What are the best episodes of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?
August 11, 2013 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Thanks to 4ster I recently discovered that the entirety of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood is available on Amazon streaming. What are the best episodes and why? Where should we start?
posted by bq to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
It may not count as a 'best episode' in the adult sense of the term, but as a kid I remember being blown away the time Big Bird crossed over visited the Kingdom of Make Believe.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:11 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I loved the operas.
posted by Madamina at 5:12 PM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]

The one where he visits the crayon factory. And the guest musicians.
posted by lharmon at 5:18 PM on August 11, 2013 [10 favorites]

Just came in to say I personally don't think there's a bad one in the bunch.
posted by bebrave! at 5:52 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have vague memories of a behind-the-scenes episode, which blew my little mind.
posted by maryr at 6:04 PM on August 11, 2013

The operas are great, but there was always a big lead up to them. With Mr. Rogers, there's a real flow, so I'd jump in somewhere and stay a while rather than cherry-picking highlight episodes. The Neighborhood of Make Believe especially tends to have long-running plot continuity.
posted by rikschell at 6:24 PM on August 11, 2013

Crayon factory. Definitely. It's episode 1481.
posted by k8lin at 7:37 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

The one where they show how trumpets are made!
posted by juliapangolin at 7:53 PM on August 11, 2013

"Windstorm in Bubbleland" (one of the operas) is astounding, surreal, kitschy and sweet. Late night theatre troupes should perform it. David Foster Wallace could have had a field day with it. Sheer genius.
posted by baseballpajamas at 7:59 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, crayon factory!
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:15 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

These two short videos are not episodes, but worth viewing just the same:
What a wonderful human being.
posted by blueberry at 10:23 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here is how he handled the RFK assasination.
posted by brujita at 10:32 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

I was born in Pittsburgh in 1962 and my mom made sure my butt was in place, in front of the black and white TV for Mr. Rogers every afternoon. Honestly, they were all great. My family is from Pittsburgh and I loved to watch him, first of all he was awesome, but secondly everyone in Mr. Rogers nighborhood sounded like my grandparents and aunts and uncles. Gotta love that accent.

Here's an episode guide.

One that sticks with me is when there was a fire in the Land of Make Believe and Mr. Rogers talked to Henrietta Pussy Cat about it. I think it was Fire in the Factory.

The operas were great (I still have a thing for John Reardon. And Bob from Sesame Street--Tenors...sigh)

Just dig in and watch. They're all good.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:34 AM on August 12, 2013

My absolute favorite Mister Rogers was a week-long series where he talked about the difference between Real Life and Pretend, with a special focus on showing that the scary things in movies and TV shows were just make-believe. The week included a visit from Margaret Hamilton, who turned out to be a kindly old lady instead of a wicked witch. Also, a mind-blowing (for me @ age 6) visit to the set of The Incredible Hulk (Here's both parts on Youtube), showing how Bill Bixby doesn't really turn into the Hulk, and Lou Ferrigno is actually just a bodybuilder in green makeup and prosthetics. This was also where I learned for the first time that Ferrigno was actually deaf, which made him seem all the more sympathetic to my preschool mind.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:25 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Some memorable things for me (some of which have already been mentioned above):

-- the wedding of King Friday and Lady Sara Saturday
-- the births of Prince Tuesday and Anna Duckbill Platypus ("Ornitherhyncus Anatinus..Anna, Anna, Anna...")
-- the fire that destroyed the Rocket Chair Factory
-- the discovery of Someplace Else and Donkey Hotey
-- when a goldfish died in the fishtank
-- Robert Kennedy's assassination
-- among the operas, the two I remember best are the Bubbleland one and "All In The Laundry"
posted by briank at 3:35 PM on August 12, 2013

While watching the clips that Strange Interlude posted I found this one of LeVar Burton visiting Mr. Rogers. I'm surprised TVs across the country didn't explode from that much awesomeness on screen at once.
posted by lharmon at 7:42 AM on August 13, 2013

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