Adam Eisenstat was 12 when he learned that Fred Rogers lived two blocks away. When he met the kids' TV star, he was exactly as he was on television. But before meeting him, Eisenstat says couldn't stand Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, "especially the host, with his wimpy voice and mawkish homilies. I thought it was corny and dull, especially that tired routine of putting on his cardigan and Keds, warbling the theme song, and then changing back into his suit jacket and dress shoes to close out the show. And it was so insufferably earnest, with no hint of flash or slyness, qualities that were abundant in Sesame Street and The Electric Company, which I much preferred." After meeting him in person and having a serious conversation, Eisenstat says, "I couldn’t think of Rogers as anything less than completely authentic."
TOPICS: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, PBS, Fred Rogers, Kids TV