Bill Nye the Science Guy

Bill Nye the Science Guy
Created by Bill Nye
James McKenna
Erren Gottlieb
Presented by Bill Nye
Starring Bill Nye
Chais Dean
Suzanne Mikawa
Ivyann Schwan
Jaffar Smith
Narrated by Pat Cashman
Theme music composer Mike Greene
Composer(s) Mike Greene
Tom McGurk
Tiny Hat Orchestra
Charlotte S. Landberg
Jonathan S. Merrill
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 100 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Elizabeth Brock
Erren Gottlieb
James McKenna
Producer(s) Bill Nye
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) KCTS Seattle
Rabbit Ears Productions
Walt Disney Television
Distributor Buena Vista Television
Original network PBS 1993-1998
Picture format 480i SDTV
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original release September 10, 1993 (1993-09-10) – June 20, 1998 (1998-06-20)
Bill Nye, 2013

Bill Nye the Science Guy is an American half-hour live action science program that originally aired from September 10, 1993, to June 20, 1998, and was hosted by Bill Nye. The show aired on PBS and was also syndicated to local stations. The show aired for a total of 100 half-hour episodes spanning over five seasons.


Nye's TV persona is a tall and slender scientist wearing a blue lab coat and a bow-tie.[1] He combines the serious science of everyday things with fast-paced action and humor. Each half-hour show begins with a cold open, where Nye was introducing the episode's topic, which leads into an opening credit sequence, as Nye is seen floating through a montage of science images. In later seasons, the theme song was cut short by a static screen. After the opening credits, announcer Pat Cashman would say "Brought to you by...", in which a product name was related to the episode's topic, followed by Nye walking onto the set, called "Nye Laboratories", which is filled with scientific visuals including many "of science" contraptions announced dramatically, relevant to the topic of the episode. Parodies of movies and television shows configure the facts of the episode's topic. Guest appearances were featured on Bill Nye the Science Guy, such as Jenna von Oÿ, Robin Leach, John Ratzenberger, Ross Shafer, Graham Kerr, Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert, Bob Ross, Richard Karn, Candace Cameron, Alfonso Ribeiro, Sinbad, Nate McMillan, Mudhoney, and Samuel L. Jackson. Each episode also featured Nye in diverse places, focusing on the episode's topic.

There are several individual segments that are featured in each episode, such as "Way Cool Scientist", which features an expert on the episode's topic, "Consider the Following", where Nye discusses a certain aspect of the episode's topic, "Nifty Home Experiment", where the audience is shown how to do a simple home experiment relating to the episode's topic, "Try This", where the audience is shown how to try a simple demonstration relating to the episode's topic, "Hey! Look at This", where the expert shows us how to give us a closer look by relating to the episode's topic, "Check it Out", where the audience is shown how to affect their environmental issues by relating to the episode's topic, "Clever Science Trick", where the audience is shown how to do a simple science trick relating to the episode's topic, and "Did you know that...", where an interesting factoid related to the episode's topic was presented. "Luna Van Dyke, Private Detective" was one of the recurring segments on the show. The segments feature private detective Luna Van Dyke focusing on the story that is related to the episode's topic.

Most half-hour episodes contain a mock song parody and music video in the "Soundtrack of Science" by "Not That Bad Records". "Not that bad" is a catchphrase that Nye will often say in those episodes, substituting a scientific roundup of the episode for the lyrics to a popular song. This is usually the last segment of each episode. Each half-hour show ends with Nye saying, "Well, that's our show. Thanks for watching. If you'll excuse me, I've got some..." before explaining his departure in a clever description of an activity on topic, followed by him saying "See ya!" afterwards. After that, a female announcer says "Produced in association with the National Science Foundation". The credits sometimes rolled next to a series of outtakes from the episode. Other times, outtakes are shown at the time they actually happened.


The show's theme song is written by Mike Greene. The lyrics mostly repeat the title of the show itself, saying "Bill Nye the Science Guy" in a male voice, which comes across a bass-rhythm line, and the show's theme song is set to a house beat, where the number is punctuated by repeating the word "Bill!" as a percussive shout. The sound and speed fluctuations of the voice were accomplished through a vocoder, and electronic pitch fluctuation.


