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View Full Version : What happened to Mr. Wizard?


KV
12-13-2000, 11:30 AM
I rememeber watching Mr. Wizard ( Don Herbert ) on Nickelodeon as youngster. I loved the show, but what ever happened to him? Does he approve of Bill Nye taking over as tv's resident scientist?

Jetassisted
12-13-2000, 11:44 AM
Nickelodeon had his show on sporadically for a year or so, which ticked me off because I liked it and never knew exactly when it was going to run.

I watched Mr. Wizard since I was knee high to a grasshopper and loved the show and it was fun to see the 'regular' kids grow up. I dislike Bill Nye because of the stupid way he acts and Mr. Wizard almost always did experiments that you could make at home.

I think he has retired now. He is rather up there in age. With Nick, you never know, because they allowed Ren and Stimpy in all their disgusting glory to first show up, which seems to have started a generation of cartoonists creating drooling, gross characters. R&S should have been regulated to MTV -- when they had cool adult cartoons.

I miss Mr. Wizard and would happily sit through all of his reruns again and I consider him right up there with the original Captain Kangaroo and the apparently now restricted Fraggle Rock.

Fear Itself
12-13-2000, 11:54 AM
According to his entry in the IMDB (http://us.imdb.com/Name?Herbert,+Don+(II)), Mr. Wizard (aka Don Herbert) last worked in 1988 in Scarecrows, as the voice of a radio announcer.

Mahaloth
12-13-2000, 11:56 AM
It's funny you mention Mr. Wizard. He lives near me in Plymouth, MI(don't come stalking him now). His name is Don Herbert. Yes, he's still alive and well, looks about the same but just older. We see him at the grocery store once in awhile.

He is from Michigan originally; I don't really know too much about how he got into being Mr. Wizard and all that. I've never really met him. Oh, he's even listed in the phone book. He's seems very down to earth.

Funny thing is, when I watched him as a kid I had no idea he lived near me. My parents never mentioned it. Then one day, they just casually mentioned that they saw him at a bookstore. They always knew he lived around here. Odd, huh?

KV
12-13-2000, 12:57 PM
wow, no offense Don ( if you're reading this ) but I kinda thought you might have left us by now. I have countless memories of watching that show at my child care center. After that we would watch Mr. Rogers. I don't think there has been a more informative show since, and I would watch it every day if it were on the air. I think back now and laugh at the primitive computers Mr. Wizard had at the time, whenever he would show them....... Remember the good times :)

Diceman
12-13-2000, 01:58 PM
It's funny you mention Mr. Wizard. He lives near me in Plymouth, MI(don't come stalking him now).

WOW! Mr. Wizard lives in Plymouth?! I grew up in Westland, a suburb just east of Plymouth. I loved that show, but I had no idea that Don Herbert was from my area.

bibliophage
12-13-2000, 03:05 PM
Didn't anybody else get the impression that he didn't like kids much? That's the impression I got. I still liked the show, but he always seemed a little mean to the kids. Just my ii denarii.

tsarina
12-13-2000, 03:54 PM
Mr. Wizard lives in Plymouth?????? Shit, my hometown is like an hour away from there. Winter break seems like a good time for a pilgrimage...

I looooved the show when I was a kid. My dad (a middle school science teacher) and I would watch the show together while he taped it for his students to watch. After he met Bill Nye at a couple of science teachers' conventions, though, I think he switched loyalties, because he showed those tapes in class for a few years until he retired. :(

I wouldn't blame the Wiz if he hated those kids - they were complete morons. I knew more than them when I was four!

Guy Propski
12-13-2000, 03:57 PM
No, I always thought that Mr. Wizard was treating the kids as if they were intelligent, not "gee whiz"-ing them to death. As much I like the new science programs like "Bill Nye the Science Guy" and "Beakman's World", they can't hold a candle to Mr. Wizard's calm, sensible presentation of science.

I'll never forget, back in college, recreating his experiment of getting a water balloon inside of of a coke bottle (you put a piece of burning paper in the bottle, then place the balloon over the bottle; the contraction of the hot air sucks the balloon inside). Man, my room-mates and I were blown away!

Alphagene
12-13-2000, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Guy Propski
As much I like the new science programs like "Bill Nye the Science Guy" and "Beakman's World"....
Whoa whoa whoa... Is Beakman is still being aired somewhere? When? Where?

Man, I loved that show. I have major crushes on his "lab assistants". They weren't classically beautiul. Hell, one was downright goofy, but man I'd love to see that show again just for them alone.

And I liked how they always left the bloopers in the show, too.

And of course, any thread which mentions "Beakman" and "Wizard" should include the fun fact that the intro and epilogue to each Beakman ep was always performed by two penguins, Don and Herbert.

labdude
12-13-2000, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by Alphagene
[QUOTE] I have major crushes on his "lab assistants". They weren't classically beautiul. Hell, one was downright goofy, but man I'd love to see that show again just for them alone.


You are not alone. I liked the goofy looking skinny one.

