Neighborly Curiosity


The passing of Fred Rogers gives me an excuse to ask a few questions that have been nagging me for a long time:

1. How come X the Owl and Daniel the Tiger could speak fluent English, while Henrietta Pussycat had to maintain a ratio of at least two meows to every comprehensible word?

2. What was the deal with X and Henrietta? Just friends?

3. "A beautiful day for a beauty"? Huh?

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  1. What I wanna know is; what’s the deal with that house? Fred comes through the door and we’re already inside. Then when he leaves he walks out the door leaving us inside. Was it supposed to be OUR houses he was visiting? No, ’cause Fred’s clothes were in the closet, Fred’s milk was in the fridge, and that’s where McFeeley delivered his mail. So, my question is; What the huh?

  2. It seemed obvious when I was 3.

    Of course, you must remember that Fred, in his infinite honesty, was also honest when he talked about Television.

    I remember a number of occasions where he destroyed the illusion by showing the audience things such as the model town used at the beginning and end of each show.

    Also, the panning across the model represented travelling to the house (perhaps Fred travelling from work, perhaps the child arriving there).

    It may seem odd that Fred spent time with children that was not the one he lived in (he also mentioned his wife and children, so even a child assumed that he lived elsewhere) but to children watching from a babysitters house, the arrangement might make a little more sense.

    Think of it mainly as a window from your house into his.

    Did you also wonder how you got into Professor Julius Sumner Miller’s laboratory?!? 😉

  3. Seuss, Blank and Jones, Henson!!!!, and now Rogers I gotta believe I was molded by the gods how the hell my parrents grew up, or kids today will manage (mayber theres something worth while going on on the internet) I truly wonder.

    Good Bye Fred, I miss you already. Who’s going to like me ‘just the way I am’ now?

  4. Neb,

    thanks for the insight. You’re right, it more of a meeting ground than a home–a place to make a neighborhood.

    Back in high school my friend Stacy met Fred Rogers on the Metroline commuter train that rins between New Haven and New York. She got him to sign an autograph (I’m sure she duidn’t have to twist too hard).

    “To Bob, Best wishes from your TV neighbor. Mister Rogers 1980”

    I still have it. It’s just a little something I’ve kept to remember two friends by.

  5. Gawd my speling suks

  6. Didn’t Henrietta Pussycat sound kinda sexy?

  7. This reminds me of a track I heard from a group called “Escape Mechanism”. They remixed a sample of Fred – and the result was quite scary. Here’s a quote from one review.


    Never has Mister Rogers sounded so ominous, stating that “children are lively enough and small enough to go down a bathroom drain. It’s funny to think about it, but it’s true.”

  8. Somehow as I child I rationalized that the house was kinda like a vacation home, as it was obvious he didn’t live there. My grandparents had a lake house when I was small, so somehow it all made sense.

    And the Land of Make-Believe was clearly the coolest.

  9. Neb: Along the same lines of the bizarre, I recall (Firesign Theater, maybe?) doing The Blue Man or something like that.

    Mr. Rogers: Can you say “Egg McMuffin?
    Blues Man: Egamuffum
    Mr. Rogers: I like the way you say egg McMuffin.

    And another where Mr. Rogers is being accused of being a child molester that’s funny as hell, too where Mr. Rogers is going about his regular business in his regular voice while his acuser flips out. Terribly funny. In a twisted sort of way.

  10. Steve…

    NPR’s All Things Considered recently (last Thursday?) recounted some interviews they had done with Fred over the years. In it he discussed a number of cases where people did inappropriate things with the Mr. Rogers likeness.

    Specifically he mentioned a case where a local TV station did a a sketch where a Mr. Rogers impersonator instructed children to make a flame thrower out of a can of hairspray and a lighter.

    In the interview, Fred recounted how in that case they saw to it that the segment in question was discontinued.

    Fred seemed to take most of the spoofs with a grain of salt though.

  11. I just loved those models – and the Trolley was the *coolest* character on TV. The jazzy music was great, too.

  12. “Neighborly day for a beauty”, right?

    I loved that show, even when I was on my way to becoming a teenager. My dad thought I was too old for it and made me mow the lawn instead.

  13. “Everybody’s fancy, everybody’s fine….”

    Adios, mi amigo.

  14. Fred walks in and takes off his wingtips and sportscoat replacing them with house shoes and jacket. When he leaves at the end of the show, he takes off the house shoes and jacket, and puts back on his sportscoat, but I don’t believe he puts back on his wingtips. Does he leave the house in socked feet?

    R.I.P. Fred! I loved your show as a boy and, during a 2 month unemployment stint I watched it a couple more times and it’s still a great show.

  15. Henrietta Pussycat was dead sexy, but I always thought it was Robert Troll that had the hots for her. X seemed either typically nerd asexual, or had more than mere admiration for Benjamin Franklin.

  16. EMAIL:
    DATE: 02/27/2004 02:14:43
    My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in self-defense.

  17. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/21/2004 03:28:25
    Communism has nothing to do with love. Communism is an excellent hammer which we use to destroy our enemy.

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