Joe Negri / Handyman Negri

“A Handy Lady and a Handy Man” (1973)
“A Handy Lady and a Handy Man” (1973)
Handyman Negri and Daniel sing about waiting (1982)
Lots of fun at the Music Shop (1986)

Jazz guitarist and friendly neighbor, Joe Negri serves as the owner of Negri’s Music Shop and as Handyman Negri in Make Believe.

For the love of music

As an accomplished jazz musician in real life, it’s natural that Joe Negri is cast as the proud owner of Negri’s Music Shop in Mister Rogers “real” neighborhood. Music was so important to Fred Rogers and such an important part of the series, that he wanted to be sure to include a musician and a Music Shop in his neighborhood. This allowed for the introduction of a wide variety of musical guests who performed in the rehearsal room, often accompanied by Joe Negri on guitar. 


Did you know?

Joe Negri always laughed about Fred Rogers assigning him the role of “HandymanNegri  because he wasn’t at all handy.  “In 1966 Fred called and asked if I wanted to be a handyman on his show.  I said, ‘Me? A handyman? I’m about as handy as a…’”  he trails off. “But Fred told me I would be fine.”


A Make-Believe Handyman

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe he’s “Handyman” Negri, where he’s often called upon by King Friday XIII to make repairs, build things, guard the castle – and to sing and play his guitar. With the demands of his work, he’s sometimes too busy to stop and talk with the puppet characters, helping viewers understand there are times when adults can’t give children their full attention. But he always makes it a point to come back to talk, sing or play his guitar.


Joe said about his character, “The handyman doesn’t just fix things – he also fixes problems. I hope children see me as someone they can trust.”


The Neighborhood operas wouldn’t be complete without Joe Negri  joining in, ready to take on any role – with his guitar in hand – whether they need a balladeer, a “groovy cow,” or a somewhat out of character mean-spirited W. I. Norton Donovan.