KV
12-13-2000, 05:57 PM
I wish I could give Mr. Wizard a hug right now. He always looked to me like he was everyone's smart grandpa. Such a good show... I miss him, but I was in Plymouth and I didn't even see him, I even went to the replica of the Mayflower. Maybe that sneeky guy is at Plymouth Rock.

djf750
12-13-2000, 06:10 PM
that guy is still on the air-i think it is early morning on NICK-
its a new show, but its the same guy with the same format-and yes i agree, i dont think he likes the kids too much-
its interesting though, like when i watched it as a kid-

DonJuanDeMarco3
12-13-2000, 06:41 PM
Mister wizard and Beakman rock. Bill Nye is a disgrace. Just kidding, he just isn't as good. He is the disney version. And who mocked ren and stimpy, I loved that show.

Fanny May
12-13-2000, 06:52 PM
What we really need are some adult shows (prime time or even opposite the Sally Jessies) that are like Watch Mr. Wizard, but with real experiments like you'd see in a college freshman physics class.

They have things sort of like this on Leno and Letterman all the time, but not with any intent that people understand what they've just seen.

I think there is a serious audience who still loves to react to "theatrical" demonstrations.

MannyL
12-13-2000, 07:18 PM
Mahaloth do you know where I can write to Mr. Don Herbert? You said he is listen in the phone book but I can't find a listing for him on the net. I'd like to send him a letter thanking him for the education he gave me growing up. I bet other dopers here would like to thank him too.

J's Friend
12-13-2000, 08:35 PM
Labdude, Alphagene

I know just what you mean. That fat guy in the rat suit was a hottie! ;)

Johanna
12-13-2000, 08:41 PM
Last year I heard on National Public Radio a presentation or something in which Don Herbert was on stage with Bill Nye the Science Guy, who lauded him with profuse accolades and said it was the honor of his life to be on the same stage with the guy who inspired him since he was a kid.

Jetassisted
12-13-2000, 09:47 PM
Naw! I always thought he was OK with the kids, especially the two dark haired girls, who I thought were kind of cute. They seemed the brightest of his assistants.

It was funny when they started doing reruns on Nick and jumbled them up. One day the girls would be probably 14, the next day, probably 8 and the day after something like 11 with the differences in size and all.

I can't even find Mr. Wizard on the web!

Those old computers were a hoot and the programmable robot. I always liked it when he did some experiment that was flashy, like turning a handful of powder in a beaker into a huge version of those carbon 'snakes' you buy as black pellets for the 4th of July.

To me that kitchen of his was just a welcome and comfortable sight to see now and then across the years.

Beakman's world

I liked it when he that that really hot little black haired assistant on who was like about 4 or 5 feet tall with great legs! She vanished to be replaced by one who was taller and a bit plump, who always wore a necklace. I never knew why the first one left.

Beakman was great though, much funnier than Bill Nye but for some reason, Nye pushed him out of prime time. I don't know if he is on anywhere anymore.

Mr. Wizard was king! Then came Beakman and then Nye.

Mahaloth
12-13-2000, 10:42 PM
Well, Manny, I don't really think I can give out his address here online. Just look him up in an online White Pages or soemthing. I have no idea if he'll come up on one of those(they can be less than wonderful).

I mentioned it to my mother today and she told me that the company she works at, Stylecraft Printing, prints some stuff for him. Apparently, he still makes little pamphlets and stuff with basic science stuff, safety and the like.

Anyway, I would recommend going to http://www.ameritech.com They are a good local white pages. I have no idea if it'll come up on there, however.

MannyL
12-13-2000, 11:19 PM
As I said I can't find a listing on the net and I understand your concern about posting it publicly. If you wouldn't mind E-mailing it to me, that would be appreciated. My address is on my profile

Badtz Maru
12-14-2000, 12:24 AM
I know I had the hots for one of Beakman's assistants, but I can't remember which one, I think I only saw one of them. I know it wasn't the rat, but a perky female human.

Badtz Maru
12-14-2000, 12:27 AM
Ah, I think it was this (http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palms/3361/senpics.htm) one.

Badtz Maru
12-14-2000, 12:34 AM
Oh, maybe not...maybe it was this (http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/4567/leez8.gif) one.

occ
12-14-2000, 01:31 AM
Coincidentally, I'm using Don Herbert's "Mr. Wizard's Experiments for Young Scientists" as a mousepad right now. Cool.

KV
12-14-2000, 08:53 AM
I wonder if Nick would even consider doing another series like Mr. Wizard. It seems they're only concerned with crappy cartoons now. Whatever happened to "David The Gnome", or "The Little Koalas" I loved those growing up.

Alphagene
12-14-2000, 10:07 AM
Badtz. The second one (Eliza Schneider, IRL) is the goofy one I liked. I don't even remember the chubby one (Senta Moses). Wasn't there yet another one? Checking IMDB...

Yeah. Alanna Ubach (http://us.imdb.com/EGallery?0822-spi/ubachala.nna) as Josie. Seems like she's been in quite a few indie flicks since she last donned the lab coat.

