Mister Rogers Neighborhood: Mr. McFeely's Son Makes Cameo in Series Spinoff
There's another Newell in the neighborhood!
Life imitated art in the latest episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood's spinoff series, PBS Kids' Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, when Alex Newell, the 39-year-old son of actor David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely in the original show, made a brief cameo.
In Wednesday's episode of the animated series, based on one of Mr. Rogers' puppets, Alex followed in the footsteps of his father onscreen. The real-life postman made a "speedy delivery," playing a mail carrier who worked to ensure a little girl's care package was delivered to a friend, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
David, 82, who continues to make occasional public appearances as his character, told the outlet that he was proud to see his son in the spinoff because Alex grew up watching him on the beloved show, which originally ran from 1968 through 2001.
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"In a way, Alex grew up in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, in reality and in pretend," David said. "He watched the program as he was growing up, and now he's making a delivery on [Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood]. And that makes me so proud."
He continued by discussing the irony of his son's real-life career path. Alex has been a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for five years, specializing in speedy deliveries on his Pittsburgh route.
"How ironic he would be a delivery slash postman, and I've been pretending to be one for over 40 years!" he told the Gazette.
Echoing similar sentiments, Alex told the newspaper it was truly a coincidence he ended up at USPS, and called the cameo a given to "carry on the legacy of what Mister Rogers created."
Celebrating his father's longtime role, Alex thanked his dad for being the "greatest teacher for me and every other kid that grew up with the show."
"Thank you for being the greatest role model there is," he said, "besides Mister Rogers."