ShareThis Page
Movies/TV

PBS documentary on Mister Rogers debuts tonight

| Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 9:45 a.m.
Fred Rogers invitation to young viewers of his long-running 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' show to be his neighbor will be honored April 21 with the fifth annual 'Be My Neighbor Day,' encouraging volunteers to help out in their neighborhoods.
File
Fred Rogers invitation to young viewers of his long-running 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' show to be his neighbor will be honored April 21 with the fifth annual 'Be My Neighbor Day,' encouraging volunteers to help out in their neighborhoods.

"Mister Rogers: It's You I Like" will debut at 8 p.m. today on WQED and PBS stations across the country.

Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton will narrate the 50th anniversary tribute to the late Fred Rogers and his beloved children's program, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Keaton worked on the show as a stagehand in the early 1970s.

Judd Apatow, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Silverman, John Lithgow and Esperanza Spalding are among the celebrity admirers who will share their memories of the show that debuted Feb. 19, 1968.

Famed musicians Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, who both appeared on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," also are featured. Cast members and Pittsburgh icons Joe Negri (Handyman Negri) and David Newell (Mr. McFeely) share personal stories about Rogers, as does Joanne Rogers, his widow.

"He saw himself as a communicator and not a teacher. In fact, there's a story I'll tell you about that how he communicated," Newell said in an interview with Tribune News Service. "He once was at a child-care center observing children as part of his education. And they had a tradition of parents coming in and showing the children each week what they did for a living, the parents. And one father came in who was a sculptor, and he brought this clay and then put it right down in front of the children and just started to make projects — not telling children what to do but just doing it with such love and passion.

"And Fred always said he sort of modeled what he did from that. He said that attitudes are caught, not taught. And I think that's what Fred did on the program. He would show children places and topics and let them catch it. He never sort of spelled it out . But that was very unique, I thought. And he was the real thing, I can tell you that. It came from inside. There was a true passion, and we were all glad to be part of that passion."

Fred Rogers, a Latrobe native, died in 2003.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me