Monday, March 9, 2015

I was never a Mister Rogers fan...

Mister Rogers accidentally shoots the bird...

Many people my age have fond memories of watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS when they were growing up.  I'm not one of those people.  I think the reason may be because when his show would have been appropriate for me, I was living in England.  By the time we got back to the USA, I may have been too old for him.  Or maybe I just thought he was weird.  That seems like a more likely scenario.

I never really enjoyed his theme song... especially when he exchanged his suit jacket for a cardigan and then changed his shoes.  Seems to me that if he really wanted to be comfortable and look playful, he would have removed his tie, too.

Mister Rogers always seemed so uptight and nerdy to me.  

Now that I'm a lot older, I appreciate Fred Rogers.  He was a pretty cool guy.  First off, he was a great musician and played piano marvelously.  He sang and wrote his own songs and voiced his own puppets.  His overwhelming message to kids is that they are special and capable.  He was gentle and creative, too, not eating meat on ethical grounds.  He was also an ordained Presbyterian minister.

When Fred Rogers died, I actually felt kind of sad.  He had stomach cancer, which was discovered not long after he retired from television.  He survived only a few months after the diagnosis, passing away on February 27, 2003 at age 74.

Mister Rogers thanks the young adults who watched his show.

I don't know why I thought of him today.  Maybe it's because someone on RfM posted that video of him flipping off little kids.  Of course he wasn't trying to be nasty.  He was just singing a song about fingers.  I'm kind of surprised it didn't occur to him that the middle finger extended in that way is vulgar.  But hell, he probably never thought that way.  That's what made him such a special and much beloved figure in so many peoples' childhoods.

Mister Rogers and Joan Rivers.  This is a surprisingly interesting and entertaining interview.
Well, I never got into Mister Rogers' show.  I did watch it on occasion, but usually just to roll my eyes.  But as an old person, I now realize how lucky I was to grow up with him on TV.  In my mind, he ranks right up there with Jim Henson.  For children of the 70s and 80s, Jim Henson was totally the bomb.

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