LeVar Burton, who has had beloved roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Roots, and Reading Rainbow, recently stepped into the shoes of the late Alex Trebek in order to host the game show Jeopardy!. In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Burton got candid about his new position.
In response to a question about why he wanted the job, Burton expressed great confidence about his new role and spoke hopefully about the potential impact it might have: "I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant." Though Burton is not the first person of color to be a guest host on Jeopardy!, he is perhaps the most high-profile of them so far.
Burton also expressed admiration for Fred Rogers, who "was who he really was" and believed that life should be "centered around service". Burton and Rogers each hosted children's educational programming in the late twentieth century, which gave them both an appreciation for the value of zest and imagination.
Though Burton is only scheduled to host for a week, a petition to make the appointment permanent has already amassed more than 245,000 signatures.
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