Don Herbert, TV’s Mr. Wiz- ard, has been teaching science and entertaining enerations for more than
60 years, exploring the “Magic and
Mystery of Science in Everyday Living” through his TV shows and books.
Have you ever questioned or wondered how something worked, how a
bird flies, how to identify six kinds of
electricity, how to make a homemade
volcano, what causes weather, or what
is inertia? Have you been a frustrated
parent, stumbling over teaching the
basics of science, trying to explain scientific principles?
Mr. Wizard was curious. He became a household name by satisfying that curiosity and explaining
how things worked through the success of his award-winning TV shows.
Watch Mr. Wizard was broadcast on
NBC from 1951-1965 and Mr. Wizard’s World aired on Nickelodeon
from 1983-1991. In these episodes,
Mr. Wizard demonstrated and explained scientific concepts and principles with his hands-on approach. He
became known as “America’s Favorite
Science Teacher” because of his personality and sensitivity in helping his
on-air assistants understand the basic
science concepts by solving problems
together. His shows influenced generations. The then president’s emphasis on math and science was mirrored
by Mr. Wizard’s TV shows, books,
and Mr. Wizard Science Clubs.
We know that Mr. Wizard influenced hundreds of young viewers to
become engineers, doctors, researchers, teachers, product designers, and
scientists of all disciplines.
Mr. Wizard was the alter-ego of Don
Herbert. Born, raised, and educated in
La Crosse, Wisconsin, Don studied
acting but was an avid science enthusiast. Upon returning from World
War II, this decorated Air Force pilot
began his career writing and working
at a radio station in Chicago. Because
of his love for gadgets and curiosity
for how things worked, Don created a
science-based show for children in the
early days of television. His pilot show,
Watch Mr. Wizard, was an instant sensation across America at a time of television’s rising popularity.
The 30-minute episodes, airing once
a week, were soon airing nationwide.
The show received several awards
during its run, including the Edison
Award for the Best Children’s Show
and The Peabody Award for Excellence in Science Programming. These
Watch Mr. Wizard TV gems are now
available on eight DVDs, including
four full-length episodes on each disc.
His pilot show,
Watch Mr. Wizard,
was an instant
America at a time
of television’s rising