Jeopardy! guest host LeVar Burton and Ryan Reynolds star in new Aviation Gin ad


LeVar Burton stars in a new Aviation Gin ad with Ryan Reynolds. (Photo: Emily Berl for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

LeVar Burton is having a good week — days after the former Reading Rainbow host accepted a temporary gig on Jeopardy!, he starred in a new Aviation Gin ad with Ryan Reynolds.  

Reynolds, 44, who co-owns the alcohol brand, announced the partnership on Twitter. “Officially starting the @levarburton for literally everything campaign…” he wrote. In a video for the ad, the Deadpool star says, “Everybody’s been saying how great LeVar Burton is. So, I decided to have him step in for me as spokesperson for Aviation Gin. LeVar?” 

The camera then cuts to the Roots and Star Trek star. “Thanks, Ryan,” says Burton, 64. “The smooth, refreshing taste of Aviation American Gin, for an out-of-this-world gin and tonic,” then sips his beverage. 

“Now, that man is a goddamn national treasure,” says Reynolds. “He’s probably too good for us.”

Social media support for Burton to host Jeopardy! had been building, as the game show lined up temporary celebrity guest hosts to replace Alex Trebek, who died in November due to stage 4 pancreatic cancer. A Change.org petition with more than 250,000 signatures also called for Burton to become a permanent host, an idea he himself endorsed. “This is something that I really think is a good idea,” Burton told USA Today. “I think it’s a good fit of what the show is, what the show requires and what I feel like I bring to the table.”

Last year, the Emmy-award winning host and executive producer of PBS’s Reading Rainbow, which ran from 1983 to 2006 (airing reruns until 2009) started his own reading series on Twitter

On Wednesday, when Jeopardy! announced that Burton would join the ranks of celebrity hosts, he was ecstatic. “THANK YOU…to all y’all for your passionate support!” Burton tweeted. “I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.”

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Reynolds replied to the news by tweeting, “This needs to be a permanent gig.” Burton, who will host the show from July 26 to July 30, will follow Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

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