30 June 2007

"Mr Wizard" Dies at 89, RIP

Rest in Peace - Don Herbert, "Mr Wizard"

In the 1960's, on a tiny black and white television whilst growing up in Rhodesia, the weekly Watch Mr Wizard show ( I think it was aired on Saturday evenings - when TV started at 5PM and was off again by 11PM, and just a single channel) was something I remember really enjoying. Mr Wizard, the back page ads in Superman comics, and Silly Putty always made me dream of one day going to the USA - and now years later, having been to the states 6 or 7 times now, it would be nice to have those halycon days of the 60's back again. I am sure for those who were adults in the 60's, the perspective was quite different!

Anyway, Don Herbert was the first real TV science teacher, and hugely impacted the baby-boomer generation's interest in scientific pursuits. He ended up with his own website, and there you can find a timeline of his life. The LA Times obituary said:

Don Herbert, who explained the wonderful world of science to millions of young
baby boomers on television in the 1950s and '60s as "Mr. Wizard" and did the
same for another generation of youngsters on the Nickelodeon cable TV channel in
the 1980s, died Tuesday. He was 89.

A Mr Wizard TV show from the 1960's

I salute Don Herbert, and thank him for some wonderful educational television in yesteryear.

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