LeVar Burton in Pop Culture: A Retrospective

Happy birthday, Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr.! Whether you know him as Geordi La Forge from Star Trek, as Kunta Kinte from Roots, or as the Reading Rainbow host who kick-started your childhood book binge, you’re probably as thrilled as we are whenever LeVar Burton pops up in your pop culture sphere. Really, who couldn’t relate to Donald Glover’s Community panic attack upon his starstruck introduction to Mr. Burton? Needless to say, he is a master at the art of TV cameos, and to honor his 55th birthday, we’ve gathered a collection of excellent LeVar Burton pop culture appearances after the jump. Oh, and feel free to leave your birthday wishes in the comments. He might not read them, but we will.


In a Season 2 episode of Community, something marvelous happens — Troy gets an unexpected visit from his idol. Hilarity ensues as he has a mental breakdown, screaming that he only wanted LeVar’s signed picture; you can’t disappoint a picture. In related news, if you’ve been worrying about bringing kids into a world without Troy’s beloved Reading Rainbow, have no fear — Burton’s impending RRKidz app will bring sky-bound butterflies to an iPad near you.