Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Remembering Some of Mister Rogers' Famous Houseguests

A world renowned French pantomime artist, an astronaut, a TV news anchor and a beloved chef are among the notable visitors to Mister Rogers' neighborhood.




Star chef Julia Child was one of many famous visitors to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” | photo: shutterstock

 

Won’t you be my neighbor?” The question is an invitation to the world. When Fred Rogers sang that song some 900 times between 1968 and 2001 in the WQED studios, many people heard it. Some fortunate ones came to Pittsburgh to spend some time in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” one of the most famous locations in TV history.

In 1973, the great French pantomime artist Marcel Marceau was touring America. Rogers hosted Marceau for an evening reception at his home; meanwhile, the production team had made arrangements to shoot a whole program featuring the performer in one day. The episode included scenes where Marceau appeared as himself, as he did in encounters at King Friday’s Castle and Grandpère’s Eiffel Tower. Marceau then got into character as Bip, his famous mime role, for a special performance.

Astronaut Al Worden was impressed by Rogers’ renowned episode that explained death through the passing of a goldfish. Rogers accepted an offer from Worden to appear on the show; Rogers first produced a special shot primarily at Cape Kennedy, which tried to answer some of kids’ concerns about space travel. Later, while serving as command module pilot on Apollo 15 from July 26 through Aug. 7, 1971, Worden took along a list of things “Neighborhood” viewers wanted to know about space flight, considering them as he orbited the moon. The list he carried is now archived at the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College. Worden later appeared on several episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” discussing eating food and writing poems in space, among many other topics. 

Rogers often enjoyed a friendly back-and-forth with other children’s programs. In 1970 and ’71, Bob Keeshan came to Mister Rogers’ house as Captain Kangaroo; one of his regular puppets, Mr. Moose, appeared in the Neighborhood of Make Believe. In 1981, Fred showed up on “Sesame Street” and Big Bird paid a visit to the Neighborhood of Make Believe. 

David “Mr. McFeely” Newell remembers seeing ABC anchor Ted Koppel host a program on Soviet television in 1987; in it, Koppel compared the popular children’s show “Spokoinoi Nochi, Malyshi” (“Good Night, Little Ones”) with “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Newell thought Fred could do something with that show; that autumn, Rogers and a crew traveled to Moscow to appear with hostess Tatyana Vedeneyeva and her puppets, Khryusha the piglet and Styopa the rabbit. The following March, Vedeneyeva and Styopa returned the neighborly visit in Pittsburgh. Newell remembers having lunch with her and an interpreter at Duranti’s Restaurant on North Craig Street in Oakland.

Maybe the most flavorful on-screen visit to the Neighborhood occurred in 1974, when Julia Child stopped in at Brockett’s Bakery and showed Fred and Chef Brockett how to make Spaghetti Marco Polo. She had Brockett cook up some pasta and added walnuts, black olives, green onions, Swiss cheese, red pimento and a can of tuna packed in oil. She talked about the trash can behind the counter where she cooks (“Everybody thinks I’m throwing things on the floor!”) and, after garnishing with chopped parsley, fed both Fred and Chef Brockett tastes with chopsticks.

Later on the program that featured Child, Smokey Bear also stopped for a visit. Anyone and everyone could be a neighbor.  

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

July 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

What We're Reading in July: The Pioneers

The Pioneers is historian and Point Breeze native David McCullough’s retelling of the settlement of the wilderness northwest of the Ohio River, which contained the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Perspectives: On Caring to See

A teacher at the University of Pittsburgh learns a lesson about street medicine.

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

The 60th Three Rivers Arts Festival is history, but you can still soak in the memories of the music, art and food.

This Brit Fell in Love with Pittsburgh's Dirt

During the Civil War, a British writer was enchanted by Pittsburgh’s dirt and soot.

