It looks like the petition with nearly 300,000 signatures won’t make a difference — LeVar Burton simply no longer wants to host Jeopardy!. In an interview on The Daily Show on Thursday night, Burton outright stated that he no longer wants the job.
“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 then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like, well, okay, what’s next?”
It seems Burton has gotten several new opportunities from his brief time on the show that he “couldn’t have dreamt it up” and that he might even be trying to host a different game show.
“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. So we’re trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be.”
As it has reportedly been “a sh-t show” trying to find a new host for the show now that the most popular choice has stated he’s no longer interested that just leaves one question — who should get the job now? While Mayim Bialik is currently hosting, she is not only surrounded by controversy but also cannot likely host the show long-term. This leaves us with a very small number of viable widely supported candidates.
While famous YouTuber Mat Pat made his own plea to host the show and even got #WhoIsMatPat to trend several times on Twitter, he too has a lot of past controversies that make him a poor choice going forward. Ken Jennings is also out of the running due to previous controversial Tweets so we can’t imagine Mat pat getting past such a rigorous selection process.
While both Ru Paul and Samantha Bee have thrown their hats into the ring, it’s unclear whether these were purely comedic bits or were done with a bit of sincerity. it’s at least worth noting that Samantha Bee’s current filming schedule would allow her to appear on Jeopardy! rather easily compared to most candidates.
Still, there is one name that has been criminally overlooked: Harry Friedman. The previous executive producer of the show has a record-breaking 43 Daytime Emmy Awards and has even recently said he’s looking for a new gig to work on after his retirement. There are many reasons we’ve reported on about why Friedman would make a good host and we hope that those behind the scenes at Jeopardy! and fans at home will consider him for the spot.