Co-created by Bill Nye, James McKenna and Erren Gottlieb, the show was produced by McKenna/Gottlieb Producers, Inc, in partnership with KCTS-TV Seattle, and distributed by Buena Vista Television, a division of Disney. Nye, McKenna and Gottlieb all met while McKenna was a producer on Almost Live!, a comedy show in Seattle.[2]

The announcer was Pat Cashman, whom Nye knew from his time on Almost Live!. The theme song is credited to Yourself.

Before this show, Nye had previously worked alongside Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future: The Animated Series, where he played Doc Brown's assistant and demonstrated several experiments.[3]

The show has been likened to the next generation version of Watch Mr. Wizard.[4][5] The show ran about the same time as and covered similar topics to Beakman's World, in fact sharing one crew member, editor/writer/director Michael Gross.[6]

The show has been primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the annual financial support from the viewers/stations of PBS. Other funding sponsors included Ore Ida, The Boeing Company, and Intel.


100 half-hour episodes were produced.

Season 1 (1993-1994)

Series No. No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Original Airdate
1 1 Flight (Series Premiere) Nyevana – "Smells Like Air Pressure"

Parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

September 10, 1993
2 2 Earth's Crust Magmadonna – "Crust"

Parody of "Vogue" by Madonna

September 17, 1993
3 3 Dinosaurs J.C. – "Mr. Dino"

Parody of "Mr. Wendal" by Arrested Development

September 24, 1993
4 4 Skin No music video October 1, 1993
5 5 Buoyancy Sure Floats-a lot – "Bill's Got Boat"

Parody of "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot

October 8, 1993
6 6 Gravity Attraction Action – "G-R-A-V-I-T-Y"

Parody of "Twilight Zone" by 2 Unlimited

October 15, 1993
7 7 Digestion Dy Gestion – "Can't Eat This"

Parody of "Can't Truss It" by Public Enemy

October 22, 1993
8 8 Phases of Matter Phaze Change – "Solid Liquid Gas"

Parody of "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" by Digable Planets

October 29, 1993
9 9 Biodiversity Bio Di Versity – "We're all Connected"

Parody of "Connected" by Stereo MC's

November 5, 1993
10 10 Simple Machines The Pulley Ramp Five – "ABC's of Machinery"

Parody of "ABC" by The Jackson 5

November 12, 1993
11 11 The Moon The Lunatics – "Moon Cycle"

Parody of "Bicycle Race" by Queen

November 19, 1993
12 12 Sound Gloria Wavelength and the Vibrations – "Sound is a VIBE"

Parody of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

November 26, 1993
13 13 Garbage Trash E. Trash – "R.E.C.Y.C.L.E."

Parody of "Respect" by Aretha Franklin; artist name is a parody of Doug E. Fresh

December 3, 1993
14 14 Structure Stress N' Tension – "Let's Talk About Stress"

Parody of "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-n-Pepa

December 10, 1993
15 15 Seasons A Tilted Development – "Rhyme and Season"; artist name is a parody of Arrested Development

(Note: Ross Shafer guest stars in this episode on The Tilted Planet Game segment.)

December 17, 1993
16 16 Light and Color The Bent Wavelengths – "Light and Colour"

Parody of "Sweating Bullets" by Megadeth

December 24, 1993
17 17 Cells Mighty Chondria – "Cellular Haze"

Parody of "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix

January 21, 1994
18 18 Electricity Billy Ray Cyrcuits – "AC/DC Charge"

Parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus

January 28, 1994
19 19 Outer Space Elvi Centuri – "Celestial Hotel"

Parody of "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley

February 4, 1994
20 20 Eyeball The Eye Doctors – "Two Eyes"

Parody of "Two Princes" by The Spin Doctors

February 11, 1994

Season 2 (1994-1995)

Series No. No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Original Airdate
21 1 Magnetism N.S. Cool J. – "Opposites Attract"

Parody of "Jump" by Kriss Kross; artist name is a parody of LL Cool J

February 18, 1994
22 2 Wind Wind Dee – "Wind Is In Your Hair"

Parody of "Groove Is in the Heart" by Deee-Lite

February 25, 1994
23 3 Blood and Circulation AB+ – "Blood Stream"

Parody of "Love Shack" by The B-52's

March 4, 1994
24 4 Chemical Reactions Chemical Reactions – "Don't Try This at Home"

Parody of "State of Attraction" by Paula Abdul

March 11, 1994
25 5 Static Electricity The Sticky Socks – "Static Electricity"

Parody of "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors

March 18, 1994
26 6 Food Web Food Webby Web – "(It's The) Food Web"

Parody of "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" by Snoop Dogg

March 25, 1994
27 7 Light Optics Queen Lighteefa – "B.E.N.T."

