Rest in peace, Mr. Wizard

Don Herbert was known to his fans as Mr. Wizard, star of the Watch Mr. Wizard show. Long before Mythbusters, Herbert made common household items seem magical every Saturday at noon on NBC, from 1951 to 1964.

Herbert died on Tuesday [12 JUN 2007] after a long struggle with multiple myeloma, the Los Angeles Times reported. His legacy is the thousands of children he inspired to get involved in science. Many of them […] are practicing scientists today.

An Air Force veteran and former actor, Herbert revived the show once in 1971, and again on Nickelodeon from 1983 to 1990. By then he had created a bank of shows that he released on DVD in 2004.

The Mr. Wizard show made a long-term cultural impact, engendering parodies including “Ask Mr. Lizard!” on the TV cartoon Dinosaurs, “Ask Mr. Stupid” on the ’90s cartoon The Ren and Stimpy Show”, and “Ask Dr. Science!” on the public radio comedy Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater.

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