Writing Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Mom Life, & Fred Roger's Legacy with Becky Friedman


#158 The delightful Becky Friedman, twice Emmy nominated head writer of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (PBS Kids)is in studio. We talk about her transition from preschool teacher to children’s media creator, her recent west coast migration, the new mom friends search, our babies’ celebrity dopplegangers, Fred Rogers' legacy, our comedic screenwriter husbands named Adam (hers executive produced The Daily Show with John Stewart), the kid games we play while lying down from exhaustion, pregnancy while parenting a toddler, and her journey from intern to head writer of a cultural phenomenon. Of course, I also get to the bottom of important listener questions like: why doesn't Daniel Tiger wear pants and how his mom is so frigging calm? xx Ellie Knaus

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Becky Friedman is a children's television writer whose work can be seen on such shows as Super Why, Creative Galaxy, Wishenpoof, the Stinky and Dirty Show, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Most notably, she has been Head Writer for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, for which she received two Emmy nominations, and countless questions about why Daniel doesn't wear pants. Currently she is working as the story editor for the forthcoming animated series Esme and Roy produced by Sesame Workshop. Becky also opined on her love of Marlo Thomas in an essay published in the anthology "When We Were Free to be, Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference it Made." After living in New York City for 15 years, Becky, her husband, and 2.5 year old daughter Meadow just made the leap and moved to Los Angeles, CA...and then decided to add to the chaos of a cross-country move by getting pregnant with baby #2, due in February. Becky tells herself she thrives in chaos. Becky may or may not be correct.


Special thanks this week to atomic mamas Angelique for introducing me to our guest, her childhood pal.

Also, Lisa B. for all that you do for children with cancer.


Samantha Midkiff at Art19 (thrilled to learn from a woman in tech)

Carla at Kabrita Gentle Goat Milk formula for reaching out about supporting the podcast.

Sound engineering: Owen O’Neill

Music: Jeremy Turner

Additional Show Notes:

Fred Rogers 1969 Senate Hearing we shared a clip from. Watch from the beginning!

Listen to Jim Beuer’s impersonations - “Nicholson and Joe Pesci at a Golf Course story” - on Howard Stern.

Buddy Hackett

Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid by Rufi Thorpe

This week Atomic Moms podcast is supported by Kabrita Gentle Goat Milk Formula. If you’d like to see if Kabrita is right for your family, you can order your trial kit at kabritaUSA.com.