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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Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com

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Mark Hamill Learned About The Empire Strikes Back's Big Darth Vader Reveal Before Anyone Else

Nope, not even Harrison Ford knew about it.
Nope, not even Harrison Ford knew about it.
Michael Tran/Getty Images

Few cinematic secrets were better kept—or more shocking when they came out—than that of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa's true parentage in the Star Wars saga. According to ComicBook.com, the reveal that Darth Vader is Luke and Leia's father was such a well-kept secret that it wasn't actually put into the script at all. Evidently, only three people on set knew about the moment in advance: Mark Hamill, Star Wars creator George Lucas, and The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner. (Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan was also aware.)

Hamill took to Twitter to explain the pivotal part of the franchise, during which a fake line was used so the actual reveal could be dubbed in afterwards, allowing the trio to keep the secret from the cast and crew for more than a year.

"The cast & crew first learned of it when they saw the finished film," Hamill said to his fans on Twitter. "When we shot it, Vader's line was 'You don't know the truth, Obi-Wan killed your father.' Only Irvin Kershner, George Lucas & I knew what would be dubbed in later. Agony keeping that secret for over a year!"

Props to them for not letting the spoiler slip early. Even with the pressure of keeping such a big plot twist under wraps, Lucas says financial concerns were what plagued him most.

“Well, to be very honest, the most challenging aspect was paying for [The Empire Strikes Back],” Lucas recently told StarWars.com. “In order to be able to take control of the movie, I had to pay for it myself. And in order to do that, I did something my father told me never to do, which was to borrow money. But there wasn’t much I could do because I only had maybe half of the money to make the movie, so I had to borrow the other half, which put a lot of pressure on me.”

If you feel like reminiscing about a galaxy far, far away, check out this year's May the Fourth celebration compilation here. And if you want to see the twist for yourself (whether it's for the first or the hundredth time), all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga are now streaming on Disney+.

[h/t ComicBook.com]

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