Bill Nye Wishes He Could Bring Back His 90s Television Show
Since it’s not happening anytime soon, he’s sticking to college commencement speeches and appearances.
Bill Nye, the former host of a 90s television show that blended comedy with scientific experimentation, wouldn’t mind regenerating the series. “I think about it constantly,” Nye said during an interview with reporters on Tuesday. “[I’ve] been to several meetings about it, but I want to find a producer or production company that gets it.”
In the meantime, Nye has others ways to connect with his young fan base to share insight into the world of life sciences: graduation commencement speeches.
Nye expressed his excitement about an upcoming endeavor on May 17, when he’ll take the stage at UMass Lowell to talk about his “formula for success,” encouraging students to stay motivated and achieve their goals. “It’s an honor to speak to young people. I look forward to it,” said Nye.
While the scientist admits he doesn’t exactly remember what was said at his own convocation ceremony at Cornell University when he graduated in 1977, he said he’s always glad to hear when someone tells him that his career has made an impact on their decisions to pursue a certain field. “I’m glad I was an important part of their lives growing up, and I’m honored to be addressing them at this commencement,” he said, adding that he decided to take on the task of talking to 7,000 UMass Lowell undergraduates merely because he was asked.
Nye said if anything, he wants his speech to the graduating class to exemplify the importance of staying positive about things to come in life. “They can change the world. They’re going to make the world what it will become, and I want to make them feel optimistic and empowered and feel excited about the future,” he said.
He also wants to stress the importance of teaching kids at a younger age about the benefits of engineering while leveling the playing field in the sciences sector so that women and girls are equally accepted—both things he tried to convey with his television show in the 90s. “We focused the show on sure science, and it’s stood the test of time. People still watch it so many years later, and it’s wonderful,” he said. “People come up to me constantly and tell me they watched the show. I put my heart and soul into it. A real attempt was made to change the world, and I’m real gratified that people love it.”
Fans have continued to keep Nye’s passion and teachings alive through social media and outlets like YouTube, handing down his quirky comedic approach to an otherwise drab educational topic to other generations. While technology has helped keep clips from his show afloat, they’ve also hindered immediate plans to pump life back into the series. “With YouTube and Internet outlets for old programming, it’s not clear anyone would choose to air it again,” he said.
He would still love to see his now-iconic series make a triumphant return, but only with the right “Science Guy” formula. “Any television show, in my opinion, has to be entertaining first. It can’t just be information, especially in this case,” said Nye. “It has to be entertaining, and a way to do that is to tell stories that are funny.”