Special Sub-Topic: Mr. Rogers: The Man, The Myth, The Sweater
|Like many well-loved public figures, Mr. Rogers was dogged by several odd rumors. Which of these is actually true?|
When car thieves realized they'd stolen his car, they returned it with a note of apology. Even a car thief couldn't handle that much bad karma.
The sniper rumor is persistent, but untrue. Fred Rogers was never in the military, and, born in 1928, would have been too old for service in Vietnam anyway. This story is also told about John Denver.
The child molester story has been circulating for years, but the truth is more benign. The show was originally broadcast live, and children are too unpredictable to use on live TV. Buffalo Bill, host of the "Howdy Doody Show," relates how a member of the Peanut Gallery once peed in a Jack O' Lantern during a Halloween broadcast.
The flipping the bird rumor has been circulating on the Internet, but the accompanying photo is fake.
|What "Saturday Night Live" alumnus played Mr. Robinson, Mr. Rogers' sleazy, inner-city counterpart?|
Eddie Murphy. The two actually met once. Murphy gave Mr. Rogers a big hug.
|Every episode, we'd be transported to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. How many buildings and major structures made up the neighborhood?|
7. From left to right: The Eiffel Tower (rarely seen), the Castle, the Factory, the Tree, the Museum-Go-Round, the Platypus House, and the Clock Tower.
|Mr. Rogers covered a wide variety of topics on his show, from new brothers and sisters, to how peanut butter is made. Some of the topics were a tad odd. Which of these was never discussed on the show?|
Child Abuse. So far as I can tell, he never did a child abuse episode. He did show us footage of a flushing toilet, so children would realize they could not be sucked down the pipes (a legitimate and realistic fear, in my opinion). With rising divorce rates, Mr. Rogers conquered the previously taboo subject of divorces.
In what was the weirdest series of Neighborhood Of Make-Believe episodes, the Neighborhood nearly went to war with the bordering town of Westwood. King Friday, paranoid of invasion, decided pre-emptive strikes were the only way to handle their neighbor's expansionist policies. The education budget was slashed, while the rocking chair factory was seized by the government and converted into a munitions works. Bob Dog was drafted and sent to Westwood as a deep cover agent. Despite the efforts of Lady Aberlin and the liberal media, bloodshed seemed inevitable. Luckily, zero hour peace talks were able to prevent hostilities, and the series ended with the 'swords to plowshares' Bible verse. I swear to God I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.
|Chef Brockett always provided some tasty treats to the neighborhood. However, Don Brockett also provided a less than appetizing character in which movie?|
"Silence of the Lambs" (psychopath in cell). Next time you watch "Silence of the Lambs," note that one of Hannibal Lecter's fellow prisoners was once Mr. Rogers' neighbor.
|Who ran the 'Museum-Go-Round'?|
Lady Elaine. Lady Elaine Fairchilde ran the Museum-Go-Round. Though declared by "Maxim" magazine to be the scariest puppet ever devised, she was often the only one who could talk sense into King Friday.
|What was produced in the factory next to the castle?|
Rocking Chairs. Cornflake E. Pecially produced rocking chairs. An understanding and caring boss, he pioneered the idea of an in-plant daycare service.
|In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Joe Negri is the handyman. In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, what does he do?|
Owns the music shop. He plays the guitar.
|Mr. Rogers decided to go into children's programing, because he was disgusted by what he saw on television. What, specifically, did he see on TV that upset him?|
People throwing pies at each other. He felt the pie throwing to be demeaning. That was certainly a more innocent time.
|In 2003, we bid good bye to our favorite television neighbor. Mr. Rogers has earned many accolades during his career, including a lifetime achievement Emmy and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Which U.S. president presented Mr. Rogers with this award?|
George Bush, Jr.. This is the highest civilian award given in the United States. For more information about Mr. Rogers, check out http://pbskids.org/rogers/
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