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Episode 1160

Air Date: March 26, 1971
Previous Episode: 1159
Next Episode: 1161

Mister Rogers is preparing for the costume party by putting on an airplane pilot's uniform. He talks about how he used to pretend to be a pilot when he was young and then really learned to fly planes as he got older. Mister Rogers shares a photo of his teacher and the plane they used. He continues by singing Pretending.

Betty Aberlin and Joe Negri arrive with their two-person horse costume and Mister Rogers takes a "horseback" ride outside his house. Francois Clemmons approaches with someone in a giraffe costume leaving the others to guess who is inside. After discovering that it is Chef Brockett inside the giraffe costume, the Neighbors enjoy a snack and try to guess what costumes will be worn in Make-Believe.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, everyone is dressed in their special costumes -- everyone except Ino A. Horse who prefers not to wear a costume. When a hot air balloon lands, everyone thinks that it is Lady Elaine Fairchilde and Corney dressed in costume as the Platypus family. Elsie Jean is clearly upset when she thinks they have been forgotten. Realizing it really is Dr. Bill and Elsie Jean, everyone is delighted by their return and retires to the castle's C Room for "costumes and celebration causes."

Back at the house, Mister Rogers reflects on the week and sings I'm Proud of You.


As the camera pans to the door in the opening of this episode, Mister Rogers is already inside -- at his closet retrieving items to be worn as part of his pilot's costume.

Mister Rogers mentions the name of his flight instructor: George Allen. When he was a boy, Fred Rogers' family had a housekeeper and Mr. Allen was her son.[1]

Fred Rogers talked about Mr. Allen when he appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1993:

"When I was three, this young man was just an early teenager and his mother had died. And my mom and dad said, 'Come live with us.' He turned out to be a real model for me. As a matter of fact, when I was in high school, he taught me how to fly. And right after that he went to teach at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and taught all the black fliers in the country to fly in the second World War. His name was George Allen...and I really admire him."

Seeing them in costume, Mister Rogers tells Betty Aberlin and Joe Negri that "they are a fine horse." In clear reference to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe's Ino A. Horse, they respond, "I know!"

The giraffe costume is the same one used in Episode 1309, Episode 1334, and Episode 1483.

Lady Aberlin and Handyman Negri wear the horse costume again in Episode 1260 and Episode 1283.

A wide variety of costumes are worn in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe:

  • Trolley - Helicopter
  • Handyman Negri - Safari Photographer
  • King Friday XIII - King Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
  • Lady Aberlin - Horse Farmer
  • Daniel Striped Tiger - Fierce Lion
  • Henrietta Pussycat - Abiah Folger Franklin
  • X the Owl - Benjamin Franklin
  • Chef Brockett - Giraffe
  • Francois Clemmons - Giraffe Keeper

Appearing In This Episode




Episode Credits

Produced by WQED Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in association with Small World Enterprises Inc. for N.E.T.

Created and written by Fred Rogers
Produced and directed by Sam Silberman
Music Director: John Costa
Neighbors: Betty Aberlin, W.P. Barker, Don Brockett, Francois Clemmons, Joe Negri
Psychological Consultants: Margaret B. McFarland Ph.D., Albert V. Corrado M.D.
Associate Producer: Diana Dean
Lighting Directors: Art Siegel, Al Brennecke
Art Director: Jack Guest
Production Assistant: David Newell
Technical Supervisors: Tom Knight, Ken Anderson
Video Tape Editor: Chet Bednar
Cameramen: Bob Vaughn, Dick Reschoff
Video: Don Williamson
Audio: Chuck Sradomski, Dick LaSota

Production funds for this television visit were provided by a grant from the Sears Roebuck Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

© 1970 National Educational Television and Radio Center


  1. The Wonder of It All: Fred Rogers and the Story of an Icon. Margaret Mary Kimmel PhD and Mark Collins. 2008.

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