LeVar Burton finally booked the Jeopardy! hosting gig all his fans thought he deserved, but in case he does not get a permanent position, Ryan Reynolds has a job lined up. After the Jeopardy! producers named Burton as one of the next guest hosts, Reynolds shared a new Aviation American Gin commercial with Burton serving as a celebrity spokesman. Burton will host the long-running game show for a week during the summer.
On Thursday, Reynolds said he was "officially starting the [Burton] for literally everything campaign." In the spot, he introduced Burton, who he hired as a new spokesman because everyone was talking "how great LeVar Burton is." Burton then took over the spot to introduce the "smooth, refreshing taste" of Aviation American Gun. After Burton took a sip of the "out of this world gin and tonic," Reynolds joked that Burton might be "too good for us." This confused Burton, who could still hear Reynolds. "It's so dark," Burton said. "Welcome to hell," Reynolds laughed. "This isn't going to work out Ryan," Burton said at the end.
Burton, beloved for hosting Reading Rainbow and starring in Star Trek: The Next Generation, mentioned he would love to host Jeopardy! back in 2018. Following Alex Trebek's death, Jeopardy! fans began lobbying in earnest to get Burton the hosting job. Burton himself supported the movement, even retweeting a petition several times. When Burton finally got the job on Wednesday, Burton thanked the petition's author.
"THANK YOU... to all y’all for your passionate support," Burton wrote on Wednesday. "I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time."
Jeopardy! also picked Good Morning America anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, CNBC's David Faber, and Fox Sports commentator Joe Buck as the last guest hosts for Season 37. Unlike the first group of hosts, they will only e hosting for a week. Jeopardy! producers will match the total winnings of contestants during the week for donations to a host's charity of choice.
“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening. All of the guest hosts have brought individualism, energy, and an authentic love of our show to each of their episodes. We look forward to sharing the rest of the season with our viewers.”
CNN's Anderson Cooper is still in the middle of his run, which ends on April 30. 60 Minutes journalist Bill Whitaker will start a two-week run on May 3, with former Jeopardy! champion Buzzy Cohen, actress Mayim Bialik, Today's Savannah Guthrie, and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosting before Stephanopoulos starts his run on July 12. Burton will host from July 26 to July 30.