The passing of Alex Trebek left a bit of a void in the hit game show “Jeopardy!”. For 37 seasons, fans of the show tuned in to his calm demeanor and dry wit. Such a personality lends to the show’s academically challenging theme. Fans, therefore, expect a similar personality to continue the legacy left by Trebek. Many believe the best fit for this legacy to be actor and producer Levar Burton. A petition of at least 255,000 people left the leaders of the show wondering if he indeed is the best man for the job. His acting and directing credits, no doubt, lends to his ability to host successfully.

Though Levar’s career began in 1976, it was the 1977 mini-series “Roots” that shot him to stardom. In it, he played Kunta Kinte, a black African subjected to slavery in America. The role would be reprised in 1988 in the television film “Roots: The Gift”. Burton would be Emmy nominated for the 1977 mini-series. Between the filming of “Roots” and “Roots: The Gift”, he began directing and hosting Reading Rainbow. Debuting in 1983 on PBS, the show featured topics from a selected children’s book, explored on-site locations related to the book of choice, and recommended children’s books to read. It won many awards before going off the air in 2006. 1n 1986, Levar agreed to the role of Geordi LaForge, a lieutenant junior grade officer on the USS Enterprise. Geordi would appear in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, he would act alongside Patrick Stewart(Captain Picard), Brent Spiner(Data), and a host of other notable characters.

Levar Burton would continue working heavily from the late 80s until today. In addition to reprising Kunta Kinte and Geordi LaForge a few more times, he would appear as himself and take on other character roles. Some notable works include an appearance in an episode of Murder She Wrote, dramatizing the life and times of Jesse Owens, and voice-over work for the adult cartoon Family Guy. It is his work in reading and education, however, that makes him most fit for the role of “Jeopardy!”. Reading Rainbow is just a part of what Levar contributes to the education community. He also executively produces and hosts The Science of Peace. This show explores science and technology that enable peace in the world. He made appearances in This Week in Tech, appeared as a guest on the YouTube channel SciShow, and 24 Hour Extra Life, a fundraising effort organized by the Children’s Miracle Network. All this, along with his many directing credits, makes Levar Burton a heavy favorite for the permanent position of “Jeopardy!” among fans. The petition was enough to get him a spot as guest host from July 26th thru the 30th of 2021. Whether or not the show’s producers heed the petition’s call to permanence is yet to be known.