"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was among the most famous, longest-lasting and fondly remembered children's television shows. Host Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply Mister Rogers) used his gentle charm to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on nearly every inconceivable matter of concern to children, ranging from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations, and disappointment about not getting one's way, to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. Rogers used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to make his point. A scale-model trolley was often (but not always) used to segue into the Make-Believe segments, said neighborhood being inhabited by puppet characters including King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchilde and Daniel Stripèd Tiger. Frequent visitors as well as Rogers' own frequent visits to various places in the neighborhood rounded out each show. The program was taped at ...Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
The walls inside Mr. Rogers' television house were originally painted a bright yellow, revealed when the show went to color in 1969. In episode #1326, the premiere episode of season seven, Mr. Rogers put on overalls and painted the walls blue. The blue colored walls remained in all subsequent shows up until the series' end in 2001. See more »
In the 1979-1981 episodes when Mr. Rogers takes off his sweater and closes the closet door, he'd often close it too fast so it came open a ways, but then the closet door begins to close on its own, as if someone were behind the door pulling it closed. See more »
Right before the end credits of "Conflict" #1525, a message appears on screen that says, "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares. And their spears into pruning forks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore". See more »
Various theme-week episodes were released to video in the late-1980s in a special format. For instance, the week of "Day Care and Night Care" (#1516-1520) was released to video under the title "When Parents Are Away", and featured the Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments, edited into new segments featuring Mr. Rogers, as well as old segments like him visiting the day care home. In the old version, Fred meets Mr. McFeely at Brockett's bakery and they go to the day care home together. But in the video version, Mr. McFeely visits Mr. Rogers from Brockett's bakery and they leave from the house. See more »
Like many kids of the early 70's, I used to watch the PBS trinity. Sesame Street taught us about letters and numbers while The Electric Company taught us about reading. Mr. Rogers had the hardest job of all though; he taught us about feelings, socialization and the adult world.
Everything about the show was crafted to be warm and friendly without being boring or patronizing. Mr. Roger's tools were puppets, videos and original music, all of which were used to great effect. Even so, the show was about how people feel and relate, and for that it needed a Human element. Mr. Rogers and his neighbors were that element, and they were expert teachers.
As the focal-point of the show ("star" just doesn't seem right), Mr. Rogers always spoke directly to the camera, as if speaking directly to the children who were watching. His manner was always calm and inviting, unlike a certain purple dinosaur whose hyperactive manner almost demands that you like him. More importantly, Mr. Rogers always conveyed an air of dignity. Contrast that with many modern shows that tend to portray adults as fools. That may be good for a cheap laugh, but kids know that adults are in charge. Who wants a fool to be in charge? Kids shows will come and go, but there will never be another Mr. Rogers. He didn't want to sell the kids things, he didn't expect them to be "cool," and he didn't want to replace their parents. he just wanted to be their neighbor.
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