Parody of "U.N.I.T.Y." by Queen Latifah

September 10, 1994
28 8 Bones and Muscles Steppenbone – "Bones In My Body"

Parody of "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf

September 17, 1994
29 9 Oceanography Gulfstream Girls – "Deep Ocean Currents"

Parody of "California Girls" by The Beach Boys

September 24, 1994
30 10 Heat LeHot – "LeHeat"

Parody of "Le Freak" by Chic

October 1, 1994
31 11 Insects UB Buggy – "Jah Mon, Insects Rule"

Style Parody of UB40

October 8, 1994
32 12 Balance Torquer – "Balance This"

Parody of "Get Off This" by Cracker

October 15, 1994
33 13 The Sun Deep Yellow – "My Favorite Star"

Parody of "Highway Star" by Deep Purple

October 22, 1994
34 14 Brain En Lobe – "Whatta Brain"

Parody of "Whatta Man" by En Vogue with Salt-n-Pepa

October 29, 1994
35 15 Forests John Cougar Loggincamp – "Second Growth"

Style Parody of John Mellencamp

November 5, 1994
36 16 Communication Mary Chapin Communicator – "How Can We Communicate?"

Parody of "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

November 12, 1994
37 17 Momentum Momentisey – "The Faster You Push Me"

Parody of "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" by Morrissey

November 19, 1994
38 18 Reptiles No music video – the commercial-free PBS version of the episode, however, had a brief spoof entitled "Cold Blooded".

Parody of "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner

November 26, 1994
39 19 Atmosphere Warm -n- Wetta – "Fresh Aire"; artist name is a parody of Salt N Pepa December 2, 1994
40 20 Respiration Ali Veoli – "What A Pair"

Style Parody of Tatyana Ali

January 7, 1995

Season 3 (1995)

Series No. No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Original Airdate
41 1 The Planets No music video January 14, 1995
42 2 Pressure PSI Garden – "Pressure"

Parody of "Spoonman" by Soundgarden

January 21, 1995
43 3 Plants Rhoda Dendron – "Cross Pollination"

Parody of "Human Behaviour" by Björk

January 28, 1995
44 4 Rocks and Soil Sedimentary Fools – "Rocks Rock Harder"

Parody of "Basket Case" by Green Day

February 3, 1995
45 5 Energy The ERG's – "N-R-G"

Parody of "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys

February 10, 1995
46 6 Evolution Evolver – "Survival"

Style parody of Revolution by The Beatles

February 18, 1995
47 7 Water Cycle J.A.C. – "Water Cycle Jump"

Parody of "Jump" by Kris Kross

March 24, 1995
48 8 Friction Grace Slip – "Friction Happens"; artist name is a parody of Grace Slick March 31, 1995
49 9 Germs Dose of Soap – "Just Wash Your Hands"

Parody of "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base

April 7, 1995
50 10 Climates Climate Report – "Whether the Weather"

Parody of "Lucas With The Lid Off" by Lucas Secon

April 14, 1995
51 11 Waves Big Amplitude – "Baby I Love Your Wave"

Parody of "Baby, I Love Your Way" by Big Mountain (originally by Peter Frampton)

April 21, 1995
52 12 Ocean Life James Baleen – "Power To The Plankton"

Style Parody of James Brown

April 28, 1995
53 13 Mammals Fake Fur – "Jennifer's A Mammal"

Parody of "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies

September 8, 1995
54 14 Spinning Things House of Spin – "Spin Around"

Parody of "Jump Around" by House of Pain

September 15, 1995
55 15 Fish Salmon Dave – "I'm a Sole Man"

Parody of "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave

September 22, 1995
56 16 Human Transportation Carpoolio – "Move Groove"

Parody of "Fantastic Voyage" by Coolio

September 29, 1995
57 17 Wetlands Maria and the Mudflats – "Where the Land is Wet" October 6, 1995
58 18 Birds LL Bloo J. – "Talkin' Bout Birds"; artist name is a parody of LL Cool J October 13, 1995
59 19 Populations Shirell Crow – "All We Need To Do"

Parody of "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow

October 20, 1995
60 20 Animal Locomotion Bjorn Turun – "Loco Motion"

