We were having such fuzzy feelings for LeVar Burton as he set out on a mission via Kickstarter to relaunch Reading Rainbow in and outside of classrooms. From raising his goal of $1 million to to being overcome with emotion as he read aloud all of the people that donated to Reading Rainbow, all of the press has been a warm reintroduction to Burton’s love of books. Then we heard the “new theme song” to Reading Rainbow and the only way to describe it is that it’s the creepiest thing we’ve heard in some time.
The original theme song to Reading Rainbow is something we’re all very familiar with and creates a feeling of warmth, even if it has nonsensical lyrics like, “Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high.” This new theme song is completely devoid of nostalgia. Instead of reading it focuses on Burton gaining too much knowledge and destroying everything in his way because of it.
The new theme song released by Funny or Die is something we never thought we would see from LeVar Burton. A parody that sticks true to its form, Funny or Die has kept most of the lyrics and peppered in truly terrifying add-ons to the song. The peppy song now has enthusiastic lines like, “Take a look, there’s no more books!” A notable shot features Burton in the middle of some weird existential crises. Couple all of these elements and we have an incredibly trippy video that resembles a cruel acid trip instead of our once favorite whimsical theme song.
The video shows Burton zapping those innocent butterflies we grew up loving, manipulating galaxies, while shooting out a reading rainbow laser ruining all the books. The madness stops only when Burton claims his throne, which sits on a mountain of books that are engulfed in flames.
The new theme song is of course just in some good fun, and is sure to drum up even further interest to Burton’s plans to expand the exposure of the series. There’s no word on what the real theme song will sound like, or if there’s any plans to update the version.
Since launching the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign LeVar has been enjoying a lot of the viral products that have come up from everyone’s new interest in Reading Rainbow. Just the other day he shared a Vine video:
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) June 5, 2014