Friday , 22 May 2015

Mister Rogers DID NOT (Intentionally) Flip The Bird

Mister Rogers Flipping the Middle Finger

For years there has been a single black and white photo of Mister Rogers in a cardigan and bow-tie, with a delightful smile and his head tilted slightly downwards circulating the web. Boring Pittsburgh readers have submitted this pic several times. It was ignored at first because frankly it’s old news, but more importantly because at the time it was believed by the Internets to be photoshopped – nobody knew what to make of it. Even and other sites swore it to be a manufactured image. All the research pointed to it being a fake. We did everything we could to dispel the myth once and for all, even blowing up the photo for examination of inconsistencies. But then, our post inspired someone to dig up the old video and upload it to YouTube and they sent it to us.

The evidence could not be denied: Video Proof of Mister Rogers Flipping the Bird.

We weren’t the only ones to be duped, in fact this quote is still on the site below:

Like many well-loved public figures, Mr. Rogers was dogged by several odd rumors. Which of these is actually true? …The flipping the bird rumor has been circulating on the Internet, but the accompanying photo is fake.

Mister Rogers flipping the bird pic isn't FAKE

As you can see, before the video of Mr. Rogers giving the middle finger, the viral photo could easily be deemed a fake. We weren’t sure whether the entire arm was added to the photo, or just part of the hand. However, If you look closely, there is a slight change in the texture of the middle finger, all the way down the hand. It turns out no changes were made because our childhood hero did indeed allow the Fuck You finger to be extended while keeping his other ones folded down.

Mister Rogers middle finger myth
Mister Rogers middle finger myth – evidence of photo editing? Not really.

So there you have it. Mr. Rogers did flip the bird in the picture/video above. He would never intentionally do such a thing, and it’s a shame that the world is busy searching for this image rather than searching for his address to the United States Senate or his 1997 Emmy Awards Speech.

Oh yeah, and this wasn’t the only time he flipped the bird on camera. Here he goes again, BUT IT WAS A COMPLETE ACCIDENT because he was holding a paintbrush!

It turns out that Mister Rogers really did flip the bird. Click the link for video proof.
  • Maple

    Real or not, that picture is epic!

    • Tracebombzzz

      The pic is not photoshopped at all. However, that does not mean he flipped the bird. It is a still from him singing “where is thumbkin.” If you look in the left bottom corner you can see a small boy also holding up “tall man”. Heck, there’s footage of it on YouTube. Maybe check a little before pulling out all your “evidence” of photoshopping.

      • BPGH Staff

        Heck, we already posted an update with a link to the video. Maybe read the full article before commenting. ;-)

  • Kate

    Thanks for posting this. I hated seeing this picture. He was such a good soul and even though it was a joke, it just went over the line.

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      Thank you Kate! We really didn’t want to show the photo out of respect, but also wanted to prove to everyone that it wasn’t real. The best we could do was at least mark it with a big bold “FAKE.”

      He was truly an amazing person, and most people don’t know how cool he really was. Thanks for commenting =)

      • Boring Pittsburgh

        Snopes and other sites were insisting that Mister Rogers didn’t flip the bird. The screenshot that was floating around the net didn’t reference any particular episode, and after playing with the picture in photoshop, it really looked like it was a fake at the time.

        Since then, someone put out video evidence of Mr. Rogers so-called flipping the bird – which we put a link to above (lazy people click here).

  • Bethany

    This picture is not a fake! Rather, the “bird flipping” is a misinterpretation. On episode #4 of the first season of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Mr. Roger sings the song “Where is Thumbkin” with some children. This screenshot is taken from the part of the song where they sing about “Tall Man”. Amazon prime has free episodes of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood if you’d like to verify this information.

  • Billay

    Ummmm… Not fake. I just watched it with my daughter. He’s singing “where is thumbkin” song with a group of kids. The middle finger is “tall man”. He does it with both hands.

  • Pingback: Mister Rogers Flips the Bird (video) in Boring Pittsburgh()

  • Nathan Davis

    I would have to say that the most logical is the “Where is Thumbkin” explanation. To point and lines that could be caused by compression on a low res image anyway does not prove that Photoshop was used to make this image. To me this was a still that was taken out of context, and used as a joke (in poor taste)…

  • Tracy

    Way to do your research. The video clip is on Youtube. It’s completely taken out of context in the pic but the video shows that it’s clearly part of a song…

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      Way to read the post. We added two updates with links to the video you mentioned.

      • me

        Or…maybe just remove the entire thing which is 99% false info with one minor ‘update’ link since in light of that the whole article is pointless anyway…

        Or continue to leave butthurt response, your choice.

  • Rabid

    Umm Maybe you wouldn’t get so many replies that it’s not fake if your retraction wasn’t practically in small print.

    A retraction for a completely wrong article, in error, should go ABOVE the article, if not in very noticeable color and weight.

  • Nickford Walker

    Hey guys you have the link to the wrong video. True that he is giving the finger their too (on accident) but the picture goes with this counting game video. By the way my new wallpaper is Mr. Rogers smiling and flippin the bird with a caption that reads, “Hi Neighbor!”

