Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Goodbye, Mr. Wizard

Last week Don Herbert, TV's Mr. Wizard, died of cancer, just short of his 90th birthday. The "Watch Mr. Wizard" kids' science show ran on American TV from 1951 to 1965. A revamped version of the show ran on Nickelodeon from 1983 to 1990. His show was unique in that it included girls along with the boys. In an interview with Wired last month, Herbert indicated that was one reason for the show's success.

WN: You began to include girls in your show quite early on. Female scientists are beginning to outnumber male scientists in some areas. Can you comment on what led you to be so far ahead of your time?

Herbert: Looking back it certainly was a major contributing factor to the show's longevity and success. The girls were terrific!

I actually have never seen Mr. Wizard. The original show was before my time and the Nickelodeon version didn't start airing until I was a senior in high school. From the outpouring of fond memories I've read online, he inspired many girls and boys to study science. What a wonderful legacy!

More: LA Times Obituary