Beakman's World

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Beakman's World
Beakman'sWorld Logo.png
The Beakman's World logo.
Format Children's television series/Education
Created by Jok Church
Presented by Paul Zaloom
Starring Mark Ritts
Alanna Ubach
Eliza Schneider
Senta Moses
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 91
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) ELP Communications
Universal/Belo Productions
Columbia Pictures Television (1992-1996)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-1997)
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Broadcast
Original channel TLC
Picture format 480i SDTV
Audio format CBS Stereosound
Dolby Surround
Original run September 18, 1992 – December 6, 1997

Beakman's World is an educational children's television show. The program is based on the Universal Press Syndicate syndicated comic strip You Can with Beakman and Jax created by Jok Church. The series premiered September 18, 1992[1] on The Learning Channel (TLC) cable network and in national syndication.

On September 18, 1993 it moved from national syndication to CBS Saturday morning children’s lineup. At the peak of its popularity, it was seen in nearly 90 countries around the world. The series was canceled in 1998.[2] Reruns returned to national syndication in September 2006, after which it was transferred to local stations such as KICU. The show debuted a year prior to Bill Nye the Science Guy, which covered similar topics. The show's host, Paul Zaloom, still performs as Beakman in live appearances around the globe.

Premise[edit]

Paul Zaloom customed as Beakman in UNAM, 2014.

The program starred Paul Zaloom as Beakman, an eccentric scientist who performed comical experiments and demonstrations in response to viewer mail to illustrate various scientific concepts from density to electricity to flatulence. When his experiments were successful, he would often exclaim "Zaloom!", referring to his last name.

Over the years, Beakman was aided in his experiments by a female assistant just as in the comic strip on which it was based. The assistant's name changed throughout the show's run; for the episodes of season 1, it was Josie (played by Alanna Ubach); for the episodes of seasons 2 and 3, it was Liza (played by Eliza Schneider); and for the episodes of season 4, it was Phoebe (played by Senta Moses). Beakman was also assisted by his "lab rat" Lester. In the pilot episode, Lester was a puppet, but in every subsequent episode he was simply a clueless, crude man (Mark Ritts) in a tattered rat suit. In a running joke, it was never asserted that his character was actually supposed to be a rat; rather he was specifically identified by himself and others as a guy in a rat suit, or as a serious actor with a bad agent. Sometimes unwilling to help out, Lester was often persuaded by Beakman with the promise of food. Another occasional cast member is the unseen cameraman "Ray," who is played by prop-master Ron Jancula's hands. Ray assists Beakman by handing him various items, such as the "boguscope." It is suggested throughout the program that Ray has a romantic crush on the show's unnamed makeup lady. Actress Jean Stapleton also appeared on the show as Beakman's mother, "Beakmom". In some of the skits during the show the character Professor I.M. Boring (also played by Paul Zaloom, in a dual role) makes appearances and talks about various science topics. Zaloom also appeared as various 'guest scientists' and historic figures, such as Thomas A. Edison, Robert H. Goddard, and Philo T. Farnsworth. When Senta Moses was added to the show's cast, the producers began to use a majority of the sound effects from the NBC game show Scrabble.

One segment of the show was the famed "Beakman Challenge". During this segment, Beakman would challenge Lester to do a stunt that illustrated a basic scientific feat. During the first season, virtually every challenge related to either Air Pressure or Bernoulli's Principle. The show addressed this during the second season, by having Lester exclaim to Beakman (as he was explaining the science behind a trick) "AIR PRESSURE! IT'S ALWAYS AIR PRESSURE!".

At the beginning and end of the show, as well as before or after commercial breaks, the show featured short scenes portraying puppet penguins, Don (voiced by Bert Berdis) and Herb (Alan Barzman), at the South Pole watching Beakman’s World on television. The penguins were named after Don Herbert, who starred as Mr. Wizard in Mr. Wizard's World. Mark Ritts (Lester) was also one of the puppeteers operating the penguins.

Beakman's World plays in weekend syndication in the United States and in several other countries. It is distributed by Sony Pictures Television in the U.S. and in other countries.

