It was the go-to for all substitute teachers in the 80s. Teacher forget to hand you the lesson plans for the day? Reading Rainbow. Raining outside and no recess? Reading Rainbow. Last day of school, and not one kid is paying attention to your useless shouting about calming down? Reading Rainbow.
We’re not sure what it was about that show but it calmed even the wildest child. (We like to think it was the theme song. Hell, it stayed in our heads for years after elementary school.) Of course it didn’t hurt that Levar Burton, both the host and executive producer, actually made reading a book seem kind of cool. Reading Rainbow was just a staple in our childhood.
The show was basically just a celebrity reading a book out loud. Sound boring? Wrong. Who wouldn’t want Cliff Huxtable reading them a bedtime story? Nobody we’d want to know, that’s for sure. The show centered on a certain theme, and different activities related to that theme were shown. Our favorite part? Yes, the theme song sung by none other than Chaka Khan. Yeah, doesn’t get much more awesome than that, folks.
Reading Rainbow stayed on the air for years and is still the 3rd longest running children’s television show ever. It just went off the air in 2009, but ol’ Mr. Burton himself just tweeted the other day that a Reading Rainbow 2.0 was in the works. We 80s kids couldn’t be more excited.
We ♥ Reading Rainbow.