Michael Keaton was Mister Rogers' Trolley operator

Before he played Batman or Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton played an equally cool role. Believe it or not, in the mid-1970s, Keaton worked behind the scenes on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Mister Rogers, aka Fred McFeely Rogers, passed in 2003 but would have turned 96 this week. And with the anniversary of his birthday, news that Keaton worked on the show's production crew is making the rounds.

The most notable task he performed for the children's show was operating the Neighborhood Trolley. He was paid $2 an hour to flipping the trolley's switch on and off from backstage.

In this video interview, David Newell (who played Mister McFeely) shares more about what Keaton did on set and how he was to work with:

Back in 2014, Keaton was interviewed about the job and said, "I worked at a PBS station called WQED in Pittsburgh. When you worked at QED, you kind of did everything … so you would work on Fred's crew from time to time."

In an interview from last week, he says:

"We were wild," Keaton tells Tom Power in an interview on Q. "We were way ahead of our time, you know, with gay members and women members, and everybody had long hair and beards. That's where it started." 

Keaton did a little of everything "from floor managing shows to lighting," developing a fondness for Rogers along the way.

"He was just a very nice man," says Keaton "and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, thinking, 'well, this can't be real.' It turns out he had a wonderful sense of humor. We were pretty wild guys on his crew, and he just appreciated us all.


Take a look at this production shot! Or this one!

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