While the classic children’s program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood came to an end in 2001, the legacy of the late Fred Rogers has continued to live on thanks to more than 900 episodes from the program’s 33-year stint on PBS. Several generations of kids can still recall Mister Rogers singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” while putting on his iconic cardigan sweater.
As a tribute to Rogers, Eric Calderone (a.k.a. Erock) has released his latest YouTube video, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Meets Metal.” As the title suggests, this is a metalized version of music from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, with a brief interlude in which Calderone attempts to emulate Rogers’ speaking style. It’s not as easy as it looks, is it?
“There seriously has been a ton of things Mister Rogers said on TV when I was a kid that I still try and practice today,” wrote Calderone. “Literally one of my heroes to this day. And I didn’t realize it as a kid either but Johnny Costa (the pianist) improved the songs every show and absolutely shredded them haha. So I figured why not give Mister Roger’ tunes a shot.”
It’s important to note that this video was made out of love for Mister Rogers, as opposed to a desire to mock what he stood for throughout his career. Rogers was passionate about creating a television series that could be truly educational for young children while allowing them to develop emotionally by explaining concepts that other shows stayed away from.
There’s perhaps no better example of the kind of person that Fred Rogers was than this clip of his lifetime award acceptance speech at the 1997 Emmys. Rather than make the speech about himself or his own accomplishments, Rogers focused on creating a moment of personal reflection for everyone watching.
What did you think of the metal tribute video? And who are the people who shaped you into the person that you’ve become? Share your stories in the comment section below!
Image Credit: The Fred Rogers Company