The Brat Patrol | A Long Time Ago, In a Neighborhood Far, Far Away…

Where is Gary Ed Mach?

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!

Entry Filed under: Remember When…,Television

71 Comments. Add your own...

  • 1. mark taylor | January 10th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    hello mark here from flint michigan usa and yes when 1990 rolled in i started to watch wdiv when i had cable and when sat came i would watch kidbits but i would like to know is did wdiv have the rights to the song always there by brass wood steel

  • 2. CHRIS | February 1st, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    THAT SHOW WAS SO THE EFFIN SHIT!!!!....use to watch that from the house in Waterford…i would wake up early just to watch that ish

  • 3. Paula | June 27th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    In late december of 2009, someone posted 3 sections of one episode on Youtube. I wish there were more, but that’s it. This show had to be good to get me up at 5am every saturday morning. I wish you could find it elsewhere.

  • 4. Alex | August 1st, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    It’s great to read all of these comments and adoration for Gary Ed Mach, since he’s my UNCLE! I also loved KidBits and am fortunate enough to have Gary as part of my family and would like all to know that he’s as wonderful and gracious and certainly as entertaining in life as he was when behind the camera (you should see him MC a family reunion auction!). It warms my heart to see so many fond of my uncle and the show that brought him this brief but lasting fame.

  • 5. David | August 4th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    There are some episodes of Kidbits on YOUTUBE. That was one of my all-time favorite shows when I was a kid…. Gary keep it simple and easy to understand…..and fun.

  • 6. josh | December 9th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Hey y’all, I put up a post on MetaFilter about Kidbits (after falling down the YouTube hole).

    http://www.metafilter.com/122601/We-now-return-to-Kidbits

  • 7. Jennifer B | September 16th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Hi, I was wondering about Kidbits myself.. lol. I remember waking up for school in the early 80’s and watching the show, I really enjoyed it. I also use to enjoy the Windsor channel 9 shows to, after Kidbits was over I’d change the channel to 9.. for shows like Cooking with Wok, Friendly Giant, ect… lol… Well anyway, thanks Gary for having a cool and educational show that was very entertaining for me, lol.. Just wondering, I had some friends that said they went to school with you (Gary).. by chance did you go to Ferndale High or around that area ?

  • 8. Gary Ed Mach | September 20th, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Jennifer – Sure did! FHS Class of ‘72! We had our 40th Class reunion at the School last year. Too much grey hair!! Thanks for watching the show back in the day. And thanks for looking up KIDBITS!

  • 9. Tiffiny | May 30th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    A friend just mentioned Gary and Kidbits on Facebook, and I had to search because I wondered what happened to him. I can’t believe he’s actually commented on this post! I also used to wake up early just so I could see Kidbits in the early to mid 80s. I had even recorded the theme song with my “ghetto blaster”, and it had a bit of Gary speaking after the song faded.

    I was so enamored with Gary! Thank you for setting my mind toward the sciences. And thank you for the vids whoever got them up there! I’ll be checking them out with my kids this weekend. Sunny regards from Finland!

  • 10. Tiffiny | May 31st, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Also, a question if Gary still follows this thread any more. My mom reminded me that when we saw Les Mis in Detroit back in 89 or so, Gary’s name was in the playbook for the sets. Was it the one and same, you, Gary?

  • 11. Gary Ed Mach | June 3rd, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Tiffany: Finland, eh? That is a stretch! Thanks for remembering the show. Glad you enjoyed it, and it sounds like it was an early influence for you. I was not involved in “Le Mis”, but I did work on the Detroit Symphony production of “The Nutcracker Ballet” for some 20 years from the late 70’s into the 90’s as the Technical Director and Stage Manager. Lately I have been helping charities with their fund-raising efforts as an auctioneer. Here is a clip:

    Thanks again for the kind thoughts!! – Gary

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  • 13. Kristina | July 25th, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you so much for your show! I used to watch the show every Saturday morning(I think it aired at 6:30AM). I loved the experiments, the theme song(“Always There” by Wood, Brass, & Steel…I have the original from Ronnie Laws), and how much it taught me. I attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Renaissance in 1995. My classmates and I used to reminisce about this show all the time back in school. We all had fond memories of (voluntarily) getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning just to be ready for your show. Thank you, Mr. Mach and Detroit Science Center, for enhancing our lives.

  • 14. Gary Ed Mach | August 30th, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Kristina: Thank you so much for the kind comments, and for remembering KIDBITS. There are a few episodes out on YouTube of you want to take a walk back to the 80’s. It is always a pleasant surprise to find out that the show is still remembered, and that it was enjoyed in its’ time. Thanks again, and “keep on experimenting!”

    Gary

  • 15. Dean | February 26th, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Gary, I wanted to thank you. as a kid in the 80’s I grew up watching kidbits on Saturday morning i would wake up early to watch the show. your show gave me a love of science that has stayed with me all these years. does wdiv still have the master tapes. I would be cool if they put them up on you tube. my son would get a kick out of it.

    anyways Thank you Gary.

  • 16. Gary Ed Mach | February 27th, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Dean – Thank you for the kind remembrances of back in the day. I am flattered you remember the show, and grateful it had the intended effect of creating an interest in science among young viewers. Speaking of back in the day, those WDIV masters would have been recoded on 2” wide reel-to-reel video tape! The show was re-run from 1981 to 1997. By then the tapes were worn out I am sure. Sadly (for some) nothing was kept by WDIV. There are a few episodes of the show out on YouTube (Search KIDBITS), and some where someone has a VHS video tape on a shelf. Thanks again for the memories!! Gary

  • 17. sleep apnea mask | March 23rd, 2017 at 3:10 am

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  • 18. Ellis Low (Michael Cyrulnik) | March 29th, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Wow! Kidbits was my favorite. I’d get up with instructions not to wake mom and dad, go down to the TV and turn on Kidbits. It was my favorite show. I am so glad I get the chance to say how much I enjoyed it! Thank you! I went on to attend a very prestigious engineering and science school and that achievement for me was in part due to a start with Kidbits. North Farmington ‘94 KIDBITS FOREVER (so glad I found it online after all this time! thanks for putting this up!)

  • 19. Gary Ed Mach | March 29th, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Michael – Thanks for your comments! It is great to know that the show reached the target audience. It was all about getting kids interested in the STEM subjects. You did not mention what you do now? Are you in the Detroit area? I continue to do some work for the Engineering Society of Detroit in children’s TV Programming. Later this summer we wil be shooting an episode of SciEngiMathePloration (THe ESD kids science TV Show) about autonomous cars. We hope to shoot both at U of M and Willow Run. If you get a chance, I will be hosting the ESD Annual Dinner/Awards Show on June 21 in Livonia. visit http://www.esd.org for details.

  • 20. Ellis Low (Michael Cyrulnik) | March 29th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Gary, I am a software engineer. I no longer live in the Detroit area but I visit regularly. I’m hoping to do more to make the world a better place than just writing code. Reconnecting with Kidbits is inspiring for that. Thanks for letting me know about ESD and SciEngiMathePloration, I’ll check back for the autonomous cars episode. It completely made my day to see your reply!

  • 21. Ethan Stanton | July 7th, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Hi Gary,
    I used to watch you every Saturday bright and early! I tried to do every hands-on experiment on your show that i could find the parts for around my folks home . I think the curiosity and hands on expierience of your show has carried with me to my adulthood.
    “when is a bug not a bug? when it’s a lady bug” Thanks for passing down the knowledge!

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