It always sucks when someone you grew up watching on television passes away. Don Herbert’s, aka Mr. Wizard, show was the primary reason I have always been deeply interested in the sciences. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I passed up the reality series (well maybe not Hell’s Kitchen) or sitcom du jour in order to take in a science show on PBS or Discovery. I remember being the same way as a kid, passing up on Tom & Jerry for either Mr. Wizard or 3-2-1 Contact… Those shows just made learning about science FUN!
Well, for me at least.
You know, now that I think about it, I couldn’t even begin to fathom how many children watching his show wound up becoming scientists, astronauts, professors, engineers, doctors or have chosen any other career path in the sciences as adults. I remember when I was a kid, one of my biggest wishes (well, next to being lassoed by Wonder Woman of course) was to be an assistant on his TV show doing whatever science experiment he was demonstrating for everyone else.
Rest in peace Mr. Wizard, I likely wouldn’t be as curious about our world today if it weren’t for your help. I know when I become a father some day and my children are of the proper age, I’ll definitely be sharing your show with them, hoping to spark the same passion for learning about the world around us as you did with me.