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Mr. Wizard Dies

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  • Mr. Wizard Dies

    I don't know about you guys, but I LOVED this show as a kid... We always looked forward to Mr. Wizard's World, cuz he always did the greatest stuff...

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Don Herbert, who as television's "Mr. Wizard" introduced generations of young viewers to the joys of science, died Tuesday. He was 89.

    Herbert, who had bone cancer, died at his suburban Bell Canyon home, said his son-in-law, Tom Nikosey.

    "He really taught kids how to use the thinking skills of a scientist," said former colleague Steve Jacobs. He worked with Herbert on a 1980s show that echoed the original 1950s "Watch Mr. Wizard" series, which became a fond baby boomer memory.

    In "Watch Mr. Wizard," which was produced from 1951 to 1964 and received a Peabody Award in 1954, Herbert turned TV into an entertaining classroom. On a simple, workshop-like set, he demonstrated experiments using household items.

    "He modeled how to predict and measure and analyze. ... The show today might seem slow but it was in-depth and forced you to think along," Jacobs said. "You were learning about the forces of nature."

    Herbert encouraged children to duplicate experiments at home, said Jacobs, who recounted serving as a behind-the-scenes "science sidekick" to Herbert on the '80s "Mr. Wizard's World" that aired on the Nickelodeon channel.

    When Jacobs would reach for beakers and flasks, Herbert would remind him that science didn't require special tools.

    "'You could use a mayonnaise jar for that,"' Jacobs recalled being chided by Herbert. "He tried to bust the image of scientists and that science wasn't just for special people and places."

    Herbert's place in TV history was acknowledged by later stars. When "Late Night with David Letterman" debuted in 1982, Herbert was among the first-night guests.

    Born in Waconia, Minnesota, Herbert was a 1940 graduate of LaCrosse State Teachers College and served as a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot during World War II. He worked as an actor, model and radio writer before starting "Watch Mr. Wizard" in Chicago on NBC.

    The show moved to New York after several years.

    He is survived by six children and stepchildren and by his second wife, Norma, his son-in-law said. A private funeral was planned.

  • #2
    Never watched it but sounds like he lived a long and productive life...



    • #3
      I heard of the show but i am too young to remember

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      • #4
        That was my absolute favorite show when I was a kid. I would've much rather watched Mr. Wizard than any cartoon.

        RIP Mr Herbert. Thanks for the introduction to the world of the Bunsen burner.

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        • #5
          I adored that show. It was what helped me be interested in science as a kid, whne my grades where good, but my actual learning was ..................................

          I love how Alton Brown on the Food Network liberally borrows from Mr. Wizard in his show. The set up from home, the low tech props, the science made fun and easy.

          R.I.P. Mr. Herbert. I am glad your suffering is over. It is only too bad that many youth today do not know the joys of watching your show.

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          • #6
            I loved that show!!! I also loved that my Science Teacher was young and would let us watch it in school when he was hung over!!!

            RIP... you touched so many!!! (not in a bad way you proverts)


            • #7
              I really liked his show too on Nickelodeon. Supermarket science was my absolute favorite. He's the first person who ever made science fun in my eyes. I bet he opened the door for Beakman's World and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

              R.I.P. Mr. Wizard

              "Today's the tomorrow that you should've feared yesterday."