More cool facts:

Apparently Eliza is now doing many of the female voices for South Park since Mary Kay Bergman died.

The show's costume desginer, Betsey Potter, was nominated four years in a row for a Daytime Emmy in Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design. Looks like we're not the only one who appreciate a middle-aged man in a giant rat costume.

doyle420
12-14-2000, 10:44 AM
Jetassisted, what did you mean by "the apparently now restricted Fraggle Rock"?

richventure
02-12-2013, 09:46 AM
Good morning,

I live in Hammond, Indiana, a suburb from Chicago, and "Betsy" lived in our city and went to our high school. We have a very good website promoting Hammond (Jean Shepherd's home town and real location of his "Christmas Story").

Hosting the website, I would like to know if anyone knows what happened to "Betsy". Her real name was Susie Levin.

Please let us know how we might contact her. If she does not want to be bothered or remembered, let us know that, too.

Our site is: hhs59.com
You may contact me directly through that site using email links provided.

I was a great fan of Mr. Wizard but never got to know Susie Levin personally. By the way, our 1959 class of graduates from Hammond High School (Indiana) ended up with more than 17 Ph.D.s; college presidents, CEOs, VP of Lockheed Martin, VP of IBM, successful teachers, doctors, parents and more. Mr. Wizard had an effect on all of us.

Richard Barnes, Ph.D.
hhs59.com

RealityChuck
02-12-2013, 11:48 AM
I was never of a fan or Mr. Wizard. Julius Sumner Miller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Sumner_Miller) (aka "Professor Wonderful") was far superior.

lost4life
02-12-2013, 12:00 PM
Being that Don Herbert passed away in 2007, I'm sure there's a zombie joke waiting to happen.

FYI, this is a 13 year old thread.

Duckster
02-12-2013, 12:55 PM
Didn't Mr. Wizard do a segment on zombies?

:D

CC
02-12-2013, 01:55 PM
I disagree with FannyMae's suggestion for a show that's more "real" or focused on something from a college physics class. One thing that made Mr. Wizard great was that he dealt with the very basics of science. There was a "gee whiz" factor in just about everything he did, but he was dealing with the fundamental concepts of everyday science, and that's what hooked so many of us on science and nature. And that's still what people need.
Incidentally, when I grew up (age-wise, anyway) and began to teach middle school science, I often attended the annual National Science Teachers Association conventions, and he occasionally spoke at them. And every time he walked anywhere, he was surrounded by a gaggle of science teachers, all saying that he was their main inspiration.
Also, regarding his approach to kids, he was not one of the "everyone gets a trophy" type of teacher, and though he was kind, he was not totally averse to saying, "No," or "that's not right," to a child. He treated them with respect. His demonstrations were designed with genius. A true great.

Bob X
02-12-2013, 02:34 PM
It's funny you mention Mr. Wizard. He lives near me in Plymouth, MI(don't come stalking him now). His name is Don Herbert. Yes, he's still alive and well, looks about the same but just older. We see him at the grocery store once in awhile.

He is from Michigan originally; I don't really know too much about how he got into being Mr. Wizard and all that. I've never really met him. Oh, he's even listed in the phone book. He's seems very down to earth.

Funny thing is, when I watched him as a kid I had no idea he lived near me. My parents never mentioned it. Then one day, they just casually mentioned that they saw him at a bookstore. They always knew he lived around here. Odd, huh?

A couple decades I lived in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh, which was the neighborhood of Misterogers, and I'd see Fred Rogers on the street sometimes. If you have ever wondered whether Misterogers was an "act", no, that was just Fred.

johnpost
02-12-2013, 02:46 PM
Didn't Mr. Wizard do a segment on zombies?

:D

zombie or no

if he did it was on

Mr Wizard's World

CC
02-12-2013, 03:21 PM
zombie or no

if he did it was on

Mr Wizard's World
The original, black and white, 1950's show was called Watch Mr. Wizard.

johnpost
02-12-2013, 03:51 PM
zombie or no

if he did it was on

Mr Wizard's World

The original, black and white, 1950's show was called Watch Mr. Wizard.

in 1983 he came out with Mr Wizard's World.

samclem
02-12-2013, 06:16 PM
Since this is a tv zombie, let's move to Cafe Society from General QUestions.

samclem, moderator

Mahaloth
02-12-2013, 08:22 PM
Being that Don Herbert passed away in 2007, I'm sure there's a zombie joke waiting to happen.

FYI, this is a 13 year old thread.

And one of the older ones I have a post in. Indeed, we lived right near him and my original post from 12 1/2 years ago is accurate.

CalMeacham
02-13-2013, 07:40 AM
I missed this thread the first time around. I watched Mr. Wizard on TV as a kid, and was surprised (when I inherited my unvcle's collection of old Science Digests to learn that he had been doing it well before I was born. That he was still doing it during the early years of Nickelodeon flabbergasts me. I'm surprised he died as recently as 2007.


I did like his stuff -- learned about mechanical engineering principles as well as science. Good science without condescension.