Tuesday, September 25, 2012

10 Famous TV Dads: King Friday: Costume Ideas

The Number Nine Famous TV Dad is the only head of a royal family on the list and he is certainly one of the most beloved characters. King Friday XIII appeared on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, which originally ran from February 19, 1968- August 31, 2001 on PBS.

The king was a seasoned television veteran though by 1968 as he got his start with Rogers in 1953 on a Pittsburgh Public Television show called Children's Corner. He and Curious X the Owl, another of Mister Rogers' puppets, were there.

Early in the run of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, King Friday met and married Queen Sara Saturday. She was a commoner. The queen was named for Fred Rogers' wife. One of Queen Sara's main duties was overseeing a group called Food for the World.

Friday the 13th occurs three times in 2015, in February, March and November.In 2016, just like in 2014, there's only one Friday the 13th. Next year (2016) it comes in the month of May.

In the third season, they had a son, Prince Tuesday. The prince aged from an infant to a little boy as the show progressed. They lived in the Neighborhood of Makebelieve. Eventually when he was a big boy, Prince Tuesday went to school in Someplace Else.

Creating a King Friday costume is a challenge. Some people choose to sew the costume from scratch. Others may go for the essence of his regal costume and update it a bit.

You can find the important bits and create a Friday-Worthy costume to please any group or Neighborhood fan. You may want to wear slacks or tights & boots instead of the royal tunic which he wore under his robe. He was, after all, a puppet and people have more clothing options.

King Friday's favorite color is purple. The Forum Novelties Men's King Robe and Crown Costume, Purple, One Size This version, unlike the one in the picture to the right, comes with a purple crown as well. There are red king robes, and robes in teen and children's sizes for play dates, dress up and performances.

There are many choices when it comes to his impressive hair, beard and mustache. The Buffalo Bill Cody Wig Mustache Goatee Set - Dk Brown to Gray includes a wig. Another option is The Colonel Wig And Moustache, White The Gosear Fake Mustache Goatee Eyebrow for Costume Ball Fancy Dress Cosplay Party Grey is budget friendly and looks more for one-time use. The Buffalo Bill set seen (below) is a nice choice, though you may look through those available for wizards or biblical characters, too. Touch up your brows with a Santa eyebrow whitener?

The King wears a gold crown with gems, there is a fabric King Crown with a snap to fit your head securely. Clever people have found clever ways to fit this one as well as embellishing it even more. Another regal King jeweled gold Crown would be nice, too. He had his royal gold scepter on many occasions.

The blue tunic that the king wore under his regal robe is up for the costume creator and wearer to interpret. I like the idea of wearing the purple robe over another costume or part of another costume.  This repurposing gives you the opportunity to wear the outfits differently at different times.

Choose appropriate costumes and save their accessories (the hats, facial hair, etc) for later wearing. The Forum Novelties Sapphire Nativity Wiseman Costume, Blue, One Size has a long blue robe. The Travelocity Roaming Gnome Halloween Costume or the Sgt Pepper Jacket Blue Adult Costume Beatles Sgt Pepper Inspired Jacket could work for color and shape, giving you the overall grand, kingly impression you're after.

For a single costume to turn into Make Believe, try Richard the Lionheart or the Adult Royale Purple Wizard Costume. Add Friday's hair, beard, mustache and crown?

Having Queen Sara by your side, a vision in white and silver, dark hair with a silver crown, would be a terrific couples costume! Queen Sara is said to be the level-headed half of the couple, as the king can be more stubborn.

A page of White Costume Ideas may give you some choices for something Queen Sara may like to wear

They mayor of the town of Make Believe was a woman, Mayor Maggie (Maggie Stewart). Progressive for a 1970s children's show. Rogers wanted to show that women could run for office and be in charge, too.

Would Prince Tuesday grow up to be Prince Charming or a Knight in Shining Armor?

You can create King Friday and Queen Sara's castle in your home using recycled cardboard. Let the kids make a DIY cardboard castle playhouse to decorate themselves! Make their own neighborhood of make believe, choose costumes for knights and princesses.

Upon meeting someone, King Friday was known to say, "[Your name], I presume?" A standard response that was expected to give the king would be either "Correct as usual, King Friday" or "Correct as always, King Friday." It's said that April 13th is King Friday's birthday.

If you wanted to try a group costume of television characters named for days of the week, Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet would be a particularly easy costume. Whether it's the 1940's/50's or 1960's Joe, you're pretty much talking a suit, a gun and the all important Detective's badge. Links to some Wednesday Addams, Addams Family costumes are on the Gomez Addams Famous TV Dads page. What other television characters were named for days of the week?

While the king named his son Tuesday, Rogers' own sons were named James and John. When Fred Rogers was a child he spent time with his maternal grandfather. His grandfather's name was Fred McFeely. On the show, Mr. McFeely worked for Speedy Delivery, he's remembered as the postman.

There are many familiar characters from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood who would be good costumes for Halloween, a school event or a party.

Mr. Rogers' had a sister named Elaine. One of the most famous characters from the show was Lady Elaine Fairchilde who was known as an outspoken, cranky schemer. She played the accordion and is the unofficial auntie to Prince Tuesday. Lady Elaine fears vacuum cleaners and wants to see them destroyed. Daniel Tiger a.k.a. Daniel Striped Tiger is fond of Lady Elaine and can sometimes figure out why she acts as she does.

"Rogers was red-green color blind, swam every morning, was a vegetarian, and neither smoked nor drank. Despite recurring rumors, he never served in the military. He would often sing along as his mother would play the piano and he himself began playing at five." He testified before a U.S. Senate committee, advocating government funding for children's television. -- Wikipedia

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood won four Emmy awards and Fred Rogers received one for lifetime achievement in 1997.Description and then video below

Mister Rogers went onstage to accept his Emmy Lifetime Achievement award .... he made his small bow and said into the microphone...

"All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are.

"Ten seconds of silence." And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, "I'll watch the time."

There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. 

And so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier.

And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly "May God be with you," to all his vanquished children.

© 2008 Tom Junod (November 1998) [excerpt from article]

What other TV Dads will be on the list
of costume-worthy Papas? 
Who do you think belongs on the list?

** This 10 Famous TV Dads Costume Ideas Series began with Andy Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show. The dads are in no particular order. When important updates are added to pages, a message with a date of last update will be added.

Andy Taylor, Gomez Addams, George Jetson, Paul Teutul Sr., Ricky Ricardo, Herman Munster, Ben Cartwright, Homer Simpson and now King Friday the 13th. These are the Famous TV Dads so far.

Who'll be the final TV Dad??

Link to Related Page of Interest:

Image used under Creative Commons from reynolds.james.e (Flickr)
Tom Junod article about Mr. Rogers

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