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George Romero wanted ‘Lady Aberlin’ to star in ‘Night of the Living Dead’ but Mr. Rogers said ‘no.’
09.08.2017
07:45 am
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George Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, sadly passed away in July of this year. In researching a different topic related to Romero, I stumbled across a short but informative interview with the director that appeared in SFGate in 2010.

In this interview, Romero discusses getting his start in filmmaking, working for Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood fame.

Romero describes Mr. Rogers as “the sweetest man [he] ever knew,” and the first person who ever trusted him to shoot film. According to Romero, most anyone working in film in Pittsburgh got their start with Mr. Rogers.

Remarkably, according to Romero, Mr. Rogers had seen both Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead and enjoyed them both. On Dawn of the Dead Mr. Rogers remarked: “It’s a lot of fun, George.”

But, most mind-blowing to me was the revelation that Romero had originally wanted to cast Betty Aberlin (“Lady Aberlin” from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood—MAJOR childhood crush) as the lead in Night of the Living Dead. Unfortunately, Mr. Rogers was not keen on the idea.

According to Romero, “he wouldn’t let me use Lady Aberlin.”

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Christopher Bickel
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09.08.2017
07:45 am
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‘Love and reverse-psychedelics’: Synthesizer pioneer Bruce Haack on ‘Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,’ 1968
12.16.2013
06:17 pm
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Incredible footage of “the king of techno,” Bruce Haack demonstrating his homemade computers for some kids on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood in 1968, with the help of his longtime creative partner, Ester Nelson.

Nelson was a choreographer and together, she and Haack collaborated on eleven fairly avant-garde records for kids (released on their own Dimension 5 label) that combined electronic music, storytelling and a (drugless?) psychedelic outlook. Some of them weren’t that far-off from “Hokey Pokey” or “musical chairs” type activity songs, but others were weirder... like asking kids to pretend to be their own shadows or a grandfather clock.

The liner notes to Haack and Nelson’s 1963 Dance Sing and Listen Again album read:

THIS RECORDING IS A TOTAL EXPERIENCE. It exposes your child to controlled body movement, provides a stimulus for imagination and creativity, and presents a range of thought, music and sound from things medieval through today’s electronics. NOTHING LIKE IT HAS EXISTED BEFORE!

That’s a pretty big claim for a kids album, but it’s probably accurate, too.
 

 
I can’t fathom the notion that they thought they were providing a psychedelic experience of sorts, for kids! Here’s what they had to say in the liner notes to their 1968 album The Way Out Record for Children (which must be a reference to Perrey and Kingsley’s The In Sound From Way Out!):

This Wild and wonderful record offers another “Way Out” for children from typical recordings. Our first three recordings prove that our simple philosophy of love and reverse-psychedelics works. We do fill the senses with an almost infinite range of concepts, abstracts, words, sounds, advice and a contract with order and form. But we know that kids compute—so we ask them to use our basics and stretch to the sky. They do—because kids are turned on.

In this Wild and Wonderful time we hereby take the slogan “Drop Out”—turn it around—and print our own button for children ...“Drop in—We love you.”

You follow that? Was the idea of “psychedelics” somehow not yet threatening to Middle American parents?
 

 
In the video below (which reminds me a bit of Synthesizer Patel’s appearance on Look Around You) Haack and Miss Nelson explain their zany non-LSD gestalt to Mr. Rogers and the kids. Although the clips are labeled parts two and three, part one isn’t on YouTube, but nothing of Haack’s appearance seems to be missing.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.16.2013
06:17 pm
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John Wayne Gacy has nothin’ on Mr. Rogers
01.18.2011
02:02 pm
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I’m pretty sure most people have seen this incredibly creepy John Wayne Gacy-esque Mr. Rogers clip before. However, I had no idea how many “evil’ Mr. Rogers videos existed on YouTube! If you’re curious to see more (sure you are), I’ve compiled a few for your viewing pleasure below:

Mr. Rogers is an Evil Man
Mr. Rogers: Private swimming lessons with an underage minor
Slug: Crawl (aka Here and Now)
Scary Mister Rogers
Mr. Rogers: Hugs From Hell
Mr. Rogers’ Satanic Neighborhood
Mr. Rogers LOL
Howard Stern on Mr. Rogers Quotes

(via Certified Bullshit Technician )

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.18.2011
02:02 pm
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