20 Things to Watch for During Twitch's Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Marathon

PBS Television // Courtesy of Getty Images
PBS Television // Courtesy of Getty Images

As you may have heard, Twitch is currently streaming every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood marathon style—just short of 900 half-hour Neighborhood visits! By the afternoon of Sunday, May 28 the marathon will have reached what is commonly referred to as the “modern episodes”—those from 1979 and beyond.

If you’re looking to satisfy your Neighborhood craving but aren’t sure what episodes to view, here are 20 things to watch for through the remainder of the 18-day stream.

1. OPERAS AND PLAYS

Scattered throughout 22 years of episodes you’ll find multiple musical performances, including Windstorm in Bubbleland (Episode 1475), Spoon Mountain (Episode 1505), A Grandad For Daniel (Episode 1535), A Star For Kitty (Episode 1565), and Josephine the Short-Neck Giraffe (episodes 1608, 1609, and 1610).

2. FRED ROGERS'S WHIMSICAL SENSE OF HUMOR

You may have never thought of Fred Rogers as a funny guy, but his subtle humor is discovered in Neighborhood episodes if you look closely enough. For example, in Episode 1462 when Mister Rogers and Mr. McFeely are speaking through two-way radios:

Mister Rogers: “Roger.”
Mr. McFeely: “McFeely.”

3. MISTER ABER'S NEIGHBORHOOD

Rumors suggest that an idea was considered where Chuck Aber would take over for Fred Rogers once Fred decided to retire from the Neighborhood. Viewers get a small glimpse of what this may have been like in Episode 1578, when Mister Rogers steps away for a few moments and Mr. Aber addresses the viewing audience.

4. TOUGH TOPICS

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood never tiptoed around taboo subjects and difficult topics, as is evident in the week of episodes starting with Episode 1476 which focused on the subject of divorce.

5. FULL DISCLOSURE

A master of make-believe and supporter of imaginative play, Fred Rogers never wanted viewers to think that his television house was his real home. In order to be fully transparent, he would occasionally share various behind-the-scenes aspects of his Neighborhood such as a look at the controls for the Neighborhood Trolley (Episode 1681) and views of the set in Episodes 1530 and 1698.

6. DEDICATIONS TO LOST NEIGHBORS

Throughout the modern run of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, several performers passed away and were recognized during the credits of episodes to follow. Episode 1686 was dedicated to Don Brockett, Episode 1715 to pianist Johnny Costa, and Episode 1740 to Bob Trow.

7. JEFF ERLANGER

One of the most emotional moments in the history of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood occurred on Episode 1478 when Jeff Erlanger—a boy in an electric wheelchair—visits and sings It's You I Like with Mister Rogers.

8. RUSSIAN INFLUENCE

In 1988, on Episode 1587, Mister Rogers reflects on a recent visit to Moscow where he visited Russian children's television host Tatiana Vedeneeva. Ms. Vedeneeva visits Mister Rogers in his own Neighborhood on Episode 1589.

9. THE CRAYON FACTORY

Probably the most famous of Mister Rogers's factory visits, the film about how crayons are made can be seen on Episode 1481.

10. OFFICER CLEMMONS'S FAREWELL

In 1969, Officer Clemmons visited Mister Rogers on a hot day and together they soaked their feet in a pool of cold water. In 1993, Francois Clemmons makes his final appearance in the Neighborhood in Episode 1663, when he joins Mister Rogers again for a soak in the pool.

11. A SESAME STREET CROSSOVER

Mister Rogers once passed through Sesame Street, and on Episode 1483, Sesame Street's Big Bird returned the favor by visiting the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

12. RARELY SEEN ROOMS

Viewers became quite familiar with the usual areas of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood such as the television house, Brockett's Bakery, Negri's Music Shop, and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe; however, you may be interested to see some of the lesser known places shown only once or twice in the Neighborhood's nearly 900 episodes. The modern episodes include looks at the inside of X the Owl's tree (Episode 1508), the inside of Cornflake S. Pecially's factory (Episode 1528) and Mister Rogers's computer room (Episode 1746).

13. KOKO THE GORILLA

On Episode 1727, Mister Rogers spends time with a gorilla named Koko and makes a very obvious yet unexpected connection with the primate.

14. RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE

It's a well known fact that Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister, and occasionally, his religious influence would find its way into Neighborhood episodes. For example, in Episode 1477, Mister Rogers visits a place where pretzels are made and is told that the three holes in the pretzel represent the Holy Trinity. Furthermore, in Episode 1538, Queen Sara addresses the goat which has been stealing vegetables: "You need never steal again. Simply ask and you will receive." For anyone with a biblical background, this phrase is quite familiar—it can be found in the Gospel of Matthew: "Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you."

