Mister Rogers is trending on all the social media today, but before you panic and start worrying that it is for something you would rather not ever know about Mister Rogers, let us tell you that he is actually trending because it is the 50th anniversary of the day Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood first aired.
And while he does (or did) think your body is fancy, he thinks so in a wholesome way.
Which is good. Because I think at this point we are all pretty much down to him and Levar Burton as the only people we would be truly surprised or heartbroken to find that out about at this point. Mr. Rogers was the greatest, and I only just found out right now that they stopped rerunning Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood back in 2001, which in retrospect seems like a bad idea. In addition to making people feel OK about themselves “just the way they are,” Mr. Rogers had a particularly soothing voice that sort of made everything seem like it was going to be OK. The ritual aspect of the show was calming — he takes off his shoes, he puts his cardigan on, he feeds the fish, and he just sort of talks to you like you are there. There was something that was nice about that, about the show’s deliberateness, something I think was good for children.
Although Fred Rogers has long since passed, he has a lot going on these days. The United States Postal Office recently announced that they would be releasing an official Mister Rogers (and King Friday!) stamp on March 23 of this year.
Also, America’s other favorite good guy, Tom Hanks, has been cast as Mr. Rogers in an upcoming biopic, You Are My Friend, which tells the story of “a cynical journalist” assigned to write an article on Rogers, and gets platonically manic-pixie-dream-girled by the kindly children’s show host. It is probably the kind of thing we all need right now.
Also what you need right now? YOUR OPEN THREAD! And also to tip us! But first, allow me to play you out with some video treats.
First, this confusingly sexy rendition of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” by Miss Roberta Flack.
And also this classic Mr. Rogers crayon video, which I still have weird dreams about all of the time.