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

New Dimensions: The Comic Book Store's Surprise Move

Comic-book (store) avengers. How a sprawling comic-book shop moved out of its longtime home — and reopened for business mere hours later.

PM on KD: Recent Restaurant Openings

PM food critic Hal B. Klein appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss recent Pittsburgh restaurant openings that have him excited.

One Person's Flip Flop is Another One's Art

Ocean Sole Africa’s mission is to reduce pollution and waste by collecting flip flops from the ocean and making them into art.

All In The (Giaramita) Family: La Tavola Italiana and Pizza Taglio

Family members run two distinct restaurants, one classic and one with a contemporary spin.

DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

The Steelers have emerged from their offseason sessions confident they’re capable of playing better. They also maintain a new atmosphere and culture have been established. But they won’t know for certain until they actually start playing.

Restaurant Review: Masala House in Shadyside

You'll find excellent Indian cuisine in a Shadyside building with a long culinary history.

A Tale of Two Strands: Theaters With the Same Name

In two small towns nearby, old vaudeville stages — which share the same name — have reopened and revitalized their communities.

Hello Neighbor and Scratch Food & Beverage Pair Up for a Very Special Dinner

The community dinner will feature Syrian cuisine, raising awareness of Hello Neighbor's mission and promoting connection and conversation with the region's refugee families.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

The 60th Three Rivers Arts Festival is history, but you can still soak in the memories of the music, art and food.

Comments

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Hello Neighbor and Scratch Food & Beverage Pair Up for a Very Special Dinner

Hello Neighbor and Scratch Food & Beverage Pair Up for a Very Special Dinner

The community dinner will feature Syrian cuisine, raising awareness of Hello Neighbor's mission and promoting connection and conversation with the region's refugee families.

Comments

Sweet Partnership: Cakery Square and Fudge Farm

Sweet Partnership: Cakery Square and Fudge Farm

The opening of Fudge Farm's Bloomfield store marks an expansion of Wes Lyons' Pursuit Program and larger menu for the confectioners.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

Comments

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

Even novice runners can work their way up to these fun and (mildly) challenging races.

Comments


In a Crowded City for Concerts, Rivers Casino Steps Up

In a Crowded City for Concerts, Rivers Casino Steps Up

The casino's new Events Center proves itself more than worthy of competing for big-name acts.

Comments

Our Favorite Events and Experiences at the 2019 Three Rivers Arts Festival

Our Favorite Events and Experiences at the 2019 Three Rivers Arts Festival

A pick — and another one — for every day of the festival's 60th year.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

The Steelers have emerged from their offseason sessions confident they’re capable of playing better. They also maintain a new atmosphere and culture have been established. But they won’t know for certain until they actually start playing.

Comments

Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 1 Pick Makes a Lasting First Impression

Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 1 Pick Makes a Lasting First Impression

Devin Bush will still have much to prove once the pads come on and the hitting commences. But the presence and purpose he brought to OTAs justified the hype on draft day.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Murder Mystery

The 400-Word Review: Murder Mystery

Well into Adam Sandler's tenure as a Netflix actor, he finally comes up with a mostly enjoyable comedy.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Men in Black International

The 400-Word Review: Men in Black International

The alien-comedy series hasn't been good since the 20th century. That trend continues with this soft reboot.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Most Popular Wedding Trends of Summer 2019

The Most Popular Wedding Trends of Summer 2019

Romantic bistro lights and balloon arrangements? Yes please.

Comments

Need to Know: The Best Time for Wedding Photos

Need to Know: The Best Time for Wedding Photos

We examine the pros and cons of first look sessions versus waiting until after the ceremony to get those perfect photos.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
 PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Comments

Tiny Cabins Offer Weary Pittsburghers a Relaxing Escape

Tiny Cabins Offer Weary Pittsburghers a Relaxing Escape

Located about an hour from Pittsburgh, the elegantly minimalist cabins from Getaway are nestled in nature — and offer an unplugged experience.

Comments