Soul Forge Podcast

Mister Rogers & Children’s Television - 130

December 5, 2019

Mister Rogers is played by Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Where are the television shows for kids these days that are similar? They simply do not exist. Having gone to the theatre to see the movie, it got me thinking about my own childhood and the shows I grew up on. In this episode, I give a quick review of the movie, and then go through the list of similar shows that I was brought up on. 

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was originally misterrogers in Canada. Therefore, Fred Rogers played a version of himself from 1962 until 2001.

Mr. Dressup was played by Ernie Coombs. The series ran from 1967 until 1996. The show was similar to Mr Rogers in that the host spoke directly to the child watching. Both shows included songs and stories, arts and crafts and imagination games.

Captain Kangaroo ran from 1955 - 1984.

The Friendly Giant which aired from 1958 to 1985 included puppets and had a go slow, gentle nature.

Fred Penner's Place succeeded The Friendly Giant and ran from 1985 to 1997. This was a musical show that educated kids in various subjects.

Sesame Street debuted in 1969 and is still going.

Polka Dot Door 1971 - 1993

Today's Special 1981 - 1987

Under The Umbrella Tree 1986 - 1993

There are likely many other regional shows that never came to national attention. One thing that the most popular shows had in common was that they treated children as individuals with value. Sure, most were hosted by middle-age white men, but that is a product of television history.

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