Mister Rogers Gets a Documentary for his Birthday

    March 20, 2012
    Heather Campobello
    Comments are off for this post.

Today, March 20, is Mister Rogers’ birthday; he passed away on February 27, 2003; if he was still alive he would be 84.

To celebrate him, PBS will be airing a new documentary called “Mister Rogers & Me,” which is about MTV producer Benjamin Wagner’s experience living in a summer home in Nantucket next to the famous entertainer. The documentary will also be available on iTunes and DVD.

Mister Rogers was a performer, educator, and motivational speaker. His absurd cardigan-and-Keds style made children feel that they could trust him. He taught many kids how to tie their shoes, find self-worth, and make friends.

Maura Judkis’s father was the photographer for Rogers’s series of children’s books and would occasionally bring her to work with him. She was on several shows and wrote an article for The Washington Post.

In her article she says that, “Mister Rogers cared deeply for children, and each time I met him, I always remember him crouching down to talk to me at my level, so he could look me in the eyes. When my then 2-year-old brother had cancer, Mister Rogers, who was deeply religious, told my father that he prayed for him every day.”

Rogers is clearly the Jesus Christ of PBS: “Rogers … rented out an amusement park near his hometown of Latrobe, Pa., for the children of his employees every summer. One year, a ride based on his show was opened in the park, and Mister Rogers chose my brother, whose hair was still growing back from the chemo, to share a seat with him for what my father said was his first-ever ride on the attraction that bore his name.”

Wagner made the documentary to indoctrinate adults with the examples Mister Rogers set for them.

Here is another clip from Mister Rogers & Me:

@FLHealthyKids: “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” ~Mister Rogers #HappyBirthday #84yearsold(image) 20 minutes ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

yo S/O to @Beet_Boxx for last night tho mister rogers tried to cock block me in i still got her number poppin(image) 3 hours ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Once I sent flowers to Mister Rogers (to congratulate him on some award he’d received). Days later I received a… http://t.co/uF2Z8mnQ(image) 7 hours ago via Facebook ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Yesterday would’ve been Mister Rogers’ 84th birthday. This is but a small nod to the man who taught us feelings… http://t.co/zAhDh14H(image) 7 hours ago via Facebook ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

A quintessential etiquette trainer, Mister Rogers would be 84 if he were still alive today. To celebrate him, PBS… http://t.co/gj9O7mKh(image) 8 hours ago via Facebook ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Happy Birthday Mr. Rogers. It was always a beautiful day in your neighborhood! http://t.co/GMcKTJes(image) 18 hours ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

  • Elizabeth- cawobeth

    Well, I didn’t think his sweater was absurd and surely it wasn’t since the children didn’t think so.
    I don’t know that Mister Rogers would agree to being called “the Jesus of PBS” and would probably say there is only one Jesus.
    Surely he was a genuinely compassionate man and the trailer is certainly incentive for people to reminisce and be comforted by his love for children & life itself.

  • Matt S.

    Fred Rogers was a breath of fresh air for many generations of kids and a positive role model when so many television shows were lacking one.

    Rest in peace, sir. And God bless.

  • Jim Miller

    The reason Rogers wore long sleeve sweaters is to cover up his tattoo’s. He was an accomplished Navy seal who served his country with dignity.
    I do not know if he was A Christian and if he represented Christ.
    I have read he got tired of the violence and wanted to help children.

    • Tom

      Fred Rogers was Indeed an ordained Minister. I am certain the “Jesus of..” reference would be offensive to him.It was offensive to me, dear writer. Mr. Rogers was one of the good things about tv in my youth, and tv shall never be the same. Offensive and violent represents the entertainment we have to be proud of in this sad age…Rest well Fred, you did what you believed in…

    • Tim K


      Sorry Jim, but he was not a SEAL nor did he have a violent criminal past. He was a Presbyterian Minister in PA.

    • marcia

      He was not a Navy seal. That was a hoax spread by email.

    • Brian

      No tattoos.. No navy seal.. research before you post silly rumors.

  • Elizabeth- cawobeth

    I shall watch this show with hopes that the documentary’s producer also speaks of the team that made this show possible. Fred McFreely Rogers hardly did his show alone. May a light shine one those that made his fame possible. ♥

  • M. James

    I was a young kid when Mr. Rogers was on but did not like watching it once the scenes with the puppet royalty came on, I would turn it off. Something about puppets to me is like enjoying mimes.

    My show was Captain Kangaroo with Mr. Green Jeans. Later even though I was a little above the target audience, I loved the first few seasons. Then one day a teacher rolled in a small TV and said we were going to review a new show The Electric Company. Good show but I was too old by then.

    In conclusion ‘We’re’ gonna Zooma Zooma Zoom Zoom Zoom!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dawn

      M. James you brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. I watched all those shows including Sesame Street and Bozo Circus. I loved them all, including Mr. Rogers.

    • Hope

      I remember those shows also. Always had fun watching them. Thanks for mentioning them. Great memories.

