Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Quite a guy, actually …

… The Ministry of Mr. Rogers | by Robert Sullivan | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Now, fifty years after the first episode aired, we are still modulating through versions of Fred Rogers. Children of a certain age know him as the guy in the suit who switched into a cardigan at each show’s start, singing, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Off-screen Rogers was hard to know, or difficult to categorize. He was a lifelong teetotaler who owned a stake in Vegetarian Times and used salty language with his own kids, though only in the puppet voice of Lady Elaine Fairchilde. Coworkers remember Rogers as both zany—dancing across the set with an inflatable sex doll they had hid in his closet—and imperious, as when he reprimanded an actor who kindly suggested to Henrietta Pussycat that she not cry, something Rogers would never suggest to a child.

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