View Full Version : Mr Wizard 1917-2007

06-12-2007, 11:04 PM
TV's 'Mr. Wizard' Don Herbert Dies at 89
Jun 12, 6:41 PM EST

The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -- 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, Minn., 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 service was planned.
MSN (http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=265522&GT1=7703)


06-13-2007, 12:48 AM
I remember watching his show in science class. To be honest, I thought he had passed on already. Rest in peace, Mr. Wizard.

El Chuxter
06-13-2007, 12:56 AM
I also thought he'd passed on years ago.

Sad to say, the first thing I thought of when I read the topic was the Mr Lizard show from Dinosaurs.

"How does an internal combustion engine work, Mr Lizard?"
"Why don't you look closer, Timmy, while I stand behind this lead shield?"
"Looks like we're gonna need another Timmy!"

06-13-2007, 06:46 AM
I thought he was dead, too, but it still sucks. I loved watching him when I was a kid despite the creepy pedophile vibe.

06-13-2007, 10:46 AM
I'd loved Mr. Wizard's show as a kid. It was one of those show my parents encouraged me to watch and then deeply regretted. Frequently I'd duplicate or try to improve up on his experiments and make a mess. He will be missed.

06-13-2007, 11:36 AM
R.I.P. Don "Mr.Wizard" Herbert

watched his show all the time when i was a kid, and most shows nowadays don't even come close to the greatness of Mr.Wizard.

06-13-2007, 11:47 AM
most shows nowadays don't even come close to the greatness of Mr.Wizard.That's a good point. Now they leave it up to a V-Tech Smile to teach kids stuff rather than them doing hands-on type experiments because its not nearly as "dangerous". So rather than doing the classic "baking soda and vinegar volcano" the kids are plopped down in front of the "Backyardigans" for another hour because there is no way they'll possibly be injured doing that.

06-13-2007, 07:17 PM
He's hanging with Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross.....RIP boys.

06-13-2007, 11:24 PM
Mr Wizard ruled, I loved watching his show on Nickelodeon, he really seemed to get the idea across to the viewer and the kid-helper of the scientific principles behind the nifty experiments he was doing. And he did it without being more about flash than substance.

Sadly, I too must admit I thought he was already dead.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
06-14-2007, 11:04 PM
I too remember learning from him in Science class.

For some reason, I remember watching him circa 1994 in my 8th grade science class. I do remember the video was horribly dated, from 1985 or so (I could tell from the glasses of the helper, the hair style, etc.)

I remember after his helper assisted him with the experiment, she would say some 80's slang jargon like "wicked" and "neato."

After they completed the experiment, Mr. Wizard asked the assistant, "what was that you said earlier", "neat-o" annunciating it as if he was just learning a foreign language word.

(Don't ask me why I remember that), anyway, may God rest his soul.