I can't look at Bill Nye and imagine him as anything other than the Science Guy. Hell, I can barely think of science without thinking about Bill Nye so I've never really thought about how Bill Nye became the Science Guy... until now. Turns out, it happened mostly because he's so awesome.
Fast Company just did an interview with Bill Nye and it's incredibly revealing (he's not just talking about science!) and it's clear that Bill Nye is as awesome as we've always projected him to be (and I don't care if he's not because he'll always be awesome to me). He was going to be the next Steve Martin! He makes ballet shoes! He once worked in radio. But how did it all start?
The life history of Nye is pretty impressive. He got a job at Boeing like a responsible smart guy but then people said he reminded them of Steve Martin so he got into doing stand up and started writing jokes for a comedy TV show. Nye says:
At this point in our story I was working on business jet navigation systems, laser gyroscope systems during the day, and I'd take a nap and go do stand-up comedy by night.
He eventually quit his job and helped out on a radio show by answering reader questions. But then the comedy TV show needed a few minutes to fill, so Nye stepped up and made his first TV appearance. People loved it because good people have souls and they actually learned something and that led him to become the regular science guy, doing in his words "goofball science demonstrations" like "bubbles full of hydrogen that explode and jumping off a ladder into a paper bag that was nothing but an air bag made of paper, and you don't get killed." Yeah, that sounds pretty familiar.
I think we all wanted to be scientists at one point of our lives because of Bill Nye. I'm just so very thankful that he became the Science Guy. [Fast Company]