The Late Movies: Mr. Wizard

Erica Palan

It doesn't matter how old you are—almost everyone has a memory of Mr. Wizard. Whether it was on NBC or Nickelodeon's, Don Herbert, the man behind the safety goggles, taught scientific lessons to children for nearly 50 years. There is a really amazing (but sadly not embed-able) series of interviews on YouTube that I can't recommend highly enough. But in the meantime, check out some of his greatest hits here.

Watch Mr. Wizard

In 1951, Don Herbert hit TV sets all across the country as Mr. Wizard, a friendly neighbor who would teach science to children in his home. The first episode aired on WMAQ, Chicago's NBC station. Twenty-eight episodes were taped that year, including this one, where he explains how gasoline engines work.

The Science of Heat

Mr. Wizard uses a $500 bill—fake, naturally—to explain how metal conducts heat faster than paper.

Optical Illusions

In 1964, NBC canceled Watch Mr. Wizard. But not before he was able to explain how our eyes play tricks on us.

Mr. Wizard's World

In 1983, Don Herbert returned to the mainstream airwaves on Nickelodeon's Mr. Wizard's World. (Though he'd spent many years making guest appearances on other shows and remained in the public spotlight.) Check out the intro!

Advertising Mr. Wizard's World

Nickelodeon knew how to hook kids. In fact, as an adult, I still want to know the answer to the question about when to use flash when taking photos!

And I distinctly recall this commercial from my childhood.

The Science of Siphons

Want to know how water can flow uphill? Mr. Wizard knows the answer!

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