Okay, so Mister Rogers didn't say it, but "Mister Robinson," one of Eddie Murphy's better parodies, did. The accumulated wit and wisdom of the beloved Fred Rogers, who died at 74 in February, will be published in October by Hyperion:
- "Fred Rogers' messages - that we respect each other's uniqueness, that we be gentle with each other, that we understand that feeling frightened or sad are part of feeling human - will live beyond him in this small but powerful book," Hyperion President Bob Miller said Monday.
From 1968 to 2000, Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" at Pittsburgh public television station WQED. The final new episode, which was taped in December 2000, aired in August 2001, though Public Broadcasting Service affiliates continued to air back episodes.
Rogers composed his own songs for the show and began each episode in a set made to look like a comfortable living room, singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood," as he donned sneakers and a zip-up cardigan. [AP]
My concern here is that Fred's messages might sound a bit glib and trite without his unassailable sincerity and personal decency - delivery counts.