In the 1950s and 1960s, Don Herbert broadcast some of the most mesmerizing, and kooky, science experiments from his garage
While I’m not old enough to remember the original Mr. Wizard iteration, the version that appeared on Nickelodeon in the 1980’s certainly had a strong impression on me.
Even now, I can distinctly remember learning about how the esophagus moved food to the stomach (“You can eat upside down?!?”), how lemon juice could be used as invisible ink, and how cool model rockets were.
I always found the show understated, but enthralling. That may have been because it felt like watching my grandfather, who was a high school science teacher. He would always include us grandchildren in his discussions about science, politics and anything else. To him, they weren’t topics to shield children from, but to engage them in. And since my grandfather was a 12 hour car trip away (as the loaded van drives, at least), watching Mr. Wizard was another opportunity to be treated in the same way.
Today, I still look on those shows with fondness. Mr. Wizard was truly a television pioneer, bringing science and curiosity to the masses.