‘Jeopardy!’ hosting snub taught me ‘perfect nature of all things’
LeVar Burton’s “Jeopardy!” seemed to be a strong contender to replace Alex Trebek as host of the! Following the longtime frontman’s death in November 2020.
The 66-year-old “Reading Rainbow” star ultimately didn’t win the gig, which was a stunning rejection at the time — but he’s clearly not sulking anymore.
“It really cements to me that everything happens to me for a reason, right?” Burton told the AV Club In an interview published on Monday.
He said the dismissal sent him into a period of self-reflection – and he now believes the experience taught him “the absolute nature of all things”.
He’s long been a part of the “Jeopardy!” Also tried the job for several episodes before. Executive producer Mike Richards made a short-lived stint as the show’s lead in August 2021, beating out a stunned Burton.
Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialak Landed the gig permanently in July 2022 and Burton was officially out of the running.
“I thought I had a pretty good shot at getting the job,” Burton told The AV Club. “What I didn’t know at the time was that it wasn’t really an audition.”
Richards’ tenure as host lasted only three weeks as she resigned after being accused of sexist language and her self-confessed “insensitivity” in the past.
“The executive producer, the man who was hired to teach me how to play the game, who said he didn’t want the job but his job was to help them find the right person for the job, the guy hired himself, ” Burton remembered Richards, but did not mention him by name.
“I was disappointed – I’m not going to lie. I had to really sit down and try to figure out: So what – what happened here? What went wrong?” he added.
But Burton found other projects to continue his career.
In November 2021, he was named the host of the “Trivial Pursuit” game show based on the Hasbro board game.
Also hosted 2022 Grammy Pre-Show In March, as well Scripps National Spelling Bee In June 2022.
“I think sometimes in life we need to be willing to sit through the discomfort of things before you get to the good side,” Burton said. “And sometimes the purpose is just to be willing to be uncomfortable. Because the gift is on the other side. “
that Also executive produced New documentary “Right to Read,” Released last month, it brings attention to the nation’s literacy crisis through the eyes of an NAACP activist, a teacher in Oakland, California, and two families currently struggling with access to literacy education.
Burton said of the issue.
“You cannot reach your full potential in life unless you are literate in at least one language,” he added. “This is a national crisis.”