Saturday, June 16, 2007

Don Herbert AKA Mr. Wizard.

Before there were MythBusters, Beakman's World or Bill Nye, the Science Guy there was Mr. Wizard.

Watch Mr. Wizard aired on NBC from 1951 to 1965. The weekly 30 minute show stared Don Herbert as Mr. Wizard. On the show a boy or girl would come to visit Mister Wizard while he was performing some kind of experiment that was fun and educational. The experiments were usually simple enough to be re-created by viewers. The show was briefly revived on NBC from 1971 through 1972 as Mr. Wizard. A faster-paced version of the show Mr. Wizard's World, developed by Don Herbert, was shown three times a week on the cable channel Nickelodeon from 1983 to 1990. Episodes of Mr. Wizard's World were re-aired in 2005 on the digital cable channel The Science Channel.

Don Herbert was born July 10, 1917 in Waconia, Minnesota. His career as an actor was interrupted by World War II when he joined the army as a private. He was B-24 bomber pilot who flew 56 missions with the Fifteenth Air Force and participated in the invasion of Italy. When Herbert was discharged in 1945 he was captain and had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. After the war, Herbert worked at a radio station in Chicago where he acted in children's programs like It's Your Life (1949), a documentary health series. It was during this time that Herbert formulated the idea of Mr. Wizard. After Mr. Wizard was canceled, Herbert produced films for junior and senior high schools, wrote several books on science, and developed the Mr. Wizard Science Center located outside Boston Massachusetts.

In Mr. Wizard's last Interview for Wired News Mr. Herbert said, "Science is about the real world around us and it's filled with fascinating wonders". As a Child of Television Mr. Wizard was one of those few educational programs that was fun to watch. Mr. Herbert’s real legacy is not the TV show, but the generations of scientists who first discovered their love for science by watching his show.

Good Night Mr. Wizard

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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