of the campaign by tweeting a link, captioning it “Leaving this here in the event he powers that be are listening.”
THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time. https://t.co/C7mZWMok2X
Since the death of Alex Trebek, who was host of Jeopardy! since 1984, the game show has been hosted by a revolving door of guests, including but not limited to legendary contestant Ken Jennings, executive producer Mike Richards and celebrities such as television personality Dr. Oz, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and currently CNN news anchor Anderson.
A lifelong advocate of children’s literacy as host of the PBS show Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton is seen by many as a beacon of education, and would be the most qualified to carry on Alex Trebek’s legacy, for the petition was to make him the next permanent host. Many of the comments under the post claim that Burton carries himself with the same dignified and respectful presence of Trebek but with the calm and friendly demeanor of Mr. Rodgers. While it doesn’t seem like Jeapordy! has any plans to position the actor as Trebek’s official successor, his fans have still expressed their delight on Twitter.
These past few months of guest hosts on Jeopardy have been amazing! With guests like Katie Couric, NFL player, Aaron Rodgers, some former winners like Ken Jennings and current guest host Anderson Cooper, but we’ve got a new recently announced guest host that will make your heart happy. LeVar Burton, actor and former host of the iconic PBS program “Reading Rainbow” will be guest hosting the show this summer from July 26 to July 30.
A fan petition to get Burton to fully take over Alex Trebek’s roll started in November of 2020 after the late host’s passing. There is no word if he will be the permanent host but thanks to over 200,000 signatures he has put into the star studded rotation of guest hosts.
Star of Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: Next Generation, and host of hit podcast ‘LeVar Burton Reads’, LeVar Burton, is hoping to livestream his readings to ease and entertain the minds of many.
I’ve been busting my brain for about a week now trying to figure out how to do a live-streamed version of #LeVarBurtonReads. I figured that during this difficult time I could contribute by reading aloud to folks who could use some diversion for themselves and their families.
In his podcast, Burton “invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story”, as he reads some of the best short fiction. ‘LeVar Burton Reads’ has a 5.0 star rating on Apple Podcasts, with over 10k reviews. One listener even stipulating that Burton’s podcast is “perfect to listen to during this crazy time in the world.”
Now, LeVar hopes to livestream his reads to the masses, as a way to distract and soothe anybody who may be distressed or anxious during this COVID-19 apocalypse *ahem* I mean, crisis. The main problem that Burton faces is acquiring short fiction for free, within copyright restrictions. In a heartwarming turn of events, and show of creative unity, author Neil Gaiman offered up his oeuvre to the actor and reader.
You have my blanket permission for any of my stories Levar.
Gaiman was not alone in this offer, as many more jumped in to provide LeVar with the means, and creative license, to fulfill his wish of a livestream version of his popular podcast. HarperCollins offered LeVar access to their Children’s titles until the end of May, and those involved in organisations and genre groups have suggested their writers may also comply. Beyond the big names and the big five, independent writers have offered up their own work free-of-charge, and many fans have shared little-known free works such as many classic novels.
The community has truly come together to help with his project, and with any luck, LeVar’s livestreams will be available in the coming weeks.
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