Star Trek and Reading Rainbow legend Levar Burton will begin his much anticipated guest-hosting stint on Jeopardy this week. The development finally arrives following a heated fan campaign, and surely, he couldn’t take his mind off departed host Alex Trebek while stepping behind the podium for the first time, and as Burton admits, the first go was difficult. During an Associated Press interview as reported by the Seattle Times, he called the experience “[r]eally, really, really scary,” which sounds about right.
A few jitters were to be expected, yet Burton admitted that he felt “[t]he pressure, the natural tendency was to want to live up to Alex’s example, his legacy.” Then when he finished taping the first episode, he asked his wife (Stephanie) how things went, and she “said ‘ehhh.’” That’s not exactly a resounding endorsement, but Burton insisted, “Now, this is a woman who loves me enough to tell me the truth. She said it wasn’t me.” So, this is how he adjusted:
“I made it my business for the next four chances at bat to just be myself, to forget about the procedure, to forget about the process, stop trying, stop focusing on the wrong thing. You’re not going to be smooth as Alex, let go of that. But what you can bring to the table is you. So that became my point of focus. And when it did, I started having fun.”
Lightening up can make all the difference. Maybe the first episode will seem a little awkward tonight, then? And then hopefully, we’ll see some magic happen. Obviously, we’ll find out more on Monday night and throughout the week on Jeopardy!
(Via Seattle Times)