Not too long ago we met singer-songwriter DiElle and talked not only about her new project, One Woman, One Guitar, but also her crush on ‘Blue Peter’s’ John Leslie. For those not familiar with the BBC staple, it is the longest-running kid’s show featuring educational bits and whatnot. John Leslie was one of the hosts when DiElle was still young enough to be the target audience and in talking to her it seemed like this wasn’t just a physical attraction but also a sort of comfort for her. Which, I get.
Being a kid can be rough as hell, and it’s nice to be able to return from school to a familiar face. For DiElle, that was John Leslie and for me, Fred Rogers. I penned a bit about Mister Rogers earlier this week and based on all of the above wanted to shout out some other TV personalities of sorts that many may have crushed on based on the mere fact that they were always there when they needed them, and also taught them valuable lessons along the way.
Face, Nick Jr.
This geometric shape didn’t do anything more than entertain you during commercial breaks and in between shows during Nickelodeon’s preschool block known as Nick Jr. but no one really expected much else from Face other than to be there with a big ol’ smile and a welcoming hello.
Mara, Kino’s Storytime
If you weren’t an obsessive PBS watcher in the ‘90s you likely missed out on this show where a puppet named Kino and a handful of kids sat around and humans read to them, one of the best being the maternal figure to all that watched, Lucy.
Bill Nye, Bill Nye the Science Guy
There were a couple of instances where the comfort wasn’t so much in how they came across, but rather that they instilled a love of something new and fascinating in us. I mean, who could make science look cooler than Bill Nye?
Barney, Barney & Friends
So if you haven’t watched ‘I Love You, You Hate Me’ on Peacock, please do so now. It’s an amazing documentary about the wild happenings of the family of the woman who created ‘Barney & Friends,’ but also the backlash the show received once it became a worldwide phenomenon. In the end, you learn that all Barney wanted to do was spread joy and the world was way too cynical to care.
Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop’s Play-Along
The way this show delivered comedy and comfort…unmatched. I mean, can you really tell me Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse, and Hush Puppy were not serving jokes?
Mister Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
One could go on and on about the heart Mister Rogers put out into the world, but I already did this week so please head here for that.
LeVar Burton, Reading Rainbow
The Scholastic Book Fair has three people to thank for its success in the ‘90s; R.L. Stine, Ann M. Martin, and LeVar Burton. The latter is for the GOAT when it comes to delivering a must-read list. When we saw a book on ‘Reading Rainbow’ we just had to get it, and he did it all with a voice so soothing, we still find solace in it today.
Miss Frizzle, The Magic School Bus
Some of us find reassurance in the chaos and ain’t nobody as wild as Miss Frizzle. Permission slips be damned! Learning was going to happen whether parents signed off or not!
Steve, Blue’s Clues
‘Blue’s Clues’ was right around the time I was getting “too old” but my younger brother watched, so I partook in the viewing while I was in middle school, I have to admit I enjoyed the hell out of it and was always too impressed by the drawings going on in that notebook. With all of that said, I already wrote about Steve Burns and the importance of his message to fans in 2021 here.
Big Bird, Sesame Street
A bird standing over eight feet tall that can talk should be terrifying, but it’s hard to be scared of someone like Big Bird. He’s gone through some physical changes since debuting on the small screen in 1969, but he’s remained the same on the inside as the foundation for the beloved world known as ‘Sesame Street.’ A jovial friend we can always depend on who comes with a cascade of comrades to enjoy. Honestly, you can pick anyone from that show and the sentiment is the same.