15. BREAK DANCING

You've seen the memes, but have you seen the episode? Mister Rogers breakdances in Episode 1543.

16. EPISODE EDITS

On a few occasions, portions of episodes were reshot and the original versions were replaced. In the original broadcast of Episode 1589, Mister Rogers uses the term "Soviet Union" when telling viewers of Tatiana Vedeneeva's upcoming visit. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, new audio of Mister Rogers saying "Russia" was dubbed in. The original version of Episode 1696 includes Mr. McFeely delivering a laser pointer to Mister Rogers. When parents expressed concerns over the use of a device that could potentially cause eye damage, the scene was replaced with one where Mr. McFeely delivers a toy ball.

17. THE NEIGHBORHOOD MODELS

Every kid who ever watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood wanted a set of Neighborhood of Make-Believe models of their own. Mister Rogers takes a close look at these models on Episode 1602.

18. KING THURSDAY

King Friday XIII ruled over the Neighborhood of Make-Believe for as long as any of us can remember. Prior to Friday's reign was that of his father, King Thursday. King Friday shares a picture of his father on Episode 1531.

19. YO YO LABELLE

On a children's show that featured a talking purple panda and a tiger who lives in a clock, the most bizarre character shows up in Episodes 1589 and 1590. Yo Yo LaBelle is an extra-terrestrial visitor to Make-Believe who only speaks by using the words "me" and "thee."

20. THE FINAL EPISODE

After nearly 900 Neighborhood episodes spanning portions of five decades, Mister Rogers leaves his television house for the last time on Episode 1765.

As the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood marathon continues, feel free to visit The Neighborhood Archive for notes and details on these episodes and more!

[All images property of The Fred Rogers Company]

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Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

15 Fascinating Facts About Julia Child

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Julia Child was much more than just a bestselling cookbook author and chef. Over the course of her life, she was also a breast cancer survivor, a TV trailblazer, and a government spy. It's the famed chef's spy game that will be the focus of Julia, a new series being developed by ABC Signature and created by Benjamin Brand.

The project will draw its inspiration from Child's PBS program Cooking for the C.I.A. “I was disappointed when I learned that in this case, the C.I.A. stood for the Culinary Institute of America,” Brand told Deadline. “Cooking Secrets of the Central Intelligence Agency always seemed like a more interesting show to me. Many years later, when I read a biography of Julia Child and learned about her experiences during World War II, working for the Office of Strategic Services—the precursor to the C.I.A.—the story of Julia quickly fell into place.”

Though Julia will be a work of fiction, here are 15 facts about the beloved cook, who was born on August 15, 1912.

1. Julia Child met the inventor of the Caesar salad when she was a kid.

As a preteen, Julia Child traveled to Tijuana on a family vacation. Her parents took her to dine at Caesar Cardini’s restaurant, so that they could all try his trendy “Caesar salad.” Child recalled the formative culinary experience to The New York Times: “My parents were so excited, eating this famous salad that was suddenly very chic. Caesar himself was a great big old fellow who stood right in front of us to make it. I remember the turning of the salad in the bowl was very dramatic. And egg in a salad was unheard of at that point.” Years later, when she was a famous chef in her own right, Child convinced Cardini’s daughter, Rosa, to share the authentic recipe with her.

2. The WAVES and WACs rejected Julia Child for being too tall.

Like so many others of her generation, Child felt the call to serve when America entered World War II. There was just one problem: her height. At a towering 6'2", Child was deemed “too tall” for both the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and Women’s Army Corps (WAC). But she was accepted by the forerunner to the CIA, which brings us to our next point.

3. Julia Child was a spy during World War II.

Child took a position at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was basically the CIA 1.0. She began as a research assistant in the Secret Intelligence division, where she worked directly for the head of the OSS, General William J. Donovan. But she moved over to the OSS Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section, and then took an overseas post for the final two years of the war. First in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) and later in Kunming, China, Child served as the chief of the OSS Registry. This meant she had top-level security clearance. It also meant she was working with Paul Child, the OSS officer she would eventually marry.

4. Julia Child helped develop a shark repellent for the Navy.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While Child was in the Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section, she helped the team in its search for a suitable shark repellent. Several U.S. naval officers had been attacked by the ocean predators since the war broke out, so the OSS brought in a scientist specializing in zoology and an anthropologist to come up with a fix. Child assisted in this mission, and recalled her experience in the book Sisterhood of Spies: “I must say we had lots of fun. We designed rescue kits and other agent paraphernalia. I understand the shark repellent we developed is being used today for downed space equipment—strapped around it so the sharks won’t attack when it lands in the ocean.”

