humor

INDEPENDENT LENS
Served Like a Girl

 

Served Like a Girl Join five women rebuilding their lives with humor and heart in the Ms. Veteran America Competition. Wounded in action and transitioning to civilian life, these women seek to help others struggling with homelessness, PTSD and other trauma.

 

 

He was genuine, all right

 

CEO Message

Mister Rogers was genuine, all right

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI love this line from a Jimmy Buffett song: “I got a PBS mind in an MTV world.”

 

That describes the mind of the late Mister Rogers, too.

 

In fact, Mister Rogers met a vacationing MTV news producer on a summer stay in Nantucket and asked producer Ben Wagner about his job at the network, which favored short, dramatic edits (“jump cuts”) and quickie soundbites.

 

Mister Rogers in trademark sweater

 

Rogers listened attentively and told Wagner warmly: “I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.”

 

Wagner, impressed at Rogers’ gentle truths and authenticity, later produced an award-winning documentary, Mister Rogers & Me.

 

Right: Mister Rogers in trademark sweater

 

This month, PBS Hawai‘i presents Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like on Tuesday, March 6 at 8:00 pm. It’s a 50th anniversary celebration of the beloved longtime program that launched in 1968, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

 

Before Fred Rogers became “Mister Rogers,” he watched a commercial TV program featuring people smashing pies in each others’ faces. He concluded there were better things to do with the miracle of broadcast technology.

 

“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices,” he said. “And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”

 

One of his choices was to learn how to present a different kind of television.

 

Gaining TV experience as a floor manager on a kids show starring cowboy-actor Gabby Hayes (a one-time sidekick to Roy Rogers), Fred Rogers picked up counsel that he wouldn’t forget. He asked what the actor thought of as he looked at the camera, knowing there were a lot of people out there watching.

 

“He said, ‘Freddie, I just think of one little Buckaroo,’” Rogers recalled. “And I thought this was superb advice…He evidently thought of one child.”

 

Indeed, when Mister Rogers later faced the camera in his own TV neighborhood, many children felt that he was speaking directly to them, one on one. He addressed their unspoken fears – about controlling their anger and frustration; a loved one’s illness; the possibility of spiraling like water into the bathtub drain…

 

In effect, Fred Rogers turned a mass medium into hundreds of thousands of personal talks. In the television/video industry, we call this uncommon phenomenon “breaking the glass.”

 

At a national PBS conference that I attended, a speaker asked how many PBS staffers had entered the field because they were inspired by Mister Rogers. Scores of people stood up, many of them in their mid-20s and 30s.

 

As genuine as Fred Rogers was found to be by those who knew him well, his caring manner was parodied mercilessly by late-night comedy shows.

 

Rogers shrugged off the barbs, even appearing on the shows that made fun of him.

 

And he always assured children that “the greatest gift you give is your honest self.”

 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood welcomed us into its cheerful, positive environs until 2001. Fred Rogers died in 2003, at age 74.

 

His observations remain more apt than ever, including the theme that he shared those decades ago with the MTV producer:

 

What our society gives us is shallow and complicated. Life is deep and simple.

 

Aloha nui,

 

Leslie signature

VICIOUS
Flatmates

 

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. The duo are always cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws, but underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another.

 

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After Freddie and Stuart have a falling out, Stuart moves in with Ash and Violet moves in with Freddie. It doesn’t take long, however, before the new flatmates begin to drive each other crazy.

 

VICIOUS
Ballroom

 

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years.

 

Ballroom
The gang decides to join Ash and Jess at a ballroom dancing class. Nimble on his feet, Stuart quickly becomes teacher’s pet, leaving Freddie in a huff.

 

VICIOUS
Stag Do

 

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. The duo are always cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws, but underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another.

 

Stag Do
Finding themselves both single, Violet and Ash consider dating new people. Freddie, meanwhile, feels under pressure from Stuart to land a major new acting role.

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
The Last Laugh

 

Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, and other Jewish comics and thinkers discuss the provocative question of whether any topic – including the Holocaust – should be off-limits in comedy.

 

POV
Seven Songs for a Long Life

 

Visit Strathcarron, a Scottish hospice center where patients face pain, uncertainty and the possibility of life’s end with song and humor. Hear tunes belted out by patients and caregivers alike between reflections on life, love and mortality.

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Best and Most Beautiful Things

 

Join Michelle Smith, an unforgettable young woman who is legally blind and on the autism spectrum, on a journey of self-discovery that celebrates outcasts everywhere. With humor and bold curiosity, she chases love and freedom in the most unexpected of places.

 

VICIOUS:
The Holiday Special

 

Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) host a holiday soiree in their small central London flat. Ash (Iwan Rheon), their young upstairs neighbor, has volunteered to cook the meal, their feisty best friend Violet (Frances de la Tour) is up to her old tricks, and a wicked game of Truth or Dare brings up hidden truths – and surprises as well.

 

VICIOUS
Sister

 

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. The duo are always cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws, but underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another.

 

Sister
Violet panics when her wealthy sister Lillian, whom she hasn’t seen in years, announces a visit.

 

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