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     Mister Rogers 

Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ar_303279986jpg&maxw1200&q66.jpeg
The host of the program.

Tropes:

  • All-Loving Hero:
    • Pretty much this in real life, too. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister, but he never once mentioned it on his show. He never wore it as a hat or on his sleeve; he just continued to practice his life in that quiet little way he always had. Certain fundamentalist preachers hated him because, apparently not getting the "kindest man who ever lived" memo, they would ask him to denounce homosexuals. Mr. Rogers's response? He'd pat the target on the shoulder and say, "God loves you just as you are." Rogers even belonged to a "More Light" congregation in Pittsburgh, a part of the Presbyterian Church dedicated to welcoming LGBT persons to full participation in the church. He was also a vegetarian, saying "I don't want to eat anything that has a mother."
    • To quote (of all things) Cracked: "A lot of people of a lot of faiths are waiting for the Messiah, but even if one arrives, how are you going to tell the difference between him and Fred Rogers?"
    • Fred gave an interview for the Archive of American Television which pretty much drives the point home; Fred loved talking to people so much that where Bob McGrath's interview has four parts and Carol Spinney's has six, Fred's interview has nine parts, totaling over four hours of footage. note 
  • Audience Surrogate: Mr. Rogers becomes this any time he goes on one of his field trips.
  • Badass Preacher: Being an Ordained Minister and facing down the US Senate clearly qualifies Mister Rogers for this.
  • Cool Old Guy: Became this late into the show's run as he was growing old.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: A notable aversion. Mister Rogers' screen interactions are famously gentle and peaceful, both because this was his natural personality and because he disliked the frentic pace of many other children's programs.
  • Friend to All Children: The entire basis of the show is Mr. Rogers talking directly to his young viewers in the most friendly and caring personal tone you can imagine. He was like this in real life as well, regularly taking time to personally answer letters from viewers.
  • Iconic Outfit: His cardigans and sneakers. Some of them are on display at the Smithsonian.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He can even flip the bird at you with both hands with no malicious intent.
  • Nice Guy: Mister Rogers was exactly like who the real Fred Rogers was like - the nicest, friendliest guy you could ever meet.
  • No Fourth Wall: Yes, he's talking right to you, his "television neighbor."
  • Out-of-Character Moment: There were at least three occasions in the show's run where Mister Rogers, normally the embodiment of friendliness and kindness, gets angry or frustrated at some event:
    • In episode 1056, Mr. McFeely rushes Fred to finish a puzzle in time for delivery. He very bluntly tells McFeely that his case of Motor Mouth and his insistence on rushing him was frustrating him. This makes it a rare time he shows frustration towards somebody else, rather than to something indirect.
    • Episode 1153 has Fred receiving a delivery of nursery rhyme posters, only for him to express frustration when he finds out he has to pay another dollar if he wanted characters on it. "One dollar more nothing!"
    • Episode 1210, also known as the parking ticket episode. When Fred walks in, he has a fairly noticeable agitated look and even spurs the usual routine of changing into a cardigan, opting to stay in his suit instead. After he finishes singing the opening song, he then explains to the viewer about his parking ticket situation.
  • Red Is Heroic: Although his signature cardigans were in many different colors, by far his most iconic one was his red one.
  • Rousseau Was Right: He thought the best of absolutely everybody, and believed we all needed to be loved and understood.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: An interesting example in that it occurred every episode. Mr. Rogers entered the house and immediately changed from his businesslike suit coat and dress shoes into a more casual cardigan and sneakers.
  • So Proud of You: Mister Rogers is proud of you, just the way you are.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: He goes by Mister Rogers, being of the generation when it was more widely believed this was how children respectfully address grown-ups. The other adults in the neighborhood freely call him "Fred," however.
  • Verbal Tic: He had a habit of using "mm-hmm" after finishing a sentence.