Parody of "Everything Zen" by Bush

October 27, 1995

Season 4 (1995-1997)

Series No. No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Original Airdate
61 1 Rivers and Streams Talking Headwaters – "Take Me to the River"

Parody of "Take Me to the River" by Talking Heads

November 3, 1995
62 2 Nutrition Knute Trishan – "Good Food"

Style Parody of Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor

November 10, 1995
63 3 Marine Mammals Marina Cesealia – "Breathe Like Me"

Parody of "I Know" by Dionne Farris

November 17, 1995
64 4 Earthquakes Mistah Richter – "Earthquake Rumble"

Style Parody of the LL Cool J

November 24, 1995
65 5 NTV Top 11 Countdown Mudhoney – "Bill Nye The Science Guy Theme" December 1, 1995
66 6 Spiders Foo Spighters – "This is A Spiders Life"

Parody of "This Is a Call" by Foo Fighters

January 5, 1996
67 7 Pollution Solutions No music video January 12, 1996
68 8 Probability Steven Odd – "50 Fifty"

Parody of "Loser" by Beck

January 19, 1996
69 9 Pseudoscience Dare L. Pseudo – "Pure Proof"

Parody of "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters

January 26, 1996
70 10 Flowers Daisy Birdsenbees – "So Many Flowers" February 2, 1996
71 11 Archaeology Mob Barley – "Diggin'"

Parody of "Jamming" by Bob Marley

February 9, 1996
72 12 Deserts Deserette – "Always Dry"

Parody of "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette

February 16, 1996
73 13 Amphibians P-Swamp All Stars with DJ Hoppy – "The Amphidelic Mothership Metamorphisis"

Style Parody of George Clinton the P-Funk All Stars

February 23, 1996
74 14 Volcanoes Volcanque – "Lavaflows"

Parody of "Waterfalls" by TLC

January 31, 1997
75 15 Invertebrates S. Khar Go – "Crawl Away"

Parody of "Runaway" by Janet Jackson

February 7, 1997
76 16 Heart Vinny Vein and the Pumpers – "Gimme Back My Heart" February 14, 1997
77 17 Inventions En Vent and the Process – "It's An 'ing Thing" February 21, 1997
78 18 Computers La Binary – "One Zero 001"

Parody of "Be My Lover" by La Bouche

April 25, 1997
79 19 Fossils Etchton Stone – "Fossil Man"

Parody of "Rocket Man" by Elton John

September 5, 1997
80 20 Time The Tim E. Zone Experience – "Time Time Time Time Time..."

Parody of "Time Has Come Today" by The Chambers Brothers

September 12, 1997

Season 5 (1997-1998)

Series No. No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Original Airdate
81 1 Forensics Krime Seen – "We Will Find You"

Parody of "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" by Queen

September 19, 1997
82 2 Space Exploration The Space Princess of Galactic Grooviness – "Planets All"

Parody of "Set U Free" by Planet Soul

September 26, 1997
83 3 Genes Alice in Genes – "It's Called Genetics"

Parody of "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine'; artist name is a parody of Alice In Chains

October 17, 1997
84 4 Architecture The Artist Formerly Known as Archie T. – "Makin' Plans"

Parody of "All Mixed Up" by 311; artist name is a parody of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

October 24, 1997
85 5 Farming Chris Ballew – "Farm Food"

Parody of "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America, of which Ballew himself is a member

October 31, 1997
86 6 Life Cycles Roberta Fungi – "Everything Has A Life Cycle"

Parody of "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack

November 14, 1997
87 7 Do-It-Yourself Science Nye & The Family Crust – "Do It Yourself Science"

Parody of "Hell" by Squirrel Nut Zippers; artist name is a parody of Sly and the Family Stone

November 21, 1997
88 8 Atoms Third Nye Blind – "Atoms in My Life"

Parody of "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind

November 28, 1997
89 9 Ocean Exploration The Posies – "Voyage of the Aquanauts"

A parody of their 1993 song "Flavor of the Month". The Posies are an alternative rock group from Bellingham, Washington.

