Speed Reads

who is levar burton?

LeVar Burton's wife told him his Jeopardy! guest hosting debut was 'eh'

We'll take "tough crowd" for $1,000. 

LeVar Burton is set to make his debut as guest host of Jeopardy! on Monday, and he reflected on the experience of taping his episodes on Good Morning America, revealing his wife didn't think his first time behind the lectern was a home run. 

"My wife, Steph, is also my makeup artist, so she was able to be there during COVID protocols, and I came back after taping the first episode and I said, 'So, how did I do?'" Burton said. "She said, 'Eh. It wasn't you.' So thank God for marrying a woman who will tell you the truth." 

Burton explained that he was initially focused on trying to "be as good as Alex [Trebek] was," which was an "impossibility." But after his wife's "heads up," he says he "just went out there and tried to bring as much LeVar to the moment as I possibly could, and I'm hoping that that worked out better." Burton further explained to The Associated Press that once he did so, he "started having fun." At the same time, he told GQ that hosting Jeopardy! was "really some of the scariest s--- I've ever done." 

Jeopardy! has been searching for a new host ever since Alex Trebek's death in 2020, and Burton was tapped as a guest host after a massive fan campaign to get him on the show. On GMA, he attributed this campaign to fans who grew up watching him on Reading Rainbow "returning the favor." He has openly lobbied for the permanent job, and he told USA Today that after taping his five episodes, he feels he's "got a shot" at the gig. He added, though, that if he doesn't get the job, he'll be "disappointed" but will "move on with my life," adding, "I know that whatever the outcome is, it's the perfect outcome for me."