Monday, April 16, 2012


A YouTube clip showing a group of preschoolers reacting in terror to Purple Panda from  the PBS Kids show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”, has gone viral.

The staff at  Pennsylvania’s Center in the Woods preschool thought they would surprise their toddlers with a visit from Mr. McFeely. That went okay.  However, when Purple Panda is introduced,  chaos ensued. The kids went into panic mode - hiding in corners.

As bizarre as it sounds, I had a similar experience in the late 1980's while working at CFSX in Stephenville. On the weekends the station gave away pop, Maple Leaf Bologna tents and other goodies. I would drive around Bay St. George South, the Port Au Port Penisula, St. Georges, Stephenville and the provincial parks carrying out remotes with my wing man, the Hostess Munchie.

The Munchie was in a big red costume. It was a tough gig. The costume was over sized and the person in the suit was always overheated.

One afternoon we pulled over to the side of the road at big pond in Flat Bay. A bunch of kids were swimming off the wharf. It seemed like a great place to give away some chips and pop on a warm summers day. When the Munchie exited the vehicle, the kids panicked. They were in fear! The Munchie scared them away. They swam to the center of the pond!  I had to have our summer student take the head off to prove she was not a monster!

I gather "purple panda" had not been play tested any better than the Munchie!

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