Mr. Rogers Loved Farting in Public, According to His Widow

Mr. Rogers greets President George W. Bush in 2002.
Mr. Rogers greets President George W. Bush in 2002. / Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Fred Rogers, the congenial host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, has been exalted by viewers for decades, and rightfully so. His gentle and genuine approach to helping children deal with adult topics and embrace a healthy exploration of their imaginations was a fixture in the lives of many. At no point during his life or after his death in 2003 has any scandal emerged.

Until now. According to his widow, Mr. Rogers was not above public displays of farting.

This surprising character trait was revealed in a profile of Joanne Rogers in the Los Angeles Times. According to Joanne, her husband often broke the tedium of a bland social gathering by breaking wind.

“He would just raise one cheek and he would look at me and smile,” she told the paper.

This anecdote was first passed on to the producers of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the 2019 biopic starring Tom Hanks as a convincing—if not particularly flatulent—Rogers. Joanne shared the story in the hopes the filmmakers wouldn’t treat her husband as a saint.

Joanne, 91, also informed the Times that Fred enjoyed her dirty jokes and wore “the droopiest drawers,” presumably referring to a sagging pair of pants, around the house.

The point, Joanne explained, is that Fred was not above the rest of us, and we are all capable of similar measures of kindness—even if we can’t necessarily fart at will.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]