LeVar Burton’s fans are a dedicated bunch
As Geordi La Forge, the chief engineer of the Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Levar Burton has amassed quite a fan following. Unsurprisingly, that brings interesting conversations and requests, but as Burton told Conan O’Brien in a 1997 interview, he tends to be nice to his fans, even if they sometimes have unusual requests.
At one Star Trek convention, a female fan approached him in full Klingon costume. The Klingon attire for women is notoriously low-cut, and this woman asked Burton to sign her breasts. And he did as she asked, telling O’Brien “any opportunity to please a fan.”
Earlier in the interview, when O’Brien referred to fans as “rabid,” Burton said he preferred to refer to them as “really enthusiastic” as he considers that “these are the people that are putting my children through college so I tend to be nice to them.”
LeVar Burton starred in the 1977 miniseries, Roots
Before he became Geordi La Forge, LeVar Burton took on one of the most memorable roles in history, that of Kunta Kinte in the mini-series, Roots. Airing consecutively for eight episodes beginning January 23, 1977, the series was watched by half of the U.S. population at the time and, as reported in Vulture, it “simply blew away everything else that aired on TV that season on in seasons past.”
Adding to its popularity was the effect Roots had on the people watching as one incarcerated man said to Burton. Burton was on location in the prison filming, and the man was in prison for passing bad checks, mostly in shopping malls. As Burton said in the interview with Conan O’Brien, the man told Burton that he had actually cut his hours short during the run of Roots. He had an entire crew working for him, writing bad checks and forging credits cards in the mall. But when it came time for Roots to air each evening, the prisoner admitted he would tell his crew to leave the malls early because he wanted them to be able to get home in time to watch the mini-series. Now that is fan dedication!
Kudos to Burton for being so appreciative of his fans and caring about how we are referenced! Even though this interview was over twenty years ago, the actor clearly still respects his fans, which is just another reason why he has so many.