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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1041

Original Air Date: April 7, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a basket full of items which he uses to play a game where the items are matched with their appropriate cases and containers. The items include such things as a ukulele, a book, a brush, and a bowling ball.

Lady Aberlin stops by to tell Mister Rogers that singer (and her "pretend aunt") Mabel Mercer will be visiting the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Lady Aberlin has been drawing a picture of Ms. Mercer.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Handyman Negri plays his guitar for King Friday and Queen Sara as they wait for Ms. Mercer. When Dr. Bill and Elsie Jean Platypus arrive, Dr. Bill starts to play his bagpipes but is promptly ordered by King Friday to stop.

Lady Aberlin arrives at the castle's S Room with a costume changer given to her by her "aunt" Mabel. It works by simply placing a block inside a small box. When Lady Aberlin tries the costume changer, her dress is immediately changed.

Everyone welcomes Ms. Mercer to the castle and is introduced to those waiting. After she sings Children Can and Just For Once, Ms. Mercer is joined by the others as they sing I'm Taking Care of You. King Friday proudly declares today to be "Mabel Mercer Day" in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers recaps a wonderful day in Make-Believe as he cleans up the items in the kitchen.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1041 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1040

Original Air Date: April 4, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with several pieces of plastic piping given to him by a plumber friend. Taking them to the kitchen, he spends some time putting the pieces together. As he works, he sings Everybody's Fancy.

With his flute and piccolo, Mr. Lee stops by asking for directions to the Neighborhood Symphony Hall. With a few minutes to spare, he is invited inside to show his instruments and to demonstrate how they are played.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, King Friday is bothered by the sound of Dr. Bill Platypus playing the bagpipes and Handyman Negri is given an order to ask Dr. Bill to stop. When Handyman Negri arrives at the Platypus mound, Cornflake S. Pecially is already there explaining a problem to Dr. Bill -- apparently the factory cannot function properly when the bagpipes are being played. Considering that and the King's distaste for bagpipe sounds, Dr. Bill agrees to find a different place to play.

Donkey Hodie has something caught in his windpipe and receives medical assistance from Dr. Bill. To thank Dr. Bill, Donkey Hodie invites him to play his bagpipes at Someplace Else.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about how children sometimes feel like they need a different place to play. As he cleans up the pipes in the kitchen, he concludes by singing I'm Taking Care of You.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1040 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1039

Original Air Date: April 3, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a can of Neighborhood Cat Food. Opening the can, he sits on the floor as he feeds his cat, Pink Paws. Enjoying time with his pet, Mister Rogers sings Just For Once before sharing a film about a time when he and his son Jamie took Pink Paws to the veterinarian.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Handyman Negri visits Corny, X the Owl, and Henrietta Pussycat to let them try out the special "hop cap" received by King Friday. Everyone agrees that hopping is fun for a minute, but they prefer the why they are without the cap. X, Henrietta, and Handyman Negri sing I'm Glad I'm the Way I Am.

At the Platypus mound, Elsie Jean is cleaning her bagpipes as Dr. Bill shares that he has been very busy lately. Taking a moment for himself, Dr. Bill plays the bagpipes before four patients arrive for an appointment.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about how he enjoys playing the piano when he is not busy. Officer Clemmons stops by and sings I'm Glad I'm the Way I Am.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1039 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Remembering Producer Paul Taff

Paul Taff was a NET / PBS television producer whose name you may have seen in the credits for many early episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I recently learned that Mr. Taff passed away on January 3, 2013 at the age of 92.


According to his obituary, "[Mr. Taff's] proudest achievement while at NET was acquiring a children's program being locally produced in Pittsburgh by the name of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and arranging for its distribution to a national educational television audience. He served as executive producer and announcer on the early programs and remained good friends with Fred Rogers thereafter, frequently vacationing at his cottage on Nantucket."

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Taff family and our eternal gratitude to Mr. Taff for his hand in bringing the Neighborhood into the homes of countless children.

Adventure Sandwich!

I tend to be somewhat critical of current children's television programming. It seems that for every quality show on the air, there are dozens full of commercialism and lacking in substantial content. Most of the best children's programs that I've seen in my life tend to have striking similarities in content as they encourage young viewers to grow both emotionally and academically through the use of imagination and creative play.

It was recently brought to my attention that some friends of a friend were putting together a new program that fits right into this mold.


Inspired by classics ranging from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Adventure Sandwich is looking for support as they produce their pilot episode. I'll let you check out the details for yourself on their Kickstarter campaign page, but I'll tell you up front, this show is packed with imagination!