  • Oliver Kloseoff

    Mr. Rogers was an ordained minister, Methodist or Adventist I think. He was a great teacher of children. One important show he did was during the 1st Gulf War, he had a special show to calm kids down who were freaked out that we were going to war and were afraid of Saddam Hussein. He told it like it was without talking down to children but reassured them. Thats why he is a national hero.

    • Becca

      The Presbyterian church (PCUSA) The more liberal denomination as opposed to the fundamentalist PCA. Mr. Rogers’s church was called a Welcoming Congregation, meaning it embraced gays and lesbians. Somehow that’s perfect, because I can’t imagine him ever liking somebody any less because of their sexuality or anything else.

      • avenger

        Fred Rogers was a beautiful human being who never passed judgement on anyone. May he forever Rest In Peace!!!

  • Merrihelen McIntosh

    I only got to watch the show a few times, as I was out of college and in the workforce then, but on holidays I watched and was fascinated by how many complex issues he could explain in simple language and still convey a complex lesson. He was truely a treasure.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvoyWONAkxc Dominic Pace

    If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, you should definitely visit Mr. Rogers Studio. I have a bit of footage from my trip.

  • http://WEBPRO Tamiko


  • darryl dogan

    the english professor says that mr. rogers was “both” this and that, and then lists a third thing. he can’t be “both” them all. but you know that, being an english professor. i’m not, so i can write in lower case all i want.

  • http://www.enlightenedawakenings.org Rhonda

    I am very good friends with someone that worked with Fred Rogers on his television show in Pittsburgh for many years. According to “Bomba” (my buddy – and anyone reading this will know who I’m talking about if you know him), Mr. Rogers was kind, caring and a very remarkable humanitarian. His legacy will live on as one that truly used television to elevate humanity instead of degrading it.

  • Bonnie

    Oh what a wonderful world it would be if more people were like Mister Rogers. He is a true example of Jesus and what real love is. Sadly this world is full of evil, but soon those who love Jesus will be in heaven with People who love like Mister Rogers did. We will be with the Master and creator of love “Jesus”.

  • http://aol Grady

    Mr. Rogers I call “America’s Father”. He was both loving,compassionate to both humans and animals. Mr. Rogers was a vegetarian and an ordained minister.

  • Valerie

    I grew up watching Mr. Rodgers(I’m 49 ) and my Mother said I would become mesmerized by his soft spoken voice. I truly believed he was taliking directly to me when he said I was “special”.
    He did alot of good in his life. We can thank him for the CHIPS program that enables all children to have good health care in times we couldnt afford it or in between jobs.
    He’ll have his crown in Heaven that for sure.

  • Vee Rey

    In the year 2062 Mr. Rogers will be 134 Years old !! If you live to that day, you will see the media STILL on this. You wait and SEE.!! When does this END ????

  • Tracy Ormsbee

    I don’t think Mr. Rogers would approve of the way you all are judging the writer of this article.

  • MIkey Trahant

    The love i have for Mister Rogers is immense. The love he had for all of us was tremendous. His Kindness should be followed. I am still sad to think he is not here today, but sooo grateful to have been a child who grew up with him. The world would be a better place if we were all a little like Mister Rogers. ANd Heather, I wish you the best.

  • MIkey Trahant

    I agree with you soooo much Bubba!

  • Richard

    I will never forget his acceptance speech when he received a lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmys. I believe it was 1999. YouTube it if you can. Not a dry eye in the house. His selflessness turned his award into everyone else’s as he took a 10-second moment of silence for everyone to think about the important people in their lives responsible for their success. Thank you, Mister Rogers, and Happy Birthday.

  • Heather Campobello

    I love Mr. Rogers. I called him the Jesus Christ of PBS because I think he is a role model and did a lot for PBS employees.

    The only thing I criticized Mr. Rogers for was his sweater. Get over it!

    Maybe you should read the article again.

  • Hope

    I can’t wait. I grew up watching Mr.Rogers. I loved his show. It was funny and educational. Mr. Rogers had such a kind and gentle way about him. Back in those days there wasn’t any cable, but PBS always had great shows on. Sometimes less is more.

  • http://WebProNews Lisa

    Thank you for your second posting, Heather. I did not understand all the negative comments when I read them. I read the article the way you wrote it. The reference to the “absurd cardigan and Keds” style, I took simply as different. I am almost 60 and liked the show. I now wear sweaters and tennis shoes all the time, too. I mostly grew up watching Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keesham was from near where I live) and Bozo. My sister grew up with the Electric Co. show. At least PBS television is starting to bring back shows which teach manners and respect to children.

  • http://yahoo.com Rhonda Eakle

    I have always thought of Mr. Rogers as a true example of what a great humanitarian should be. He is an example of Christ’s love and I think he did what he was called to do. My little brother never missed his show and he like other adults learned so much good from him. He was and will always be a great human being and this world was so much better because he was in it.