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Steve Martin and Carl Sagan inspired Bill Nye’s ‘Science Guy’ character


Few scientists have captured the imagination of children like Bill Nye. In a new short for NOVAs Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, Nye discusses the comedic and scientific inspirations behind his popular 90s PBS Kids show Bill Nye the Science Guy. After winning a Steve Martin lookalike contest in Seattle, Nye went on to write comedy. While working both as an engineer and a stand-up comic, Nye developed the character for his show. Like other prominent scientists, Nye received inspiration from Carl Sagan, who told him to focus on pure science for his young audience.

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