5. Julia Child got married in bandages.

Once the war ended, Julia and Paul Child decided to take a “few months to get to know each other in civilian clothes.” They met with family members and traveled cross-country before they decided to tie the knot. The wedding took place on September 1, 1946. Julia remembered being “extremely happy, but a bit banged up from a car accident the day before.” She wasn’t kidding; she actually had to wear a bandage on the side of her face for her wedding photos. The New York Review of Books has one of those pictures.

6. Julia Child was a terrible cook well into her 30s.

Child did not have a natural talent for cooking. In fact, she was a self-admitted disaster in the kitchen until she began taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she and Paul lived for several years. Prior to her marriage, Child simply fed herself frozen dinners. It was probably the safest choice; one of her earliest attempts at cooking resulted in an exploded duck and an oven fire.

7. A lunch in Rouen changed Julia Child's life.

Child repeatedly credited one meal with spurring her interest in fine foods: a lunch in the French city of Rouen that she and Paul enjoyed en route to their new home in Paris. The meal consisted of oysters portugaises on the half-shell, sole meunière browned in Normandy butter, a salad with baguettes, and cheese and coffee for dessert. They also “happily downed a whole bottle of Pouilly-Fumé” over the courses.

8. It took Julia Child nine years to write and publish her first cookbook.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking revolutionized home cooking when it was published in 1961—but the revolution didn't happen overnight. Child first began work on her famous tome in 1952, when she met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. The French women were writing a cookbook aimed at teaching Americans how to make French cuisine, and brought Child on board as a third author. Nine years of research, rewrites, and rejections ensued before the book landed a publisher at Alfred A. Knopf.

9. Julia Child got famous by beating eggs on Boston public television.

Child’s big TV break came from an unlikely source: Boston’s local WGBH station. While promoting Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Child appeared as a guest on the book review program I’ve Been Reading. But rather than sit down and discuss recipe semantics, Child started cracking eggs into a hot plate she brought with her. She made an omelette on air as she answered questions, and viewers loved it. The station received dozens of letters begging for more demonstrations, which led WGBH producer Russell Morash to offer Child a deal. She filmed three pilot episodes, which turned into her star-making show The French Chef.

10. All of Julia Child's essential utensils were kept in a "sacred bag."

According to a 1974 New Yorker profile, Child carried a large black canvas satchel known as the “sacred bag.” Rather than holy artifacts, it contained the cooking utensils she couldn’t live without. That included her pastry-cutting wheel, her favorite flour scoop, and her knives, among other things. She started using it when The French Chef premiered, and only entrusted certain people with its care.

11. Julia Child survived breast cancer.

Child’s doctors ordered a mastectomy in the late 1960s after a routine biopsy came back with cancerous results. She was in a depressed mood following her 10-day hospital stay, and Paul was a wreck. But she later became vocal about her operation in hopes that it would remove the stigma for other women. She told TIME, “I would certainly not pussyfoot around having a radical [mastectomy] because it’s not worth it.”

12. Julia Child's marriage was well ahead of its time.

As their meet-cute in the OSS offices would suggest, Paul and Julia Child had far from a conventional marriage (at least by 1950s standards). Once Julia’s career took off, Paul happily assisted in whatever way he could—as a taste tester, dishwasher, agent, or manager. He had retired from the Foreign Service in 1960, and immediately thrust himself into an active role in Julia’s business. The New Yorker took note of Paul’s progressive attitudes in its 1974 profile of Julia, noting that he suffered “from no apparent insecurities of male ego.” He continued to serve as Julia’s partner in every sense of the word until his death in 1994.

13. Julia Child was the first woman inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Hall of Fame.

Child spent her early years working for what would become the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1993, she joined another CIA: the Culinary Institute of America. The group inducted Child into its Hall of Fame that year, making her the first woman to ever receive the honor.

14. Julia Child earned the highest civilian honors from the U.S. and France.

Along with that CIA distinction, Child received top civilian awards from both her home country and the country she considered her second home. In 2000, she accepted the Legion D’Honneur from Jacques Pépin at Boston’s Le Méridien hotel. Just three years later, George W. Bush gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

15. Julia Child's kitchen is in the Smithsonian.

In 2001, Julia donated the kitchen that Paul designed in their Cambridge, Massachusetts home to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Although it’s not possible to walk directly through it, there are three viewports from which visitors can see the high counters, wall of copper pots, and gleaming stove. Framed recipes, articles, and other mementos from her career adorn the surrounding walls—and, of course, there’s a television which plays her cooking shows on loop.