In the morning, while waiting for my brain to de-thaw from the long winter of sleep I turn on the television and watch a movie or documentary. Generally not for very long. Just long enough to dissipate the residue of unsettling dreams. This morning I watched part of a documentary about Fred Rogers called Won’t you be my Neighbor? I used to think watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood with my toddler was worse than eight hours at a miserable job but you know, he was a decent guy. I sure wish we had him around today to help children cope with the schism in this country. I wonder what he would say. “Children, the world has seen evil men before and many millions of people have died but that doesn’t mean that you’re not special.”
A cat of entirely different stripes, Captain Kangaroo, was the reason my father finally allowed a boob tube in our house. My little sister’d fallen in love with the show and she always got what she wanted because she was “special,” aka, a champion pouter who could and would hide under the bed and refuse to eat until she got her way.
By that time I was a teenager and so warned my parents that Lizzie’s fixation with Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans would warp her forever but, did they listen to me? No. And so she’s been married nineteen times. I guess she thinks there’s a man out there somewhere who likes to talk to stuffed animals and is not some kind of pervert.
Back to my apology, Fred Rogers had amazing will power. He swam a mile every single day and maintained the exact same weight for most of his adult life. He could also focus his attention one hundred percent on listening to young children. Have you ever tried to listen to a toddler for longer than a few minutes?
Apparently he wasn’t fond of Eddie Murphy’s brilliant satire: Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood:
But there are pictures of the two men embracing in later years. Do you think Trump will ever embrace Alec Baldwin?
I’ve consolidated a series of posts I wrote back in 2014 into a page called A Dummies Guide to Innocent Spouse Relief. If you have any interest in how wacky tax code is here in the US, check it out.
33 thoughts on “I’m so sorry, Mr. Rogers”
This one made me smile!
Thank Deb – hope you’re doing well!
This was great Jan! I did watch the Captain (I think he was around before Mr R.)
My sister absolutely adored Mr. Green Jeans. I think because he was the opposite of our father.
I did too, and I like Bunny Rabbit.
Talkin’ ’bout mmmmm my generation, baby.
(Why haven’t I found you over her, before? Now to mention, where’s Duke?)
Hum, don’t know why either. Duke is working on a crime novel.
Well, I’m here now.
Crime novel? Tarantino worthy, no doubt.
Hi. Have you seen last year’s movie in which Tom Hanks plays Fred? I thought it was very good.
Nope but it’s on my list.
As a kid, I liked Sesame Street, Electric Company and I do recall watching Captain Kangaroo. Mr. Rogers, even as a wee thing, I just couldn’t do.
I loved Sesame Street. I remember going with my friends to see their first movie (and we were all adults!) We loved it more than the kids.
Thanks for this one. There wasn’t much to do on the ranch – until I was old enough to drive the tractor. Some of my earliest memories are of watching television. Captain Kangaroo, Shari Lewis (and Lamb Chop), Beany and Cecil, Romper Room, Captain Satellite, Captain Delta, Cap’n Mitch, Captain Sacto, Skipper Stu, Mayor Art, The Mickey Mouse Club.
Lol! Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop used to perform at Harrahs and the Nugget. Once they even rode in the Nevada Day parade with the “boys” from Bonanza! I think their show at Harrahs was a little bit racier than on children’s television.
Great stuff, J.
I’m waking up with coffee and music alone. No TV. It makes me even more nervous.
I can’t watch television at night – puts me right to sleep! So if I want to watch something it has to be before dinner!
I watched the Captain but he was kind of creepy. I liked Bunny Rabbit best because he had little glasses and so did I. When kids teased me BR was my go to example of how eyeglasses weren’t all bad.
I’m sure the Captain was a lovely guy but I really don’t understand that hairdo! Creepy.
Good stuff. never a fan of either. They both seem a bit creepy.
I think that’s probably why Sesame Street was such a hit. Adults could appreciate the humor.
I did not love Captain Kangaroo, and as I got older I began to wonder if he was HIGH? I dunno. I was a Mr Rogers fan though, especially of Make Believe.
I do not think Alec Baldwin and that other guy will hug it out. I do not think there is a mutual respect. Also, one of the four has no talent, so…
For Mr. Rogers it was a mission. For Capt. Kanga it was a job. At least, that was my impression. One of the four – interesting! You are a sly one.
This was absolutely wonderful, Jan! We learned to appreciate Fred Rogers because our youngest daughter loved watching his neighborhood. She has a lovely disposition and we can’t help but wonder now if they might not come from having watched him. Our older son loved Reading Rainbow, and now he’s a school teacher. Role models, we need more good ones. :O)
You’re so right. I didn’t appreciate Mr. Rogers because at the time my life was so hectic and full of despair that I felt I couldn’t slow down and survive but he was there to speak to my son when I couldn’t. He called it “the sacred time.” Yeah, we need Mr. Rogers again!
Boy do we. :O)
I liked Mr. Rodger’s – but didn’t have a TV back then!
I remember this Eddie M skit and it made be laugh out loud all over again. He was brilliant!
Cameron loved Mr Rogers and he turned out pretty sweet.
Really fun look at some of our TV pals, Jan. I watched Captain Kangaroo, too, and my favorite character was Grandfather Clock sputtering awake. Your photo of C.K. is hilarious. Your writing always makes me laugh, I appreciate that.
Thanks Jet. I’ve just spent two days clearing out a basement storage area that was invaded by RATS! Could be a challenge to turn it into a humorous adventure….. but I’ll try. First, a bath and a bottle of gin are in order!!!
I didn’t watch either of these shows growing up or with my kids. The only perspective I have is after watching the Mr Rogers movie with Tom Hanks, and he depicted a pretty special guy.
The world would do well to have more people like this in it.
I think many parents are so pre-occupied with taking care of the house or work that they don’t really listen to children and that’s what Mr. Rogers tried to convey. Other shows seemed more preoccupied with entertaining them.
This is a very good article.
I missed all the shows up here in Canada. We did get Sesame Street.
I’ve seen a lot of fab clips on the Mr. Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks (who has now tested positive) so I look forward to seeing it!
Thank you Resa. I’d like to see that movie too.