Watch Mr. Rogers giving children the finger

The idea of Mr. Rogers cheerfully flipping the bird to children, and a double flip too, seems unthinkable. And yet here he is doing just that.

By every account I have read, Fred Rogers was as gentle, kind, and good-humored in real life as he was portrayed on his eponymous show so of course there is a innocent explanation for this. Jason Weisberger tells us that Mr. Rogers was singing a song with children in which each finger had a name and was raised as it did something in the song. The middle finger was ‘tall man’.

I was wondering if Mr. Rogers was laughing so much because he knew how incongruous it was for him to make the gesture and it is also possible that the TV crew, also enjoying the joke, made sure that he was in close-up when he did it.


  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I met Mr. Rodgers when I was, I don’t know, probably 4. But maybe 5. It was sooooooooo cooooool. I met a TV star, and he was soooooooper nice to me and the 30 other kids who were there. I must have been special or something.

    I don’t remember him flipping me off, though it could have happened.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    I would have liked to see the whole song.
    of course all of the “grown-ups” were in on the “joke”.

  3. snuff curry says

    Wow, I genuinely thought this was edited (like the photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. flipping* the proverbial).

    @chigau, more of Mr. Rogers’s Where is Thumbkin? here, but it’s not complete

    *he is actually flicking the v-sign there, but mebbe the peace sign in 1960s US faced that way round? Or it’s a just victory sign?

  4. snuffcurry says

    Oh, lor’, that’ll teach me to forget the contents of a video I just watched. My link goes to the clip Mano posted, which I misremembered as being shorter than 40 seconds or summat. Sorry about that.

  5. morsgotha says

    I do enjoy a good nudge-wink adult humour in kid’s TV shows when I am forced to watched them by children. It makes the nodding along trying to sound interested more bareable.

    My Favorite from Peppa Pig:

    * Daddy Pig and Daddy Wolf enter the Pig house.
    Daddy Wolf: “Lovely house, what’s it built from”
    Daddy Pig: “Bricks. Don’t even think about it”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *