Mister Rogers Visited Sesame Street in 1981—and It Was Too Wholesome to Handle

Family Communications Inc., Getty Images
Family Communications Inc., Getty Images

In case you need a little pick-me-up with a side of nostalgia, we are happy to inform you that there’s a video on YouTube showing the time Fred Rogers appeared on Sesame Street. Unsurprisingly, it’s a shining example of all that is good and wholesome in the world.

Though Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street were both PBS shows, they were technically competitors—though the show’s producers didn’t exactly act like it. Margy Whitmer, a producer on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, told biographer Maxwell King that Fred Rogers didn’t want to compete with other shows. “He didn’t watch a lot of other children’s shows. He didn’t watch television, period,” Whitmer said.

To that, David Newell (better known as Mr. McFeely), added, “Sesame Street had a much bigger budget. We were more of an intimate show, though our budget increased over the years. They were sort of hip, and we were sort of … geeky. But Fred stuck to his guns.”

As a result, the collaboration between Rogers and the Muppet cast of Sesame Street—which originally aired in May 1981—is a joy to watch.

The video, uploaded by Sesame Maniac, opens with Mr. Rogers wearing a suit and tie instead of his usual cardigan sweater (all of which were knitted by his mom, by the way). He's standing outside of a storefront when Big Bird approaches and asks if he’ll judge a race between him and Snuffy. (Funnily enough, the theme of the segment was competition and, more importantly, maintaining friendships whether you win or lose.)

Check out the clip in the video below.

Virginia’s University of Lynchburg is Adding a Harry Potter Class to Its Fall Curriculum

Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.
Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.

While it’s not exactly an invitation to Hogwarts, students at Virginia’s University of Lynchburg are getting just about the next best thing. This fall, the campus is adding a Harry Potter-themed class to its curriculum as a general education course.

The university is in the process of changing some of its course offerings and streamlining classes in recognition of its modern students. According to WSET ABC 13, Dr. Sharon Foreman, director of general education, said of the new curriculum: "It is very targeted towards 21st century students who are going out into a global society and so we want faculty, staff, and administrators to know what that means, what it looks like, and [to] experience it first hand.”

Faculty have decided providing an education for a global society includes offering courses like the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Good Life," which will ask students to read J.K. Rowling’s books alongside the works of philosophers to create connections between the past and present.

University of Lynchburg coordinator of integrated seminars Amy Merrill Willis told WSLS 10 News that the course's instructor, Devin Brickhouse Bryson, is "going to be introducing philosophical concepts from [Plato], Socrates, and Aristotle, and asking students to think about the Harry Potter series in depth.”

Although there may not be a sorting hat or Butterbeer involved, the class sounds like a creative way to engage students in philosophy and critical issues, all while focused on the beloved Harry Potter series.

[h/t WSET ABC 13]

Wizarding World Orlando’s New Roller Coaster Is Full of Harry Potter Easter Eggs

Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando

While Universal Studios Orlando is already home to some incredible attractions in its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, such as its very own Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Express, and even a Hogwarts Castle, the newest roller coaster seems to be bringing out the most dedicated of Potterheads. The ride, called Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, saw whopping 10-hour waits in its opening days, and for those lucky enough to have experienced the brand-new attraction already, it looks like many have deemed it worth the line.

GameSpot got to take a ride on the Motorbike Adventure, and writer Meg Downey noted all the great details riders will encounter as they soar through the Forbidden Forest—which included a load of Easter eggs.

In particular, Downey calls out the many Harry Potter nods on the walls of the castle ruins. The graffiti, which resembles cave drawings, includes a joke about a Hippogriff attempting to catch Draco Malfoy (likely in reference to the Prisoner of Azkaban scene where the cocky wizard encounters Buckbeak), a drawing of a Phoenix that looks just like Fawkes, and even some sweet writings from Harry’s parents, James and Lily Potter.

A Blast-Ended Skrewt within Universal Orlando's Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
A Blast-Ended Skrewt within Universal Orlando's Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a reference to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Universal Orlando

Additionally, the ride includes a reference to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, according to Downey, who reports that Hagrid has a poster of Nifflers in his main workshop.

The new ride seems to be a must-do experience for diehard Harry Potter fans, exploring some of the most mysterious parts of Hogwarts and the fun style of Hagrid and his creatures.

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