David Newell Oral History

Overview

David Newell played Mr. McFeely for the entire run of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He explains that Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was filmed like a live show, with very long takes. Although Fred was not always comfortable in front of the camera, he would light up when Mr. McFeely came to the door. Newell comments on the genuine joy he would see in Fred when they would film together.

He explains that Fred was using television as a communication tool, not as a means to become a television star. In addition to appearing on the program as Mr. McFeely, Newell worked on props and public relations, writing the press releases announcing new theme weeks of the Neighborhood.

Date
2007
Type
Video
Source
Fred Rogers Center

Related Items

Fred Rogers Comments

By 1974, Fred Rogers had been working in children's television for twenty years. He started as a puppeteer on Children's Corner with Josie Carey and then made his way in front of the camera in the Canadian version of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Read more

Sign Language

Fred Rogers studied many languages throughout his life, including French, Spanish, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and American Sign Language. He presented these languages in different ways throughout the Neighborhood series.

Read more

Theater for the Deaf

Chef Brockett introduces Mister Rogers to two people who perform pantomime. The coach, Tim Scanlon, is deaf. Mister Rogers asks him to recite and mime a poem that most children would know. Mister Rogers wonders how his two new neighbors teach people pantomime, and they demonstrate by making an invisible banana split.

Read more

Contact the Archivist

The Fred Rogers Institute Archivist is available for requests and inquiries from students and researchers.

Contact