"Girls and boys like to play witches, don't they?" Mr. Rogers interviews Margaret Hamilton, aka the Wicked Witch of the West

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/28/girls-and-boys-like-to-play.html


Related: Mister Rogers’ black, gay best friend, François Clemmons.

I’m glad I got to grow up with Mister Rogers.


Boys? BOYS?? Witches are girls, he’s trying to pervert our children! Also satanic. Also what’s up with that sweater, does he think he’s Rick Santorum?


The late 1960s and early 1970s were a generally bad time in U.S. history, what with assassinations, Watergate, societal bigotry, and economic malaise (not to mention lots of bad taste in clothes and design). But one thing I will say for the period, looking back to my own childhood, is that I don’t think there was a time before or since when so much genuine and research-backed attention was paid in American popular culture to the well-being and self-esteem and education of children – much of it free of commercialism and respecting kids as people.

I’m talking not only about the great Mr. Rogers, but also Sesame Street, the Electric Company, Free to Be You and Me, Schoolhouse Rock, ABC Afterschool Specials, Where Did I Come From, the books of Judy Blume and so many other wonderful authors for children and adolescents (I’m sure people from elsewhere in the West have their own examples).

Thanks for the link. That interview is worth reading, although be warned that it seems to attract dust or onions or something into the room. Fred Rogers certainly knew how to surround himself with truly fine people.


Why did she bring her bowling ball and not show us??


Pollen. There’s plenty of pollen in here today. Also in the movie theater where they were showing “Won’t you be my neighbor.”


I feel like I remember seeing this.


At about the same time, I remember seeing Margaret Hamilton in an episode of Sesame Street where she played her nice old lady persona (from her series of Maxwell House commercials) who then turned into the wicked witch. Apparently the witch scared many of the kiddies who were watching, whose parents complained, and the episode was never repeated. It’s a shame because it was great fun.


Double Dang! That’s smelled like awesomeness.


I’m almost afraid to go see “Won’t you be my neighbor?” because of the potential blubbering mess I’ll turn into.


The crying at screenings of the documentary seem to be inspired equally by the display of Mr. Rogers’ inherent kindness and decency and by the realisation of its current glaring absence in the presence of a black hole of narcissism and greed and malice squatting at the top of American society.


Reverse Mandela? No that would be not remembering something you actually saw.

“I’ll get you, my friendly; and your little trolley, too!”


You know what is funny about our world, is I read another article with the headline and opening text that wanted to slant this story about Rogers being a bigot. But then when you read the story you found out that yes, Rogers had to ask Clemmons to keep who he was a secret for the show, while he personally accepted and loved him for who he was. It was one of those real but complicated stories. Sure we kinda wish Rogers would have been “Fuck all y’all, he can do what he wants on in his off hours.” But then you have to realize that in the reality of the times, that just would have not happened. And in the story I read Clemmons acknowledged this, harboring no anger against Rogers. Though it is a nice compare/contrast that we live in a little bit different world.


i’ll give you the bad fashion, but not design. there were some amazing, interesting design things happening then, and we should really revisit some of those ideas.


As the theater was emptying out, somebody loudly observed, " I was crying after the first five minutes," and the crowd laughed.
edited to add. To be clear, not AT him, but WITH him.


It’s highly likely that if any of them had taken that path (revealing and embracing his orientation), Mr Rogers would have been immediately cancelled and Clemons would be dead within weeks. This current hyper-righteous attitude is only possible because of the millions and millions of individuals who suffered for years and toiled to bring these freedoms to bear. Human dignity is not a foregone conclusion.


She’s headed over to Elsie’s place next, maybe she’s going to show off the bowling ball there?

Edit to add:

I suspect it may not be hers, but rather she borrowed it from her friend Anton Chekhov.

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@manybellsdown (and others)

Lookit here—something to put things in. Even witches have to have pockets!

(at 5:06-5:10) :smiley:

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That, yes. But also able to pull out from people the very finest parts of themselves.