April 1st, 2008 by duane
I’m not much of a morning person these days. I would much rather stay up late and write odd bits of code than get up early and start my day. When I was younger, that was not the case. My brother, Christian, and I would wake up early… especially on Saturday morning, build a fort and prepare for hours of (mostly) animated entertainment. I’ve written about Saturday morning cartoons before, but no Saturday would be complete without a proper start: educational programming.
If I’m not mistaken, the major TV networks had to provide a certain amount of educational programming content (which is why G.I. Joe had their “knowing is half the battle” segment at the end of each episode). Metro Detroit’s Channel 4 (WDIV) began their Saturday morning programming with Kidbits which was filmed at the Detroit Science Center and hosted by Gary Ed Mach
Kidbits detailed science experiments that most kids could do at home with the help of their parents. I credit my early interest in science to this show. Gary Ed Mach was a great host that didn’t dumb down the content but still made it easy to understand. He appeared genuinely excited about simulating muscles with straws and balloons. Instead of commercials, public service announcements ran between segments. They explained the difference between TV and reality, what you should eat to be healthy, and why drugs are bad. The catch was, some weird white guy with a ‘fro starred in these service announcements. If I learned anything during the 80’s it’s “never trust a white guy with a ‘fro.”
What’s the point of all the rambling? Simple: where is Gary Ed Mach?! Why can’t I find any clips of Kidbits online. I know it has to be out there somewhere. So here’s a challenge to everyone reading this: find Gary Ed Mach or Kidbits. If there’s a tape or DVD to buy or a petition to put episodes back on TV, tell me! Something this great cannot disappear forever!