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LeVar Burton says 'Jeopardy!' host gig 'wasn't the thing that I wanted after all'

"We're trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be," he said on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah."
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/ Source: Variety

LOS ANGELES — LeVar Burton is retiring his quest to become the next "Jeopardy!" host.

While on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," Burton explained why he's no longer interested in the gig, which is now shared by Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings after former executive producer Mike Richards' firing.

"The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something ... they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn't the thing that I wanted after all," Burton told Trevor Noah on Thursday night. "What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn't get it, it was, like, 'Well, OK, what's next?'"

Burton added: "The opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn't have dreamt it up. If you had given me a pen and paper and said, 'Well, so what do you want this to really look like?' If it doesn't include 'Jeopardy!,' I wouldn't have been this generous to myself."

As the quiz show rotated through guest hosts after Alex Trebek's death, Burton campaigned heavily for the long-term position, quickly becoming a fan-favorite.

"I made it public that I wanted it for myself, that it made sense to me, and they were all about it," Burton said. "It made as much sense to them as it did to me. And, so, they wanted it for me as much as I wanted it."

Burton, who guest hosted "Jeopardy" from July 26-30, also hinted at another possible TV opportunity, telling Noah, "We're trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be."