Mr. R

fredrogers“They felt so entitled,” he recalls, “and it just hit me. We can blame Mr. Rogers.”

doctorevilApparently, Fred Rogers was evil incarnate. According to the theory, no… make that the spoutings off of a finance professor named Don Chance, at Louisiana State University, it suddenly occured to him one day that the self centered-ness of the current college generation was symptomatic of the attitude instilled in them by growing up with Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, the amazingly long lived – 33 years of sheer boredom – show that told kids they were special just the way they were. Thankfully, I guess, I grew up on Bob Keeshan of Captain Kangaroo, who for 29 years of silly stories, hijinks, and cartoons, just simply entertained us. One can’t quite count Romper Room, as I was initially tempted to do, only to find out that not only over its 41 years did it have three different hostesses, Miss Nancy, Miss Sally, and, good golly, Miss Molly, but that was only on the national version – local stations were free to franchise the show and refilm their own versions with their own hostesses as long as they stuck to a reasonably similar format, which several did – including New York and Chicago.
This, by the way, is not to say there’s not some food for thought in the idea that kids today do seem to be a little bit too me-centric – but perhaps it’s a phenomenon more serious than making flippant remarks on camera?


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