December 5, 1997
90 10 Lakes and Ponds The Froggy Boyz – "Fond of Lakes and Ponds"

Parody of "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

February 21, 1998
91 11 Smell Turbinator Two – "Come On Use Your Brain (Smell This)"

Parody of "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" by Quad City DJ's

February 28, 1998
92 12 Caves Batilda & Guano – "Cave Thing"

Parody of "Shake Your Groove Thing" by Peaches & Herb

April 25, 1998
93 13 Fluids Weflo – "Drip it"

Parody of "Whip It" by Devo

May 2, 1998
94 14 Erosion Earth, Wind & Ice – "Causing the Erosion"

Style Parody of No Doubt; artist name is a parody of Earth, Wind & Fire

May 9, 1998
95 15 Comets and Meteors Halley Comet – "Got Me Looking"

Parody of "Shadowboxer" by Fiona Apple

May 16, 1998
96 16 Storms Mighty Mighty Thundertones – "Stormin"

Style Parody of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

May 23, 1998
97 17 Measurement The Meter Men – "Every Measurement You Make"

Parody of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police

May 30, 1998
98 18 Patterns Downward Spiral – "Patterns of Joy"

Parody of "Breathe" by The Prodigy; artist name reference to Nine Inch Nails.

June 6, 1998
99 19 Music "There's Science In Music"

Melodic Style Similar To That Of "The Time Warp" by Richard O'Brien

June 13, 1998
100 20 Motion (series finale) Slow Moe – "All in Motion"

Parody of "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen

June 20, 1998


During its run, Bill Nye the Science Guy was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen.[7]

Daytime Emmy Awards

Home media

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the series in its entirety on DVD, as part of the series' 20th anniversary.[8] In the United Kingdom, it was distributed on VHS by ViewTech, Bristol.

As of May 17, 2015, a 31 episode collection is available for streaming on various platforms through Netflix.[9]

The same set of 31 episodes is also available for purchase on the iTunes Store, though they have been split into two separate volumes; one containing 14 episodes[10] and the other containing 17 episodes.[11]

Video game

A computer game based on the series, titled Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock!, was released in 1996 for Windows and Macintosh by Pacific Interactive.[12]

In the game, a large meteoroid called "Impending Dumé" threatens to make a catastrophic collision with the Earth. A team of scientists develop a laser satellite-controlling computer system called MAAX (Meteoroid and Asteroid Exploder) to destroy the meteoroid; however, MAAX develops a personality of its own and refuses to save the planet unless Earth's scientists can solve seven science riddles. Nye Labs decides to take on MAAX's challenge, and the player, depicted as the newest member of the Nye Labs team, is asked to solve these riddles using Nye Labs' equipment before Impending Dumé hits (represented through an in-game timer). The game featured a fully explorable Nye Labs, as well as video cut scenes featuring Nye and other Nye Labs scientists. However, the characters and cast members from the TV series, sans Nye and a few others, do not appear in this game, instead being replaced by game-exclusive Nye Labs team members and new actors.

See also


  1. Boss, Kit (18 December 1994). "The Bill Nye Effect". The Seattle Times.
  2. "Bill Nye, The Science Guy | Archive of American Television". Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  3. Back to the Future, 1991-09-21, retrieved 2016-04-12
  4. Heppner, Frank (2007). Teaching the Large College Class: A Guidebook for Instructors with Multitudes. John Wiley & Sons. p. 11. ISBN 9780470180846.
  5. Kundanis, Rose M. (2003). Children, Teens, Families, and Mass Media: The Millennial Generation. Taylor & Francis. p. 37. ISBN 9780805845631.
  6. "Michael Gross (III)". IMDb.
  7. Bill Nye, the Science Guy, 1993-09-10, retrieved 2016-04-12
  8. "Disney Educational Productions". Retrieved August 26, 2016. ]
  9. Jaworski, Michelle (May 18, 2015). "Science rules! 'Bill Nye the Science Guy' comes to Netflix". The Daily Dot. Daily Dot Media. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  10. "Bill Nye the Science Guy, Vol. 1 on iTunes". iTunes. September 10, 1993. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  11. "Bill Nye the Science Guy, Vol. 2 on iTunes". iTunes. September 10, 1993. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  12. "VideoGame/Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! - Television Tropes & Idioms". Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  13. Luvan, Dylan (September 24, 2012). "Bill Nye Warns: Creation Views Threaten U.S. Science". Associated Press. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  14. Fowler, Jonathan; Rodd, Elizabeth (August 23, 2012). "Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children". YouTube. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  15. Deiviscio, Jeffrey (November 3, 2014). "A Fight for the Young Creationist Mind - In 'Undeniable,' Bill Nye Speaks Evolution Directly to Creationists". New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2014.

External links

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