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The Arsenio Hall Show


DATE: 1993

NOTE: The transcript below is based on clips from Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor and does not include the full interview.

FRED ROGERS: Yeah, when I was three, this young man was just an early teenager and his mother had died. And my mom and dad said, 'Come live with us.' He turned out to be a real model for me. As a matter of fact, when I was in high school, he taught me how to fly. And right after that he went to teach at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and taught all the black fliers in the country to fly in the second World War. His name was George Allen, and he's gonna be 80 this year, and I really admire him.

Arsenio Hall: Yeah.

FR: So, I had a black brother even then.

[Laughter and applause from the crowd]


[Arsenio presents Fred with a colorful leather jacket similar to his own]

AH: Now this gives new meanting to "boys in the hood!" We'll be back with Mister Rogers!


AH: Can we talk about kids for just a minute? Kids today, know, we all grew up with you and I see things going on out there that kind of worries me. I wish more people would watch Mister Rogers instead of some of the things you see going on. I had a kid tell me the other day...I said, "Be good, you don't want to end up in a box." And he told me, he said, "Hey, I'm already dead, brother." There's an attitude out there, there's some things going on, there's a lot of hopelessness. What do we need to do?

FR: It weighs heavy on all of us, doesn't it?

AH: Yeah.

FR: And there's no simple answer, of course. But if we could, through television programs, as well as every other imaginable program, let people know that each one of us is precious. Let everybody know that we have value in this life.


AH: It all starts in the home. We can never underrate how important that is to our young people. But I think all of us have to do one thing with one person. We all take one kid and say, "I'm gonna make sure he gets through it." I think that could make the difference. But we all have to get involved and realize that there is a problem without a riot coming north of Wilson.

FR: And always to look for the helpers. My mother always told me, "Look for the helpers." You know, the news is always so awful. But there are times when people will come right around the corner and do something wonderful for somebody.


AH: Perfect guest for the night and a perfect audience to receive him. This is Mister Rogers.

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