July 21, 2012

"Mr. Wizard's a Dick."



Here's an interview with the compilers of "Mr. Wizard's a Dick," Mike Schuster and Diane Bullock:
This idea was about 25 years in the making. We both watched the show as kids, but I was a bit more obsessed. I would watch it religiously before school and had running jokes with my parents about how casually cruel and condescending Mr. Wizard could be to the kids.

About a year ago, Diane and I started re-watching the old episodes and would die laughing at some of the things he would say and do... be it a snarky tone or how he'd just cut off a kid's answer even if they were on the right track....

34 comments:

rhhardin said...

Next week, Timmy, we'll make battery acid.

Schorsch said...

This only makes me love the man even more. Kids don't need brain-dead cheerleaders. We need more Mr.Wizards.

ndspinelli said...

This country needs more tough teachers like Mr. Wizard. However, the Schools of Education[a 3rd rail for Althouse that she refuses to touch] that put out women and a few girly men teachers are all about being self esteem[albeit false] gurus than demanding ones like Mr. Wizard.

Brent said...

Always good to make fun of the dead - it takes so long for them to defend themselves.

Let's all just pull the actions and behaviors of people we don't like - no matter how isolated from context - and judge everyone now! Because we're better than they are, damn it!

edutcher said...

I notice the episode is in color.

Maybe he got a little more impatient after the black & white ones were made.

traditionalguy said...

Wizard's patience for ignorant child actors left him as he entered his late 60s. It happens to the best of us.

ndspinelli said...

I'm seeing a consensus building that Schuster and Bullock are the assholes.

Astro said...

My reaction to this is similar to Lincoln's reaction when advised that Gen. Grant was a drunk.

If Mr. Wizard was a dick, then more teachers should be dicks.

Robin said...

His office was in my hometown in the '70's, and when I worked in the local bookstore, I would get calls for him ordering books.

At that time, he was a pretty normal guy.

DADvocate said...

Hilarious. I never heard of the guy, but he reminds me of many of the adults I knew as a kid. I never minded their dickness very much.

Issob Morocco said...

Anybody that bought and drove a K Car would certainly qualify for Richardom!

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

ndspinelli said...

I'm seeing a consensus building that Schuster and Bullock are the assholes.

The younger generations seem to have trouble grasping the concept that snarky statements about others behavior can, and often do, come back on you.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

That's bad? 25 years and that's the worst they had? The kids looked like they were engaged and enjoying themselves. My choir director and band director would make Mr. Wizard look like a fairy godmother. And that was BEFORE high school.

Toy

814659a2-986c-11e0-98c3-000bcdca4d7a said...

Schuster and Bullock are whiners.

MayBee said...

I don't see it.

I see a smile on him every time. It reminds me of the way my favorite Uncle used to teach us things, and taught my boys things. I loved it and they loved it.

EDH said...

"Mr. Wizard's a Dick."

I just looked-up "Mr. Wizard", and there's a member of the Tea Party named Mr Wizard.

Lyle said...

It's like a helpful condescension in these one on one teaching moments.

The students seem to appreciate it.

I think if it was in a larger class room setting, it might not work. It depends I guess. He seemed really supportive though, which is the key. Genuine concern and attention on the part of the adult, and I think the condescension can work.

EDH said...

How else do you sharpen "a skull full of mush"?

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, come on, it's obvious the couple that made the video love Mr. Wizard. Read the interview if that's not obvious to you from the video. Jeez!

Anyway, they've only got the color version of the show. Late Wizard. The Wizard I remember was black and white. I loved that show when I was a kid.

deborah said...

A perfect teacher.

God, An Original A-hole said...

Mr. Wizard is good role model!

Decisive! Truthful!

I have new-found respect for Mister Wizard after seeing this video.

He is not a Dick. That is just chatter to make video go viral. He is, instead, strong competent teacher...

Like Althouse... eh? Maybe that's why she finds this blog-worthy.

Joe Schmoe said...

You mean he's not really a detective?!

Like Jackie Gleason's character said in Smokey and the Bandit: "Gimme the good old days when a pair of boobs were a couple of dumb guys."

'Dick' used as a modern vulgar term has made it so I can't say--among mixed company--'dick' for detective, or even mention 'spotted dick', as its origins are virtually unknown in contemporary American society, and the resultant visual imagery of 'spotted dick' to the uninitiated is horrific indeed. Which is a shame, as it's actually quite delicious!

madAsHell said...

I was too young to understand many of his experiments, but I do remember watching him burn steel wool.

Yeah....I caught hell for that!!

Marcus Carman said...

Mr. Wizard's been slandered!

Chip Ahoy said...

Señor Mago!

No es el mismo que Señor Magoo.

AprilApple said...

He is a dick.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, I repeatedly laughed out loud. Thanks for linking to it, Professor!

I've been known to drily tease my kids about "facts" and trivia in a similar fashion. They'ved learned to have a twisted sense of humor and to tease me right back.

Rob said...

Yes, the earlier, monochrome version was a lot better. But it does all seem so retro--telling a child he or she is wrong, with God knows what lasting effect on his or her very fragile ego. Thank goodness we've willed ourselves into this brave new world where every child is above average and self-esteem is never to be undermined. As criminals convicted of heinous crimes often tell us, "The important thing is that I feel good about myself."

Rick J. Penner said...

I not only don't see anything wrong in Mr. Wizard's behavior, I positively like him. He's refreshingly direct and real. What is it with those today who take offense at innocent teasing and gentle sarcasm? Mr. Wizard obviously likes these kids and shows them more respect by his naturalness than would be shown by today's politically-correct demeanor that's actually artificial to the core.

Bryan C said...

He told some kids they were wrong when they were wrong, and then explained why they were wrong. He treated them like actual people instead of patronizing them. He insisted they pay attention and learn something. OMG. What a dick.

EMD said...

Mr. Wizard was a dick.

But one I could certainly respect.

Largo said...

I wanted to be Mr. Wizard when I grew up! I still do!

Dante said...

Having never seen a damn thing about Mr. Wizard, I can attest "He IS a dick." It's obvious he is a dick. He has violated too many rules. He tortured innocent children with noise. He abandoned a child in the wild. And the emotional abuse outside of the physical abuse is simply astounding. "You were WRONG." "I'm worried it might hit me in the head," ooops.

This is a great example of how much power a monopolistic press has. It can say and do whatever it wants, as it has in CA with the last elections for governor and "kill the baby" Boxer, so long as it can spin the results the way it wants.

Marevka said...

This was one of my favorite shows, lol. I always took it as he was teasing them into thinking harder.