Live neighbors

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    Mr. David McFeely 

Actor: David Newell (1968-2001)

A perpetually busy mailman who brings things to both Mister Rogers' television house and The Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Tropes:

  • Catchphrase: "Speedy Delivery!"
  • Character Development: He started out a lot louder and more get-up-and-go type, sometimes even getting Motor Mouth tendencies. There was even an episode early on where Mr. Rogers got frustrated due to McFeely rushing him through a jigsaw puzzle. As the series went on, he mellowed out and got a lot quieter; this is lampshaded in the final week of the series' first run (1456).
  • Nice Guy: Though no one is nicer than Fred Rogers, Mr. McFeely is a very pleasant mail man.
  • Verbal Tic: Especially in early episodes, Mr. McFeely threw around the name "Mr. Rogers" like it was punctuation.

     Mrs. Betsy McFeely 

Actor: Betsy Nadas Seamans (1972-1998)

Mr. McFeely's wife, who usually shows different animals to Mr. Rogers.

Tropes:

     Chef Brockett 

Actor: Don Brockett (1968-1995)

In the television neighborhood, Chef Brockett is the proprietor of Brockett's Bakery; in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, he works with Edgar Cooke in King Friday's castle.

Tropes:

  • Graceful Loser: In one episode, he expressed his disappointment to Rogers on not winning any awards at a prestigious baking contest, while almost everyone else who had an entry did. The lessons, of course, were how to lose with grace and that not winning does not make one a loser, nor does it mean that one's non-placing entries were necessarily of inferior quality. (Additionally, when this episode aired (in the early 1980s), the idea of "participation ribbons" — even though he may well have gotten one — was a concept primarily of the future.) In the end, Brockett realizes that his best efforts were what mattered and that he was happy to be in company of some excellent bakers.

     Mr. Anybody 

Actor: Don Francks (1968-1970)

Tropes:

     Joe Negri/Handyman Negri 

Actor: Joe Negri (1968-2001)

In the television neighborhood, he is the proprietor of Negri's Music Shop; in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, he is a handyman.

Tropes:

  • As Himself: Joe Negri as Joe Negri.
  • The Cast Show Off: Both in the neighborhood and in Make-Believe, he gets plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his skill singing and playing jazz guitar.
  • Typecasting: Negri in Real Life is a professional jazz guitarist, so it makes sense that he'd be cast as a music store owner.
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     Betty Aberlin/Lady Aberlin 

Actor: Betty Aberlin (1968-2001)

In the television neighborhood, she is the proprietor of Betty's Little Theatre; in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, she is King Friday's niece.

Tropes:

  • The Ingenue: Lady Aberlin is friendly and innocent to everyone in the neighborhood.

     Officer Francois Clemmons 

Actor: Francois Clemmons (1968-1993)

A policeman who appears in both the television neighborhood and Neighborhood of Make-Believe; he later opens up a music studio in the television neighborhood.

Tropes:

  • The Cast Show Off: Officer Clemmons can sing. In real life he was a professional opera singer who performed at the Met.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • In interviews, Clemmons has said he was deeply moved by the symbolism of a scene where he and Mr. Rogers cool their feet in a wading pool. At the time, racially integrating swimming pools was a controversial issue in America, but Rogers disregards the controversy completely and treats Clemmons fully as an equal, even using a towel to dry his feet afterwards.
    • Also true for the second wading pool episode from 1993. He had told Fred that he was gay years before but Francois wasn't sure that Fred accepted him for who he was until he said "I'm so proud of you, Francois" at the end of the segment.
    • Clemmons has also remarked that he was initially reluctant to take the role of a police officer, due to his feelings about Police Brutality as a black man during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Rogers persuaded him that he could be a positive role model.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Clemmons' real-life acceptance into the Metropolitan Opera was worked into the Neighborhood, explaining why he wouldn't be around as much as he'd be commuting to the Met.

     Chuck Aber/Neighbor Aber 

Actor: Chuck Aber (1975-2001)

In the television neighborhood, he has held multiple jobs, notably as a security guard delivering samples of gold; in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, he is the Associate Mayor of Westwood under Mayor Maggie.

