One of the most memorable characters in the children’s series, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, was Mr. McFeely, the postman for Mr. Rogers. Played by David Newell, the character appeared in over 400 episodes, from 1968 to 2001, and was loved by generations of children with his catchphrase “Fast Delivery!” Now someone else in his family carries on his legacy both on-screen and off-screen. David’s grown son, Alex Newell, is a real postman for the United States Postal Service, and he recently appeared as a postal worker on the Mister Rogers spin-off series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, as reported by People. Read on to learn more about both Newells and how Alex followed in his father’s fictional footsteps.
Alex made a cameo on a recent episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Both Alex and David were interviewed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for an August 17 story about Alex’s performance in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, his work with the USPS, and their family. While Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an animated series, Alex appeared in the Wednesday episode in a live-action segment as the postman who ensures that a young girl’s care package is delivered to her friend. Chris Loggins, the show’s executive producer, said the 39-year-old was cast to “feature a lucky case of life imitating art”.
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Alex became a postman after getting into acting.
According to the interview, Alex moved to Los Angeles and wanted to be an actor. He appeared in a few independent films but later moved back to Pittsburgh where he met his fiancée. He now has a stepson and his own one year old son named Ashton. He started looking for government jobs and ended up with USPS. “You are joking!” David said was his reaction to finding out his son’s new job. “How ironic he would be a slash postman, and I’ve pretended he was one for over 40 years!”
The story goes on
CBS Pittsburgh reports that Alex’s mail route is in the same area as the Fred and Joanne Rogers lived. (Fred died in 2003. Joanne died in January of that year.)
He was proud to honor his father.
Alex told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he agreed to appear in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood because “it is definitely important to carry on the legacy of what Mister Rogers created”. He also saw it as a way to honor his father, whom he described as “the greatest teacher to me and every other child who grew up with the show.”
And David’s days as Mr. McFeely aren’t over either. According to People, he still appears occasionally in public.
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Alex grew up on the set of Mister Rogers.
Not only was David an actor on Mister Rogers Neighborhood, he was also a first production assistant and later a public relations director for Fred Rogers Productions. So it’s no surprise that Alex was on set quite a bit. “When you live nearby, you don’t realize how special and kind of cool it is,” Alex told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper also noted that David and Fred were personally close and that Fred was the first visitor he and his wife had in the hospital every time she gave birth to one of their children. In addition to Alex, David and his wife, In, have two more children, Catherine and Taylor.
Now he is passing on the legacy of his father and Rogers to the next generation.
Alex’s son is a little too young to understand Mister Rogers or Daniel Tiger, but he’s started watching a few episodes. “I’m so proud of him and his family,” David said of his son. “He’s such a wonderful father. It’s good for me to go there and see how interested Alex is in his son … Fred would be so happy to know, because that’s exactly what Fred did with the program: Family Encourage Communication. “
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