George Romero and Fred "Mister" Rogers
If you've never seen George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of The Living Dead, first of all, here it is. It's public domain, so feel free to watch it as many times as you want without paying anyone a dime.
Really, it belongs to us all.
But before Romero was filming people shambling around his neighborhood in death metal makeup, he tried making a living working on commercials and short films. One of his earliest jobs was shooting a television segment for a Presbyterian minister named Fred Rogers. You probably know him only as "Mister" Rogers.
We're not sure about Fred, but at the very least, the king wants to eat your brains.
That's right -- Romero, one of the godfathers of splatterhouse cinema, got his start filming bits for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. In fact, it was a segment that featured Mister Rogers getting a tonsillectomy that reportedly inspired Romero to go into the horror movie business, though he probably found it hard to top showing a graphic surgical procedure on a show targeted to toddlers.
Rogers was incredibly supportive of Romero, but that support did stop short of letting him use Betty Aberlin (who played Lady Aberlin on Mister Rogers Neighborhood). Romero wanted her to play the role of Judy in Night of The Living Dead, a character whose primary purpose was to explode and be eaten. Mister Rogers said no.
"No, you're right Fred. The zombie thing is probably a passing fad."