In case any over-exhausted parents might wonder if they’re hallucinating, we can assure you: former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton did actually give a reading of the 2011 bestseller Go the [bleep] to Sleep this weekend.
A video of the reading has been viewed nearly 250,000 times since it was posted Saturday. Burton read the book to a small audience (of adults, naturally) as part of a charity event for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.
In case it’s not obvious, we’ll warn you that the reading includes profanity. Here it is:
The book was famously inspired by a night when Adam Mansbach was struggling to put his daughter down for the night, leading him to joke on Facebook, “Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the [famous four-letter expletive] to Sleep,” as NPR’s Eyder Peralta wrote in 2011.
“The response was so great that Mansbach got to work and before long he had an exquisitely profane bedtime story that has really struck a nerve,” Eyder wrote.
The charity event was put together by Rooster Teeth, which says it raised a total of $442,389.
In an exchange of tweets today, Mansbach congratulated Burton on the reading — and Burton promised to send the author a copy of his own children’s book, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. In return, Mansbach said he would send Burton his upcoming sequel, You Have to [bleeping] Eat.
We first spotted the story on the Kotaku website, where Mike Fahey wrote of the 2011 book, “Having had our twins in June of 2011, we own about 20 copies, including the audiobook version as read by Samuel L. Jackson.”
While Burton’s talents as an actor and PBS TV host are well recognized, we’ll note that the relish with which he delivers some of the book’s lines might suggest that he drew on personal experience for the reading. But we’re sure it’s only a coincidence that his college-age daughter, Mica Burton, was at Saturday’s event.