LeVar Burton’s first outing as the guest host of “Jeopardy!” made history for having the game show’s lowest score ever.
All eyes were on the “Reading Rainbow” star to deliver as the latest guest host filling in for the late Alex Trebek after a fan petition led to his name being in contention as a permanent replacement. Fortunately, his first outing behind the podium didn’t disappoint — except of course for contestant Patrick Pearce.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, the product specialist from Fountain View, Calif. had a less-than-stellar performance and ended up raking in the lowest score in “Jeopardy!” history with $-7,400. The outlet reports that he answered several questions incorrectly but was climbing out of his deficit ahead of the Daily Double. Unfortunately, he botched the Daily Double question about U.S. government buildings overseas that finally put him into the record-breaking territory.
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According to Slate, the $-7,400 finishing total breaks the record previously set in March of 2015 by contestant Stephanie Hull, whose poor performance on “Jeopardy!” earned her $-6,800. Unfortunately, given the added attention Burton’s run as celebrity guest host received, many on Twitter were quick to point out that Pearce’s record low was likely seen by more people than would have otherwise watched a typical broadcast of “Jeopardy!” However, for Burton, it merely means that he had the honor of presiding over a history-making moment during his first stint as guest host.
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The “Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor began the show on a high note with a brief tribute to Trebek, who died in November of 2020 after a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“As a longtime viewer of the show, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to guest host ‘Jeopardy!’ And I’m proud to be here to honor Alex’s legacy,” Burton shared. “I’m gonna do my best to ensure that these talented Jeopardy! contestants enjoy their moment here as well.”
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His comments echo those he made earlier in the day during an appearance on “Good Morning America” in which he discussed the immeasurably big shoes to fill left behind by Trebek.
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“For me, my standard of excellence is so intense that my initial approach was to try and be as good as Alex was,” he confessed. “Of course, I realized right away that was an impossibility. The man had 37 years to perfect his mastery.”