Mr. Rogers was the master of irony-free creative expression.
I don’t know if there’s any entertainer who more effectively connected with an audience with a generous, genuine expression of emotion.
I was reminded because right now, Twitch is airing a marathon of the complete series of Mister Rogers Neighborhood (over 1,000 episodes from 1963-2001).
When my son and I turned it on today, Episode #1101 was airing – featuring him burying a dead pet fish and talking about losing his childhood pet dog, Mitzie.
Emotional honesty to children? It was beautiful, complete with a touching song.
Irony is a near-universal language in 2017, but surely children’s television isn’t the only place where we can approach subjects without irony. Honest, open expression takes effort, but it is rewarding for both the artist and their audience.
Watch the full episode below. (the segment about his fish and his dog starts around 3:00)