NBC late night host Jimmy Fallon welcomed viewers on Tuesday night to a little sketch he called, “Mr. Romney’s Neighborhood,” and it’s just like it sounds.
Spoofing Romney’s claim that he would balance the budget by cutting the small government subsidy to PBS, Fallon put on his best Romney-wear and plopped himself right in the middle of a nearly dead-accurate replica of the “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” set, complete with a moving toy train that he tied a stuffed dog to.
Update: Just for the record, Fred Rogers was a huge advocate of publicly funded, commercial free educational programming for young children, and once personally convinced the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to keep PBS’s budget allocation even after President Richard Nixon proposed cutting it.
The Obama campaign has taken to mocking Romney’s shot at early childhood educational television in last week’s presidential debate — but so have late night talk show hosts. Big Bird himself appeared on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, telling “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers that Romney’s comments earned him a lot of “tweets” (not on Twitter though — “I’m a bird, tweeting is how we talk,” he explained). Conan O’Brien put the statement in his sights with a video showing Romney gunning down Big Bird from a fighter plane.
The Obama campaign already has an ad out accusing Romney of wanting to crack down on “Sesame Street” while letting Wall Street run wild. For its part, the company behind “Sesame Street” says they’re non-partisan and would rather not become part of the presidential campaign.
The Romney campaign says the comment is a non-issue and chides the president for focusing on it, but Romney himself has been talking about cutting PBS funding for nearly a year. He told an audience in Iowa last December that he thinks “Sesame Street,” which is designed for children ages 2-5, could make plenty of money by selling advertisements. The Federal Trade Commission says that advertising to children under age 6 is “unfair and deceptive.”
This video is from “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” broadcast on Tuesday, October 10, 2012.