“Won’t you please, won’t you please, Please won’t you be my neighbor?”
The video is a tribute to the iconic show Mister Roger’s Neighborhood — which was created and hosted by its namesake Fred Rogers. Mister Rogers was always intriguing in his own unique way, but he was never this cool!
The video, which was originally uploaded on Thursday, June 7 to the YouTube account “PBSDigitalStudios,” had already received more than 1.4 million views by the end of Friday, June 8 (and had reached more than 3.4 million by the morning of Monday, June 11) — that’s viral! Someone has even already registered the domain “GardenOfYourMind.com!”
How did this video come to be? Here is a bit of background on it (from the video’s page on the PBSDigitalStudios YouTube Channel):
“When we discovered video mash-up artist John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, on YouTube, we immediately wanted to work together. Turns out that he is a huge Mister Rogers Neighborhood fan, and was thrilled at the chance to pay tribute to one of our heroes. Both PBS and the Fred Rogers Company hope you like John’s celebration of Fred Rogers’ message. This is the first in a series of PBS icons remixed.”
For those who remember watching Mister Rogers as children, this video has special significance. The show initially aired in 1968 and rand for 895 episodes, with the final episodes having been filmed in December 2000 and airing the following August. It reached its peak viewership in 1985, when 8% of households in the United States were watching the show.
For those less familiar with the show — and even for those who are, but who might appreciate a walk down memory lane — here are some fun facts about the show and Fred Rogers (courtesy of Wikipedia):
- Each episode began with Mister Rogers coming home, singing his theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?“and changing into sneakers and a zippered cardigan sweater.
- In a typical episode, Mister Rogers might have a conversation with his television audience, interact with live guests, take a field trip to such places as a bakery or a music store, or watch a short film. Typically, each week’s episode explored a major theme, such as going to school for the first time. He even break-danced!
- Each episode included a trip to Rogers’ “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” featuring the ever-famous trolley with its own theme song, a castle, and the kingdom’s citizens, including King Friday XIII.
- Mister Rogers often fed his fish — originally named Fennel and Frieda — during episodes.
- Originally, most episodes ended with a song entitled “Tomorrow”, and Friday episodes looked forward to the week ahead with an adapted version of “It’s Such a Good Feeling.” In later seasons, all episodes ended with “Feeling.” Speaking of the song “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” consider this unique cover of the classic Mister Rogers’ song.
“Would you be mine, Could you be mine…”