Please take a few minutes to watch their promotional video and then use the links below for more on Adventure Sandwich!

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1038

Original Air Date: April 2, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a small box he was given by Mr. McFeely on the way in. After singing B-O-X Spells Box, he opens the box to find that it is filled with rabbit food and shares a film about animals eating different kinds of food.

Mr. McFeely arrives with a few rabbits in a cage. He and Mister Rogers feed the rabbits as they talk about how each one is different.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Daniel Striped Tiger is checking the gears inside his clock to be sure everything is working properly when Dr. Marchl stops by. Daniel directs him towards the Platypus mound where Dr. Marchl meets Dr. Bill and Elsie Jean.

At the castle, everyone gathers to open the box left by the Wizard of Luvovich. When the box opens on its own, they find a pair of pretend bunny ears and a note that says "To help you hop." When Lady Aberlin puts on the ears, she continues to hop until the ears are removed. Everyone else takes their turn with the ears and enjoys a fun hop.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about a people making their own decisions about what they will do -- wishing or wearing a special cap cannot make a person do something. He concludes by singing You've Got To Do It.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1038 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1037

Original Air Date: April 1, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a toy bed for a baby doll and pretends that his doll is moving from a crib to a bed. With the doll tucked into the new bed, Mister Rogers sings Please Don't Think It's Funny before asking Picture Picture to share a film about how people make mattresses.

Using his hands, Mister Rogers pretends that his fingers are mattress springs. He also pretends that his hands are a growing plant and a trolley.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Handyman Negri is tired after staying up most of the night making a leaf mattress for the Wizard of Lupovich. Handyman Negri shows Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl the kinds of leaves he used in making the mattress. With two leaves in his hands, Handyman Negri joins X and Henrietta as they sing One and One are Two before they all talk about how they sleep.

At the castle, the Wizard of Lupovich is ready to return to his home as King Friday complains of having a "sniffle or two." After a quick examination of the King, Dr. Bill find nothing wrong but gives him some cotton balls to make him feel better.

Before the wizard wishes himself home, he gives King Friday a magic box which is to be opened tomorrow. King Friday asks Handyman Negri to open the box but the lid will not budge. Everyone sings Wait and See as they anticipate the coming day when they can look inside the box.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about when he was a boy and wished that he was a grown-up instead. Recognizing the significance of growing up, Mister Rogers is glad that the wish did not come true. He concludes by singing Parents Were Little Once Too.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1037 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wrapping Up a Day of Celebration

It's been fun today to watch as the internet has filled with tributes to Mister Rogers -- both big and small. Here are some of my favorites from throughout the day.

Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1036

Original Air Date: March 31, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a pair of baby shoes -- the pair he wore when he was a baby himself. Taking out other children's shoes, he compares their size to his current shoes. Before singing Everything Grows Together, he talks about how people grow.

Mr. McFeely stops by with a pair of sandals for Mister Rogers and stays long enough to share a magic trick. After tearing a piece of paper into small pieces, it appears that Mr. McFeely is able to magically put them back together.

Taking out the sandals, Mister Rogers puts them on in place of his sneakers. Inside the shoe box, Mister Rogers finds an explanation of the magic trick performed by Mr. McFeely.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the sandal-wearing Wizard of Lupovich stops at the tree on his way to visit Lady Elaine Fairchilde. In a game of "Owl, Pussycat, and Who Are You," the friendly wizard amazes X and Henrietta by showing his ability to disappear and reappear.

At the Museum-Go-Round, the Wizard of Lupovich is able to magically help Lady Aberlin sort some colored papers. Lady Aberlin gladly escorts the wizard to the castle where they meet Lady Elaine Fairchilde and King Friday. When the wizard stubs his toe on the trolley tracks, King Friday calls for Dr. Frogg but is promptly reminded that the Frogg family has moved to Westwood. Instead, King Friday is introduced to Dr. Bill Platypus who attends to the injured wizard.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers quietly enjoys a glass of milk as he sings I'm Taking Care of You.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1036 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1035

Original Air Date: March 28, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a handful of balloons. After inflating a few he asks Picture Picture to share a film about a man making things out of balloons.

Outside on the porch, Mr. McFeely has delivered a helium tank which Mister Rogers uses to inflate a few more balloons. When Officer Clemmons stops by on his way to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Mister Rogers asks him to take the helium balloons to Henrietta Pussycat. Before he leaves, Officer Clemmons sings I Like You As You Are with Mister Rogers.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the carnival is underway as Robert Troll tries out Corny's "Rockit to the Moon" -- an attraction where he rocks in a chair as Corny lowers a pretend moon towards them. Meanwhile, Henrietta Pussycat sells her last balloon to Lady Aberlin just as Officer Clemmons arrives with the balloons from Mister Rogers.

