767: Temper

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Temper
Mr. Rogers projected an air of genuine, unwavering, almost saintly pure-hearted decency. But when you look deeper, at the person behind the image ... that's exactly what you find there, too. He's exactly what he appears to be.
Title text: Mr. Rogers projected an air of genuine, unwavering, almost saintly pure-hearted decency. But when you look deeper, at the person behind the image ... that's exactly what you find there, too. He's exactly what he appears to be.

Explanation

Actor Mel Gibson was the subject of controversy a few days before this comic came out because a telephone rant was taped and released to the public. He laughed off the call, saying simply "I have a bit of a temper."

Fred Rogers was a minister and television personality best known for his children's educational show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He's also famous for his testimony before the US Senate Communications subcommittee to secure a much-needed increase in funding for public educational broadcasting. He died of stomach cancer on February 27, 2003, but the legacy he left is substantial; to quote Wikipedia: "Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a 'Treasure of American History'."

Part of what made Fred Rogers (and, by extension, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) so successful was the perpetually cheerful, genuine way he presented himself. He was always sincere, but he was polite and gentle in his sincerity. Additionally, in stark contrast to the common perception of celebrities, he was an enormously compassionate person (in fact, it was the main reason he aired his show on PBS, the only channel that was available for free with only a TV in some parts of the country). It was often observed by people who knew him in real life that the Mister Rogers shown on TV wasn't just a character, it was Fred Rogers himself (as the title-text notes).

If Fred Rogers ever had an argument of his recorded, it's unlikely it would be a Mel Gibson-style explosive rage, but rather a calm, measured reaction to their disagreement, which is what the comic illustrates.

Transcript

[A black frame with the text [NO VIDEO] in the center, speech is in bubbles.]

Voice: Sometimes, when we disagree, I feel frustrated. But I never forget how lucky I am to have you in my family. Always remember how special you are.

Caption: 1981: An audio recorder on the set catches Fred Rogers fighting with his wife.

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