Not having seen him in action since the Nickelodeon days back in the 80s, I'd almost forgotten how well Don "Mr. Wizard" Herbert did the job of communicating science. A radio actor and documentary producer, Herbert created the first science-experiment centric TV show, "Watch Mr. Wizard", which premiered on Chicago's WNBQ-TV in 1951. Within months, the show had moved to its natural and cosmically-correct time slot—Saturday mornings.
Bonus: The clip above features the first intelligent girl I have ever seen in a 1950s television show. I can only assume she was carted off to the gulag as soon as filming wrapped.
And, yes, I realize that 59 is a weird anniversary to celebrate. But, you know what, it's Mr. Wizard. We'll celebrate this year, and next year, too. Try and stop me.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.