After Lady Aberlin and Mime Walker perform their tight rope walk, Daniel Striped Tiger opens his wild animal exhibit. The "wild tiger" frightens Robert Troll until he realizes that it is just Daniel wearing a mask.
King Friday and Queen Sara arrive outside the castle led by Officer Clemmons. Henrietta is upset when some of her balloons float away and is comforted and taken home by Lady Aberlin and Officer Clemmons.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about how fun things can sometimes make a person tired and suggests that when that happens, it is usually time to go home. He concludes for the week by singing I'm Taking Care of You.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1035 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Can't Wait To Meet You Neighbo(u)r

Apparently a somewhat unique cover of Won't You Be My Neighbor is being used in a Target commercial in Canada and some Mister Rogers' fans are none too pleased.


Me? Big deal.

In fact, I think it's great that Fred Rogers' music is being carried on in some fun ways within popular culture. If it's done tastefully and the Fred Rogers Company approves and can benefit from it, why not?

Chime in with your thoughts here, on Facebook, or on the Neighborhood Archive forum.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1034

Original Air Date: March 27, 1969

  

Mister Rogers puts on a parade coat before going to the yard where he has an antique music box. Turning the crank, he encourages viewers to march as he plays music from the box.

Mr. Becze, from the Westwood Zoo, stops by with a groundhog. Mister Rogers feeds the groundhog a carrot as Mr. Becze talks about the animal's habits.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, preparations for the carnival continue as Wally Parker practices his juggling and Mignon Parker makes a paper tree. Mime Walker and Lady Aberlin work on their tight rope act before Lady Aberlin is called to see the King.

At the castle garden, King Friday announces that the carnival is not to be held at the castle as he was never asked for permission to do so. When he is given the responsibility of leading the parade, King Friday quickly changes his mind and gives his permission for the carnival.

Back at the house, Picture Picture shares a film about a parade.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1034 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1033

Original Air Date: March 26, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a part for a cotton candy maker which he takes to the kitchen where the rest of the machine is waiting. Sitting at the table, he sings I'd Like to Be Just Like Mom and Dad as he shares a film about children spending time with their parents. Chef Brockett stops by and makes some cotton candy with Mister Rogers. He plans to take some to the carnival in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Robert Troll is at the castle with Queen Sara and Edgar Cooke who are planning to make caramel apples for the carnival. When Chef Brockett brings some cotton candy to King Friday, he is required to first make an appointment. King Friday is disinterested in the cotton candy and the carnival as he has more important matters at hand.

Meanwhile, Lady Elaine Fairchilde has a crystal ball at the Museum-Go-Round which she is planning to use in the carnival. Robert Troll stops by with candy apples which X the Owl is happy to try. When his beak sticks to the caramel, Robert Troll struggles to pull X free.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about Robert Troll's dialect and other fun gibberish as he sings Troll Talk. He clarifies that troll talk is different than speaking in foreign languages such as the way Grandpere speaks French.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1033 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1032

Original Air Date: March 25, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a wooden A-frame which he takes to the kitchen where he uses it to complete a balance scale. He compares the weights of various fruits and vegetables as well as the weights of a collection of toy dolls. After Mister Rogers sings Everybody's Fancy, Mr. McFeely stops by with a wooden toy that works only when properly balanced. Picture Picture shows a film about a carnival.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Mr. McFeely delivers a tiger mask to Daniel Striped Tiger before stopping to talk with Lady Aberlin. She mentions her plan to be a tight-rope walker in the upcoming carnival before helping X the Owl with his Benjamin Franklin costume. Mr. McFeely returns to deliver a set of cards to X which he plans to use as name cards for the carnival. Lady Aberlin demonstrates how she will walk on a tight-rope and Henrietta Pussycat suggests that she will be a balloon lady. X the Owl has difficulty making a name card that says "Tight Rope Walker" but decides to print "TRW" instead.

At the clock, Daniel is wearing his wild tiger costume and becomes frightened when he sees himself in Lady Aberlin's mirror. He decides that he would be more comfortable wearing the mask if Lady Aberlin is with him so he will be the "wild tiger that sits next to the tightrope walker."

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about how frightening things are sometimes easier when you are with someone you trust.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1032 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Modern Mister Rogers

Those of you who use Twitter somewhat regularly may be familiar with an account under the name "Modern Seinfeld." The concept is simple -- what kind of storylines might we expect to see if Seinfeld was a current show in 2013? A truly entertaining Twitter account to follow. Here's an example...


