LeVar Burton Plays Evil Overlord of 'Reading Rainbow' on Funny or Die - Rolling Stone
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LeVar Burton Plays Evil Overlord of ‘Reading Rainbow’ on Funny or Die

New clip supports his Kickstarter campaign to revive series, which has raised nearly $3.5 million

LeVar Burton reading rainbowLeVar Burton reading rainbow

LeVar Burton

JB Lacroix/WireImage

LeVar Burton has taken Reading Rainbow‘s tagline—”Go anywhere. Be anything.”—to heart in a new Funny or Die video, in which he becomes a demigod through the power of books. The clip starts innocently enough, with rainbows, a butterfly floating by curious children and a verse matching the original theme.

Watch Barack Obama on Funny or Die’s ‘Between Two Ferns’ with Zach Galifianakis

Then things take a dark turn when Burton realizes reading has given him control over the cosmos, and he resolves that no one can challenge his reign. “This power…no man should have power like this,” Burton mutters before laying waste to the world’s books à la Fahrenheit 451. Check out the clip below:

The humorous video comes after the massive success of Burton’s Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow. The page went live at the end of May and sought $1 million in funding. As of this writing, the project has raised nearly $3.5 million from over 75,000 backers. The Kickstarter will expand Reading Rainbow‘s existing tablet app to be available online on a subscription basis. Subscriptions will also be given to 1,500 classrooms for free. Because of his effort’s popularity, Burton has set a stretch goal of $5 million, which will expand free subscriptions for the app to 7,500 classrooms, as well as include versions on mobile and Android devices and game consoles like Xbox and Playstation.

Burton recently took to Reddit for an AMA with fans, and discussed the impact of his work throughout the years: “That’s one of the best things about my life, is that every day is full of not simply surprises, but an opportunity for me to have genuine connections with people who, for whatever reason, over time, genuinely embraced what I do.”

Reading Rainbow was originally canceled in 2009. Burton hasn’t been totally out of the spotlight until now, though: He has held recurring roles on Perception and a cartoon offshoot of Transformers, as well as an amazing cameo in Community, in which he plays the idol of Donald Glover’s character.

The Kickstarter page is still currently taking donations.


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