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Fred Rogers, the host of the children's television series, 'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood,' rests his arms on a small trolley in this promotional portrait from the 1980's.
“…deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.”
These are the words that changed Benjamin Wagner’s life when he met the iconic, charming, philosophical neighbor Fred Rogers, the long-time host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” on his 30th birthday. And they actually were neighbors – Rogers, who had retired from the show, was living right next door to the Nantucket cottage Wagner’s mother had rented for the summer.
Afterwards, their conversation stuck with him, launching the MTV news producer on a personal journey to reevaluate his life and career. This led to his making the independent film “Mister Rogers & Me,” in which he travels the country interviewing people who knew Rogers, asking what his words mean to them. The resulting documentary asks important questions about our human connections and media’s relationship with children today.
Tomorrow, March 20th, is Fred Rogers’ birthday, and it’s a beautiful day to ask: what life lessons did you learn from Mr. Rogers?
Benjamin Wagner, co-director, “Mister Rogers & Me”
Christopher Wagner, co-director, “Mister Rogers & Me”