Star-studded Mister Rogers tribute comes to Arizona PBS

Michael Keaton

“Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like,” a celebrity-filled hour-long special that celebrates the iconic PBS series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” airs on Arizona PBS on Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. The pioneering PBS series premiered nationally more than 50 years ago and became an iconic and enduring landmark in the world of children’s television and beyond.

Cast members from the groundbreaking series share their personal perspectives and insights in this new production, which pays tribute to television’s longest-running children’s series, still broadcast on many PBS stations today. The program also features interviews with numerous celebrities who have been influenced and inspired by Fred Rogers, a modest man who always said, “I am not a teacher, I simply help children learn.”

Michael Keaton, who worked as a stagehand and made appearances on the series in the 1970s, hosts the special. Judd Apatow, Joyce DiDonato, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Kratt, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma and son Nicholas Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Silverman, Esperanza Spalding and Caroll Spinney reveal their favorite memories from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” while Joe Negri (“Handyman Negri”), David Newell (“Mr. McFeely”) and Joanne Rogers, Fred’s widow, share their personal stories. Also featured are performances from the archives by Tony Bennett, The Empire Brass Quintet, Hillary Hahn, Margaret Hamilton, Yo-Yo Ma and Nicholas, Wynton Marsalis and Perlman.

The nearly 900 episodes created by Fred Rogers encompass topics that resonate to this day with adults and children alike. Favorite segments, such as a visit with Koko the Gorilla, Big Bird’s appearance in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe as well as trips to the Crayola Factory and the Radio Flyer Wagon Company, are highlighted.

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