LeVar Burton is not a man who likes to hold onto the past; instead, he chooses to focus on the future. After tons of online buzz and a well-supported petition, the Reading Rainbow host served as a guest host earlier this year on Jeopardy! as the show searched for a new full time host. During a recent interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Burton discusses how he’s now over that whole hosting Jeopardy! thing and is looking forward to what’s coming next.
As it’s been heavily reported, Jeopardy! briefly went with former executive producer Mike Richards as Alex Trebek’s successor, only for that to turn in a well-fueled dumpster fire. Yesterday, it was announced that legendary Jeopardy! competitor Ken Jennings and actor Mayim Bialik will host the series for the foreseeable future. LeVar says despite the internet clamoring for him to be the full time host, he’s perfectly content even though he did not receive the job offer. He says he has many other opportunities to seize.
“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,” Burton says. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, but then when I didn’t get it, it was like, ‘Well, OK, what’s next?’ 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.”
Noah then asks the literary legend if he’s thought about conceptualizing his own game show—one centered around books. It turns out Burton’s way ahead of Noah, and says he’s already working on developing one.
“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,’” Burton says. “So we’re trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be.”