Prankster Tries to Annoy Mr. Rogers. Plan Backfires When Who Mr. Rogers Is off Camera Is Recorded
“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?” I can remember running to my grandparents’ coffee table whenever this familiar theme song started playing. It was one of my favorite shows growing up.
Mister Rogers had a unique way of making you feel seen. He was a pioneer in children’s television by creating a warm, safe place to talk about current issues and feelings that children faced on a daily basis.
In a viral video of Rogers addressing the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, he said that his show deals with “the inner drama of childhood” such as getting a haircut, sibling rivalry and anger management.
Because of his calm demeanor, many wondered if Rogers ever got upset or angry. In a 1985 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” an audience member asked him that very question.
“It’s true. I have a very modulated way of dealing with my feelings. I’ve always been that way,” he answered. “No, I don’t scream.”
Before he passed away in 2003, he found himself at the center of a “Candid Camera” prank that would put this claim to the test.
He checked into a hotel for a conference and was accompanied by a bellman, played by Peter Funt. When they got inside, the bellman began apologizing for the lack of a T.V.
The hope was to frustrate Rogers, but he remained calm, cool, and collected.
When the bellman further explained that they had to move the T.V. to another room, Rogers just laughed. “I don’t use the television anyway,” he said. “I have enough TV in my life.”
When Funt revealed his real identity and the fact that everything was a joke, he continued to laugh. Funt said amazed, “You are completely unruffleable!”
“I’m just who I am, you know,” was Rogers humble response.
A response that proves what he said about himself on the Oprah Winfrey show was true. His patience and demeanor was rare and is missed.
Rogers once said, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
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