Jeopardy is clearly having a bit of a cultural moment as it looks for a new host to replace Alex Trebek. However, all roads seem to lead back to one man, LeVar Burton. Ever since Alex Trebek died of cancer in November of 2020, fans have been clamoring for the Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor to pick up where the longtime host left off. In fact, a petition was quickly started on Change.org that’s already collected more than 270,000 signatures, all of whom are asking the minds behind Jeopardy to give LeVar Burton the title of new, permanent host.
Now, another big name is championing for LeVar Burton to be the new man behind the podium — Family Guy and The Orville creator, Seth MacFarlane. The 47-year-old funnyman responded to a recent tweet from LeVar Burton to implore Jeopardy and “Jesus H. Trebek” to hire the longtime kids’ show educator to do the same for a new generation of adults.
It makes sense that MacFarlane is one of the countless people backing LeVar Burton to be the new host of Jeopardy. In the past, he’s let it be known to all who will listen that he is a diehard Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. He even cast LeVar Burton in a pair of episodes of Family Guy, one of which had the actor simply play himself at a Star Trek convention alongside his fellow cast members. Meanwhile, MacFarlane has been allowed to appear as Ensign Rivers in a pair of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes as a little treat from one fan to another.
The tweet in question that LeVar Burton responded to simply read “Happy Friday, y’all!” something he’s done countless times over the years. However, on this particular Friday, some mistook it as a gentle jab at Jeopardy, specifically its executive producer, Mike Richards.
Earlier this month, fans of LeVar Burton were dealt a bucket of cold water on their hopes to see him replace Alex Trebek when it was announced that Mike Richards would be the new person taking over the show permanently in the next season. However, on the Friday of the Roots actor’s usual weekend greeting, he announced that he was stepping down as the show’s new host amid a slew of controversies, the most noteworthy of which being inappropriate comments he made on a podcast he hosted from 2013 to 2014.
Just like that, LeVar Burton is back in the running for the host of Jeopardy. Unfortunately, while Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow fans have no other person they’d like to see behind the podium, some Jeopardy fans can’t help but hope the show looks elsewhere. As former Survivor contestant Richard Hatch noted in his response to MacFarlane, LeVar Burton had a less-than-stellar run as a weeklong guest host of Jeopardy in August.
As The Associated Press reports, LeVar Burton himself acknowledged he had some growing pains, particularly on his first day. However, he and many people believe that he improved over time. Some also note that it’s somewhat unfair to compare him to other Jeopardy guest hosts given that he was only given a week in the position while others were given much longer. Regardless, one thing is clear and that’s that pretty much everyone is happy that the guy leading the search for a new host is no longer the one who has the position.
As for whether or not fans pushing for LeVar Burton as the new Jeopardy host will prove fruitful, only time will tell.