“Say what again. I dare you.”
If you’re like us, you grew up watching Don Herbert (AKA Mr. Wizard) give scientific life lessons on either Watch Mr. Wizard or (more likely) Mr. Wizard’s World. The latter show aired repeatedly during the day on Nickelodeon, one of the eleven channels my house got at the time. (Damn kids these days with their endless content on tiny portable screens and their hippity hop music and their dearth of polio paralyzations.)
Today a supercut by Diane Bullock and Mike Schuster pointed out something you may not have noticed about Mr. Wizard. He was sometimes kind of a d!ck to the cavalcade of awkward child actors who guest hosted the segments. Some of this d!ckery eventually led another show (Dinosaurs) to create one of my all-time favorite TV catchphrases, “We’re going to need another Timmy.“
Don Herbert passed away in 2007. *tips a forty of liquid nitrogen* Let’s remember him as he was in the video below, teaching kids about both the joy and the difficulties of good science. To live the life of a scientist, you might have ten experiments in a row fail, leaving you feeling stupid and dejected, and then that eleventh one is spectacularly awesome, making the win all the sweeter for the struggle. Mr. Wizard was showing us this scientific process of sweet successes separated by numerous and overwhelming failures and misfires. Or, perhaps, Mr. Wizard just liked being a d!ck to kids.
He will be missed.
P.S. Does anyone know how to get liquid nitrogen off shoes? If only Mr. Wizard were here. He’d know.