  • Monica
  • pirate_raider

    We thought it was already well known that the picture is obviously photoshopped


    • BPGH Staff

      LOL good one. But you still found the post and took the time to comment, so thanks ;)

  • Rationalific

    That picture is a complete fake! How could anyone believe that it’s reall! Here is my completely solid scientific evidence showing that it’s fake!

    Oh, it’s not fake? I was completely wrong? Oops!

  • boringcommenter

    I love that this “article” or whatever it is has GIANT “This is fake!” written all over it with tiny little “update it’s not fake” text stuck in there. Mr Rogers give this (first result on google for “Mr Rogers giving the finger” search!) two fingers up!

  • Leah N Joe

    For crying out loud he was playing a game with children that involved the use of each of the fingers on the hand. Although I’m sure he was chuckling inwardly. ;)

    • Leah N Joe

      I believe it’s called “where is thumbkin”

      • Shizuppy

        followed up by “in your bumhole”

  • Dumb Pittsburgh

    Who ever writes this shit is obviously an idiot who does NO research….

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      Who ever wrote this comment is obviously an idiot who reads titles and not full posts.

      • Boring Pittsburgh

        This article inspired someone to go dig up the actual video and post it on YouTube. So there was some benefit from it. Thank us very much.

      • Thinklatits


      • Boring Pittsburgh

        So should every other site that claimed it was fake. It’s not exactly something that can be researched without going back to rewatch every single Mr. Rogers tape. It would require someone to recall the instance based on seeing the actual episode. In all fairness, the title states that he did not intentionally flip the bird.

      • Pinky

        Good shit

      • efgeff

        Haha fuck you, I use adblock.

    • Boring Pittsburgh
  • Jonathan Schoonmaker

    Who cares if it was intentional or not…it’s still funny…

  • JustSomethingtoThinkAbout : )

    Don’t you think that it’s extremely unprofessional to allow your irritation with commenters to dictate your response? “Doubtful that you’d read other Pittsburgh related articles, so who cares what you think about them.” Have some grace and class when you’ve made a mistake, instead of taking the opportunity to insult. Also, perhaps before you say things like “you came here to see one of the nicest people in the world accidentally give the middle finger.”, you should consider that most of us are reading this article for the same reason you wrote it-to find out if our beloved neighbor was not as nice as he seemed. Not simply to find fault, but to decide whether he deserves to hold a loving spot in our hearts.

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      Thanks for your input. You’re taking the trolls on this post and the responses we’ve posted way too seriously. Professionalism is not quite what we’re after within the comment section. Are you buying something from us? Are you paying for a service? No, we’re giving you something for free. Most would agree that professionalism need not apply.

      PS: Nobody at Boring Pittsburgh gets irritated by the commenters here. All comments are welcome and fun to read. If you interpret “Doubtful that you’d read other Pittsburgh related articles, so who cares what you think about them” as an insult, then perhaps you might consider adjusting your sensitivity level for the internet. No insult intended, just trolling the trolls. Chillax.

  • Anon. a Moment

    When investigating an urban legend, one would do well to start with SNOPES and save yourself a lot of useless key strokes typing misinformation.

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      Interestingly, Snopes was one of the first ones to report that Mister Rogers gave the middle finger. Convenient that they changed their report after this post was published.

      • Tom

        Of course they did. Snopes corrected their story, like every other responsible site. You purposely lead with a false story to drive circulation. Even your “correction” is poorly written and misleading. Shame on you.

      • bropous

        It’s called correcting a story.

    • Krazy Joe

      Snopes isn’t reliable. I saw them say something was false that was undeniably TRUE.

      They may be right 90% of the time, but Snopes is not infallible. Heck this article even says that snopes said the image was photoshopped…and it was not.

  • Rick Beacham

    So why not run a story that explains why his middle finger is up. It really is not the least bit funny to post garbage about someone when it is not true. Shame

    • Krazy Joe

      There is no denying that is IS INDEED funny.

      Sorry, but you’re wrong.

      I was watching this very episode with my 7 year old daughter last night unaware of the ‘finger’ bit. When It came on, I couldn’t stop laughing and broke out the camera. Because it’s HILARIOUS.

  • Deni

    This is the reason why his middle fingers were fully extended with a smile on his face –

    • bropous

      Yeah, there are so many sad and degenerate people in the world today, and it makes them feel better about themselves to try and delve into some dark and twisted corner they imagine to exist in every human soul.
      Thank you for posting the video. It makes a lot of sense, and it is in context.

  • kristi

    I loved Fred Rogers. I also like seeing he is human, as I’m sure he would want all of us to do so amongst ourselves. He was a minister, and I heartily say he gave me more than any sermon i ever heard:
    He talked quietly, correctly. He showed you can play an have fun without big or fancy toys, and that make believe is okay. Talk about leading by example!

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      Thank you for the nice comment :-)

      • Y’all are nuts

        U mean for the boring comment !

  • bropous

    A very good man who helped a lot of children see the gentle side of being a good man.
    Not every kid had that role model growing up.
    But this guy changed more lives than most presidents.

  • bropous

    Oh, well, at least the myth has been disproved pretty solidly.

    • Boring Pittsburgh

      That’s right! Thanks for the comments :-)

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