12 Facts About Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

  1. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is one of the longest-running programs in television history having produced more than 870 episodes. That’s almost 5 times as many Friends!
  1. Before he played Batman on the big screen, former Pittsburger Michael Keaton ran the Trolley as part of the production of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  1. Fred’s maternal grandfather, Fred Brooks McFeely, was an important influence. The show’s delivery man, Mr McFeely, was named after him.
  1. His grandfather once said to him, “Freddy, I like you just the way you are!” It became a phrase familiar to millions of people.
  1. Fred began wearing sneakers in the studio so he could run behind the set from the organ to the puppet area without being heard. He later made that an important part of his show opening.
  1. All of the original sweaters worn on the program were hand knit by Nancy McFeely Rogers, Fred’s mother. One of them hangs in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum.
  1. There might not have been a Daniel Striped Tiger if Dorothy Daniel, General Manager of WQED, had not given Fred a tiger puppet as a party favor the night before the debut of Children’s Corner, Fred Rogers’ first venture into children’s television.
  1. Fred Rogers performed almost all of the Neighborhood puppet characters -- pompous King Friday, shy Daniel Tiger and feisty Lady Elaine and even the farmer Donkey Hodie.
  1. Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister, with the unique charge of serving children and families through television.
  1. Many immigrants, including Ricky Martin, say they learned to speak English by watching Mister Rogers because his speaking pattern was so clear and distinct.
  1. It is estimated that the Neighborhood Trolley traveled 5,000 miles every year.
  1. Mister Rogers once received a letter from a little girl who asked Mister Rogers to say when he was feeding the fish. Because she is blind she couldn’t see when he was feeding the fish so she worried about them.  In response, Mister Rogers made sure to mention when the fish were getting their meal.
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