I have still not seen the Mister Rogers movie because of my unyielding, if entirely unsubstantiated, belief that Tom Hanks is a secret sociopath. But I have found the press junket for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood to be quite charming, particularly when Fred Rogers’s widow, Joanne, is involved. Thanks to Joanne, we’ve now been blessed with this anecdote: Mister Rogers used to fart to make her laugh. I love love!!!!
In a rather lovely profile in the Los Angeles Times, Joanne Rogers, 91, discussed her relationship with Fred, whom she met when she was 24. Some facts: they started out being pretty bad at kissing (it sounds like it got better over time), she kept all his love letters, and he proposed to her in writing, which sounds pretty smart, for legal reasons.
Joanne, who helped consult on A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, also wanted to make sure the film conveyed the full gamut of her husband’s personality. For instance:
She was keener on imparting to the writers just how funny Fred was. If the couple was out at an event that turned out to be bland, he had a go-to way of making her laugh: passing gas.
“He would just raise one cheek and he would look at me and smile,” she said, cracking herself up.
I would not personally find this bit charming, but it’s very sweet that she did. Do let me know if this made it into the movie.