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What Did Bill Nye Do Before His Show Became A Hit?

Bill Nye is a science educator and mechanical engineer from the United States who is best known for anchoring the television show Bill Nye the Science Guy. The show received critical praise and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen. It was known for its unique humor and fast-paced MTV-style pacing. But did you what Bill Nye was doing before the show became a hit? 

Bill Nye began his career as a mechanical engineer for Boeing in Seattle. He quit Boeing to pursue a career in comedy, writing and acting for “Almost Live!” a local sketch television show.

How Did Bill Nye Start Doing Comedy?

After winning a Steve Martin look-alike contest in 1978, Nye began practicing standup comedy. Nye found out how much he loves making people laugh when his buddies invited him to do Steve Martin imitations at parties.

While he was working at Boeing, he began moonlighting as a comedian. On October 3, 1986, Nye resigned from Boeing to pursue his budding comedic career.

At this point in our story, I was working on business jet navigation systems, and laser gyroscope systems during the day, and I’d take a nap and go do stand-up comedy by night.

Bill Nye

(Source: New York Times)

The Famous Incident that Made Him Bill Nye The Science Guy

Nye worked as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show called Almost Live! in Seattle in 1986. John Keister, who he met at an open mic night, gave him his big break on the show. Ross Shafer the co-host told Nye that he had seven minutes to fill in because the guest host canceled at the last minute.

Why don’t you do that science stuff?

Ross Shafer, Comedian

Nye wowed the crowd with amusing demonstrations like what happens when you eat a marshmallow submerged in liquid nitrogen. On Almost Live! he also has a recurrent role. He was known as a Speed Walker on the show. 

Nye finally got his official stage name after a notable incident on the show. “Who do you think you are—Bill Nye the Science Guy?” he asked, correcting Keister’s pronunciation of the word gigawatt.

Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was one of the most popular educational television programs in the United States from 1993 until 1998. Many noteworthy highlights from the show included Nye’s demonstration of static electricity in his rocker wig of science. (Source: New York Times)

What Did Bill Nye Invent?

Nye invented an airplane part while working as an engineer at Boeing. It was a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube that was utilized on the Boeing 747. But that wasn’t his only creation. Years later, he also created a ballet shoe with a toe box that supported ballerinas performing en pointe. As of today, Nye holds three patents in the United States. He also assisted in the development of sundials for the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. (Source: Now)

What Does Bill Nye Do Today?

Following the popularity of Bill Nye the Science Guy, he began work on The Eyes of Nye, a return project intended for an older audience and addressing more difficult science topics that included genetically engineered food, global warming, and even hot issues like racism. (Source: New York Times)

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