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Episode 1169

Air Date: April 8, 1971
Previous Episode: 1168
Next Episode: 1170

Mister Rogers opens by sharing a film about monkeys before Bob Trow stops by on his way home from the store. He gives Mister Rogers a banana which provides some inspiration for part of the day's opera.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, everyone is in costume as they prepare for the opera. Reardon and Lady Aberlin take a call from King Friday on a banana phone requesting their presence at the castle. The King is given the part of "first musician" in the opera -- playing his bass fiddle as the production begins.

The opera -- The Uncle of the Monkey -- begins with the Zookeeper (Lady Aberlin) caring for the animals at the zoo which include a talking parrot (voiced by Bob Trow), Daniel Duck (Daniel Striped Tiger), and a horse (Ino A. Horse). At the monkey house, the Organ Grinder (Reardon) arrives feeling upset that no one wants to pay for his music. His sense of failure prompts him to return his Monkey (Robert Troll) to the Monkey's Uncle (Chef Brockett).

Giving his organ to the Monkey's Uncle, the Organ Grinder accepts an invitation to tour the zoo with the Zookeeper. While they are gone, the Monkey's Uncle converts the organ into a popcorn maker which provides a feeling of rejuvenated confidence to the Organ Grinder. Upon the arrival of the Monkey's Aunt (Miss Paulificate), the Organ Grinder decides that he will continue his work at the zoo.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers encourages viewers to be creative by making up their own operas.


King Friday specially orders this "Thursday opera" which is performed in the castle's Zoo Room.

Often referred to as "The Monkey's Uncle," Lady Aberlin clearly refers to this opera as "The Uncle of the Monkey."

The banana phone used by Lady Aberlin in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe is the same phone used as a prop in the opera a few minutes later.

Appearing In This Episode




Episode Credits

Produced by WQED Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in association with Small World Enterpriese, Inc. for N.E.T.

Created by Fred Rogers
Produced and directed by Sam Silberman
Music Director: John Costa
Neighbors: Betty Aberlin, Don Brockett, John Reardon, Audrey Roth, Bob Trow
Safari Footage: Charles McGrath
Film Editors: Diana Dean, Betsy Nadas

Production funds for this television visit were provided by a grant from the Sears-Roebuck Foundtation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

© 1971 National Educational Television and Radio Center

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