Tropes:

     Bob Trow/Robert Troll/Bob Dog 

Actor: Bob Trow (1970-1998)

In the television neighborhood, Trow is an artist and handyman who creates and repairs a number of items in his workshop; in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Robert Troll is a gibberish-talking troll and friend of Queen Sara Saturday's from Westwood.

Tropes:

  • Big, Friendly Dog: Bob Dog is the size of a person, and friendly as everything.
  • The Danza: Bob Trow as Robert Troll and Bob Dog.
  • Our Trolls Are Different: Robert is a very friendly troll, he just has trouble communicating sometimes.
  • Verbal Tic: Earlier on, Robert Troll speaks "troll talk", which is mostly gibberish (apparently based on the native-Pittsburgh accent) with a few English words mixed in. He mainly communicates in English later on, though the gibberish does mix back in later in the series.
  • Parental Bonus: Robert Troll lives "under the Bridge Over Troubled Water."

     Audrey Roth/Miss Paulifficate 

Actor: Audrey Roth (1971-1988)

In the television neighborhood, Roth is the owner and proprietor of Audrey Cleans Everything (ACE), a cleaning service; in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Miss Paulifficate is King Friday's telecan operator.

Tropes:

  • Tuckerization: Miss Paulifficate's name is a portmanteau of three children who were friends with Mr. Rogers' sons: Paul, Elizabeth "Iffy", and Kate.
  • Tin Can You Hear Me Now: Operates the neighborhood's telephone system which is based on tin cans.
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     Mary Sweenie/Cousin Mary Owl 

Actor: Mary Sweenie (later Mary Rawson) (1970-2001)

Tropes:

     Yoshi Ito/Pilot Ito 

Actor: Yoshi Ito (1971-1975)

Tropes:

     Maggie Stewart/Mayor Maggie 

Actor: Maggie Stewart (1975-2001)

Tropes:

  • Black Boss Lady: Significantly, Mayor Maggie was elected several years before an African American woman became mayor of a major U.S. city in real life.
  • The Danza: Maggie Stewart as Mayor Maggie.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She can even talk King Friday down when he's disgruntled about a misunderstanding.

     Bert Lloyd/Mr. Allmine 

Actor: Bert A. Lloyd (1974-1975)

Tropes:

     Keith David 

Actor: Keith David (1983-1985)

Tropes:

Puppets of The Neighborhood of Make-Believe and surrounding areas

     King Friday XIII 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/king_puppet_5126.jpg
The reigning monarch of The Neighborhood of Make-Believe, described by Rogers as "one of the last remaining benevolent despots". He's prone to making ridiculous and over-reactionary rules (some of which were inspired by then-current events), which cause much of the conflict for many of the Neighborhood of Make Believe segments.

Tropes:

     Queen Sara Saturday 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

Originally from Westwood, King Friday falls in love with her in the first season; they eventually marry and have a son together.

Tropes:

     Prince Tuesday 

Voice: Adair Roth (1974-1975), Janus Purins (adult version in one episode, 1975), Fred Michael (1979-1980), Charles Altman (1981-1985), Carole Muller (1986), Lenny Melendandri (1987-2001)

King Friday and Queen Sara's son, born in episode 1117 (1970). He is a baby and toddler in the original series, and school-aged in the modern series.

Tropes:

  • Hulk Speak: In the 1974-75 shows, the toddler Tuesday's language skills are to the point where he says simple broken sentences ("Want to hear pretty songs") and refers to himself in the third person; by the 1979 revival series, he has progressed to speaking full sentences.

     Cornflake S. Pecially 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

The owner of a rocking-chair factory

Tropes:

     Henrietta Pussycat 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

Tropes:

  • Verbal Tic: Henrietta speaks a mixture of meows with English words.

