The new film, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, is not your typical summer Hollywood release. There are no aliens or explosions; no car chases or gun fights. Just love. The 93-minute documentary about the life and work of Mister Rogers has received universal acclaim, and I can’t wait to see it. It opens Thursday (6/21) at the Regal Ballantyne Village Stadium 5.
Fred Rogers came along at a time, the late-1960s, when America needed a kind voice and reassuring presence to ease many pains. If only he could come back now. We need more genuine people to share the message that, despite all that’s wrong with the world, there is hope for a better tomorrow.
Mister Rogers’ genuineness was just one of his qualities that endeared him to millions of viewers. He was the same off-screen as he was on. A few times, Rogers even waded into the choppy waters of late night television. It’s wonderful to watch how he could bring calm to the set and disarm even the snarkiest of talk show hosts, such as David Letterman and Joan Rivers.
Late Night with David Letterman – 1982
The Tonight Show (with Joan Rivers) – 1983
The Arsenio Hall Show – 1993
The Rosie O’Donnell Show – 1996