Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Way Back WhensDay: Mr. Wizard's World

Mr. Wizard's World
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

One of the first programs I remember watching on Nickelodean was Mr. Wizard's World.  Along with You Can't Do That On Television and the animated series Danger Mouse, Mr. Wizard's World was one of my favorite shows.  Each episode featured Don "Mr. Wizard" Herbert and a variety of inquisitive kids around my age.

This was his third run on TV, after hosting a shows in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.  The 80's incarnation of the show on Nickelodean crammed several different experiments into the 30 minute show.  Kids got to blow stuff up or look other forms of danger right in the eye.  I wasn't a huge fan of science, but Mr. Wizard made it fun and actually sparked my interest in the subject.  I wish he would have been on when I took chemistry my junior year in high school as I struggled in that class.

I think it's safe to say that Mr. Wizard laid the ground work for other science based TV shows like Beckman's World and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  He wasn't an over-the-top character.  Mr. Wizard was a grandfatherly figure who showed kids how to use science in their daily lives and in some cases how to create some pranks too.  He kind of reminded me of Mr. Drummond from Diff'rent Strokes.

Mr. Wizard died in 2007 at the age of 89.  Thanks to YouTube, his legacy will live on.  DVDs of his past shows are also available.  Thanks for the memories Mr. Wizard.

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