     X The Owl 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

Tropes:

     Lady Elaine Fairchilde 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

Tropes

  • Iconic Item: Her magic Boomerang-Toomerang-Soomerang, which she uses to flip people and places in the Neighborhood upside down.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her often mischievous and troublesome behavior, she does genuinely care about her Neighborhood friends.
  • Pet the Dog: Occasionally has these type of moments whenever she feels bad about herself, usually after she goes too far in her actions.

     Daniel Striped Tiger 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

Tropes:

  • All Animals Are Domesticated: Daniel is well aware that he is not like other tigers and on one occasion, has questioned whether or not he was a mistake for being too tame.
  • Author Avatar: Though Rogers never appeared in Make-Believe, people have suggested that Daniel is probably the closest to him, specifically as a child, when he had particularly bad confidence issues. A few have said that some of the speeches given to Daniel are the sort of things Rogers would have wanted to hear back then.
  • Break the Cutie: Several times. See the Tearjerker section for more details.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Well, The only thing he wears is a wristwatch.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Daniel is portrayed as a child, although his age has never been revealed throughout the show. Nevertheless, he has remained that way since, especially with the births of Ana Platypus and Prince Tuesday, who have at least aged up to children themselves. Averted in the spin-off series, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood in which he is all grown up, married and has a child of his own.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Despite his shyness, Daniel often exhibits wisdom and intelligence whenever he speaks.

     Grandpere 

Voice:Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

A French tiger who lives in the Eiffel Tower.

Tropes

  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Grandpere lives in the tower itself; since it's Make-Believe, why not?
  • Maurice Chevalier Accent: Grandpere speaks this way, although just as often he speaks in actual French and requires translation.

     Edgar Cooke 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-2001)

Tropes

     Dr. Frank Lee Frogg 

Voice: Unknown (1968-70), Hilary Bogden (1975)

Tropes:

  • Put on a Bus: The Frogg Family moves to Westwood at the beginning of season 2 (1969) and is only seen a handful of times afterward.

     Mrs. Frogg 

Voice: David Newell (1968), Hedda Sharapan (1968-1988)

Tropes:

  • Put on a Bus
  • Vocal Evolution: Originally portrayed by David Newell in the first season; Hedda Sharapan took over the role before the year was over.

     Tadpole Frogg 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-70), Hilary Bogden (1975)

Tropes:

     Dr. Bill Platypus 

Voice: William P. Barker (1969-2001)

Tropes

     Elsie Jean Platypus 

Voice: William P. Barker (1969-2001)

Tropes

     Ana Platypus 

Voice: Charlotte Jarvis (1975-1976), Carole Muller Switala (1979-1997)

Tropes

     Donkey Hodie 

Voice: Fred Rogers (1968-1993)

Tropes

     Harriet Elizabeth Cow 

Voice: Bob Trow (1973-1993)

Tropes

     Yo-Yo La Belle 

Voice: Michael Horton (1988)

An alien from outer space who visited the neighborhood of make believe.

Tropes

  • Pokémon Speak: He only communicates with Mee and Thee. However, Daniel Striped Tiger can understand the language.
  • One-Shot Character: He only appeares in part 4 and 5 of the Nighttime episode.

     Paul and Pauline Purple 

Tropes

     Betty Okonak Templeton Jones 

Voice: Michael Horton (1983-2001)

Tropes

     James Michael Jones 

Voice: Michael Horton (1985-1994)

Tropes

Live Neighborhood of Make-Believe Characters with no Television Neighborhood analogue

     Nurse Miller 

Actor:Maxine Miller (1968-1971)

Tropes:

     Purple Panda 

Actor: Dave Nohling (1973-1991), Matt Meko (1996-2000)

A purple panda from Planet Purple who teleports from place to place by "pinging".

Tropes:

     Big Bird 

Actor:Carroll Spinney (1981)

A big full body yellow bird who lives on Sesame Street who appeared in one episode in 1981.

See the Sesame Street characters page

Tropes:

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