Over the years, lots of very interesting guests stopped by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to visit the iconic children’s show host.
Keith David, Lou Ferigno, and Yo Yo Ma all had memorable appearances on the classic PBS show, but Fred Roger’s favorite segment of all time didn’t involve any big stars. It was just him and a 10-year-old boy named Jeff Erlanger talking about life.
Erlanger became a quadriplegic at a young age, after a tumor grew too close to his spinal cord. He learned to use an electric wheelchair as a child, and Mr. Rogers invited him on the show to talk about what that was like. Their segment together quickly became of the show’s most famous moments.
Nothing extraordinary happened, but audiences were moved by how honestly and openly the little boy connected with Mr. Rogers. It was also a great example of how Fred Rogers used his show to discuss serious topics that other children’s programs avoided.
At the end of their time together the pair sang “It’s You I Like” together, and Mr. Rogers told Erlanger “I hope you’ll come to visit again.” But he had no idea the young boy would take him up on his offer almost 2 decades later.
Brace yourself, because this clip will make you cry.