Reading Rainbow, the PBS television series and first thing children of the ’80s think of when they hear “LeVar Burton,” airs for the last time today after 26 years. The reason? Contract expiration. My most vivid memories of the ‘bow are the old-school opening credits, which I usually watched with my sister before wandering away to go read a book. As I haven’t watched them since, I’m in a mild state of shock and awe right now because now I know why, whenever we learned about explorers in social studies or history class, I pictured a giant sand castle next to, like, Vasco da Gama. (Totally the best explorer by the way.)
I’d like to issue both a tip of my hat and a wag of my finger to singer Tina Fabrique for ensuring that the theme song will soothe/haunt me all weekend. You can watch the first-ever episode, in which Burton reads the ever-applicable Picture Puffins book Tight Times, here. WARNING: The updated opening credits may freak you out.