Recently, a similar account hit the Twitter scene with a face more familiar to readers of the Neighborhood Archive. It's certainly my pleasure to point you towards "Modern Mister Rogers."


I assure you that I'm not behind this account -- it's actually our old pal Guy Hutchinson who has combined his appreciation for Mister Rogers and his wonderful sense of humor for this light-hearted feed. Regardless, if you're on Twitter, this is an account you'll definitely want to follow!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1031

Original Air Date: March 24, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a collection of pictures cut into different shapes which he uses with some similarly cut frames to play a matching game. Complimenting viewers on their many talents, Mister Rogers sings Children Can.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Handyman Negri invites several neighbors to the castle where they are to receive a present from King Friday and Queen Sara. Upon uncovering the gift, Handyman Negri finds a moving frame which can be taken for a ride.

The first to take a ride, Lady Elaine Fairchilde wants to keep the frame for herself but Handyman Negri explains that the frame is to be shared. After X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat take a turn with the frame, Handyman Negri is provided with a larger frame for himself. His frame, however, does not move on its own. Lady Elaine proposes the idea of having a carnival in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to show their appreciation to the King and Queen.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers shares some childhood films of himself.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1031 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Episode 1030

Original Air Date: March 21, 1969

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a full-length mirror which he uses to look at his reflection. With a play clock, he explains that images are reversed when seen in a mirror. Before singing You're Growing, Mister Rogers suggests that looking in a mirror is a way to help understand your feelings.

Picture Picture shows a welcome message and also how the word "welcome" would look in a mirror. Mentioning the pending return of King Friday and Queen Sara to Make-Believe, Mister Rogers sings We Welcome You Today.

Handyman Negri stops by and gives Mister Rogers a small welcome sign similar to the ones he will be hanging up in Make-Believe.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Robert Troll and Daniel Striped Tiger are anxiously awaiting the return of King Friday and Sara Saturday. When Robert Troll sees Lady Aberlin in her Queen Sara costume, he is disappointed to find that it is not really the Queen.

The royal couple returns from their honeymoon and sees Joey Hollingsworth and Lady Aberlin in their King Friday and Queen Sara costumes. King Friday assumes he is looking into a mirror at grown versions of himself and Queen Sara. When the masks are removed, everyone celebrates the King and Queen's return to Make-Believe -- everyone except Robert Troll who is hesitant to believe that Queen Sara has actually returned until she "talks troll" to him.

Joey Hollingsworth performs a final dance with Lady Aberlin before he leaves on another selling tour representing Corny and his Rockit factory. Honoring the King and Queen, everyone sings We Welcome You Today.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers waves to viewers in his mirror and talks about his reflection. He reminds viewers that there is only one person in the world just like them. Suggesting that the same is true for all living things, he concludes by singing Tree Tree Tree.

For details, notes, and more screenshots from Episode 1030 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the
 Neighborhood Archive.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"You Make Each Day a Special Day" Poster

Recently, a very cool poster showed up on eBay that sold for much more than I was willing to pay. Hoping someone else out there had this poster and would be able to provide me with some detailed images, I put a request out to Neighborhood Archive readers.

You certainly did not disappoint.

I heard from at least three (maybe four) readers who currently have this poster -- some who even have it framed in their homes. My thanks to Sean who was kind enough to share the images you'll see below.

It really is difficult to take in all that is featured in this poster from 1988. The designers/illustrators -- Maureen Rupprecht and Pat Sustendal -- have done a wonderful job capturing the major Neighborhood characters as they march through Make-Believe.


[click image for larger view]

What I love about this poster is that it doesn't just feature characters from one specific era of the show. Some characters were last seen in the 1970s and others were never mentioned until near the end of the show's production.

To the left you see Mister Rogers with Johnny Costa sitting at a piano over his shoulder.


On the far right, aboard the Trolley and leading the parade, you find the main characters from Make-Believe.


Following close behind are several human characters -- many of which appeared in both the real Neighborhood and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.



In the background, in front of the castle and bringing up the rear, are several more characters from Make-Believe. This is where the attention to detail really comes in to play as you'll see some less familiar characters such as Mr. Skunk, the Frogg family, and even Carrie Dell sitting on her father's lap.


In the sky above the castle, Yoshi Ito is even there in King Friday's royal plane.


Such a fine piece of artwork for any Neighborhood fan. If anyone has one in good condition that they're willing to part with at a reasonable price, please let me know.