LeVar Burton finally fulfills a dream when he begins his guest-hosting stint on Jeopardy! on Monday, July 26, and he’s already feeling the pressure, especially from his wife.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation actor has made it no secret that he hopes to become the new permanent host of the long-running quiz show. He has been campaigning for the role for years, even before Alex Trebek‘s tragic passing and the search for a new host. There was even a hugely successful fan petition made in an effort to land Burton the gig.
With Burton’s highly publicized pursuit of the job, all eyes will be on the Reading Rainbow presenter as he steps up to the podium tonight to begin his five-episode run. The episodes have already been filmed, but this will be the first time viewers will see Burton in action and whether or not he is up to the task. And the Roots star will be hoping that first impressions are better than those his wife had.
Speaking on Good Morning America, Burton revealed that his wife, make-up artist Stephanie Cozart Burton, was on set during the Jeopardy! tapings, and so he was able to get her immediate reaction. “I came back after taping the first episode and said, ‘So, how did I do?’ and she said, ‘Ehhh. It wasn’t you..’.” he said. “Thank god for marrying a woman that will tell you the truth.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 26, 2021
Burton explained that his initial approach was to try and be as good as Trebek was, but this was a flawed idea. “Of course, I realized right away that was an impossibility; the man had 37 years to perfect his mastery,” he stated. “So after I got the heads up from Steph, I just went out there and tried to bring as much LeVar to the moment as I possibly could, and I’m hoping that worked out better.”
Viewers will be able to make their minds up this week as Burton steps up to the plate.
LeVar Burton guest hosts Jeopardy! Monday, July 26-Friday, July, 30