X the Owl
One in a series of posts dedicated to pop-culture depictions of owls — as stand-ins for educated, highbrow humans — from 1924–1983. The series derives its title from Owl’s home in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
X is a puppet character in the (1968–2001) children’s TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a blue-feathered owl who lives in the oak tree at the center of the land of Make-Believe.
Because this show is so essentially good-hearted, X — voiced by Rogers — is (unlike so many owls we’ve seen previously in this series) not a figure of fun, exactly. A passionate learner, X immerses himself in lessons delivered by the Owl Correspondence School.
However, X is more of an enthusiastic amateur than a truly wise figure. Slightly ADD, perhaps. X is forever studying a new topic… and one never gets the impression that he has mastered any of them. He’s also easily frustrated when things don’t go his way, and has a tendency to be chronically indecisive.
Not a figure of fun, then — but still, yet another wry commentary on our culture’s association of the owl with wisdom.