List of episodes[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Episode #[3] Title[3] Original air date[3]
1 (1-01) "Rain, Beakmania & Volcanoes" September 18, 1992 (1992-09-18)[1]
2 (1-02) "Gravity, Beakmania & Inertia" September 26, 1992 (1992-09-26)
3 (1-03) "Noises at Night, Beakmania & The Nose" October 3, 1992 (1992-10-03)
4 (1-04) "Blood, Beakmania & Dreams" October 10, 1992 (1992-10-10)
5 (1-05) "Leaves, Beakmania & Paper" October 17, 1992 (1992-10-17)
6 (1-06) "Soap, Beakmania & Auto Engines" October 24, 1992 (1992-10-24)
7 (1-07) "Electricity, Beakmania & Light Bulbs" October 31, 1992 (1992-10-31)
8 (1-08) "Sound, Beakmania & Explosions" November 7, 1992 (1992-11-07)
9 (1-09) "Refraction, Beakmania & Attraction" November 14, 1992 (1992-11-14)
10 (1-10) "Levers, Beakmania & Television" November 21, 1992 (1992-11-21)
11 (1-11) "Boats, Beakmania & Airplanes" November 28, 1992 (1992-11-28)
12 (1-12) "Bubbles, Beakmania & Feet" January 23, 1993 (1993-01-23)
13 (1-13) "Microscopes, Beakmania & Healing" January 30, 1993 (1993-01-30)
14 (1-14) "Scientific Method, Beakmania & Rainbows" February 6, 1993 (1993-02-06)
15 (1-15) "Vaccinations, Beakmania & Friction" February 13, 1993 (1993-02-13)
16 (1-16) "Thermodynamics, Beakmania & Pimples" February 20, 1993 (1993-02-20)
17 (1-17) "Fossils, Beakmania & the Human Voice" February 27, 1993 (1993-02-27)
18 (1-18) "Lungs, Beakmania & Telephones" March 6, 1993 (1993-03-06)
19 (1-19) "Tape Recordings, Beakmania & Force Vs. Pressure" February 3, 1993 (1993-02-03) (TLC)[4]
April 3, 1993 (1993-04-03) (syndication)
20 (1-20) "Microwaves, Beakmania & Spiders" April 10, 1993 (1993-04-10)
21 (1-21) "Earwax, Beakmania & Rocket Engines" February 17, 1993 (1993-02-17) (TLC)[5]
April 17, 1993 (1993-04-17) (syndication)
22 (1-22) "Ozone, Beakmania & Acid" February 24, 1993 (1993-02-24) (TLC)
April 24, 1993 (1993-04-24) (syndication)
23 (1-23) "Plumbing, Beakmania & Roller Coasters" March 3, 1993 (1993-03-03) (TLC)[6]
May 1, 1993 (1993-05-01) (syndication)
24 (1-24) "Bees, Beakmania & Earthquakes" May 8, 1993 (1993-05-08)
25 (1-25) "Reflection, Beakmania & Madame Curie" May 15, 1993 (1993-05-15)
26 (1-26) "Wheels, Beakmania & Finding Answers" May 22, 1993 (1993-05-22)

Season 2[edit]

Episode #[3] Title[3] Original air date
27 (2-1) "Submarines, Beakmania & Digestion" September 18, 1993 (1993-09-18)
28 (2-2) "Heart, Beakmania & Helicopters" September 25, 1993
29 (2-3) "Batteries, Beakmania & Balloons" October 2, 1993
30 (2-4) "Tunnels, Beakmania & Trains" October 16, 1993
31 (2-5) "Bats, Beakmania & Energy" October 30, 1993
32 (2-6) "Sky, Beakmania & Henry Ford" October 23, 1993
33 (2-7) "Sound, Beakmania & Illusions" November 6, 1993
34 (2-8) "Lightning, Beakmania & Bones" November 13, 1993
35 (2-9) "Moon, Beakmania & Elevators" November 20, 1993
36 (2-10) "Video Games, Beakmania & Teeth" March 25, 1995
37 (2-11) "Check-Up Time, Beakmania & Oil" December 25, 1993
38 (2-12) "Ben Franklin, Beakmania & Chemical Reactions" February 5, 1994
39 (2-13) "Ants, Beakmania & Collisions" February 26, 1994
40 (2-14) "Pain, Beakmania & Comets" October 15, 1994
41 (2-15) "Hydraulics, Beakmania & Dinosaurs" October 29, 1994
42 (2-16) "Electric Motors, Beakmania & Time" December 3, 1994
43 (2-17) "Frogs and Toads, Beakmania & Polymers" October 1, 1994
44 (2-18) "Money, Beakmania & Water Power" November 12, 1994
45 (2-19) "Garbage, Beakmania & Meteorology" November 26, 1994
46 (2-20) "Skyscrapers, Beakmania & Indicators" November 19, 1994
47 (2-21) "Sharks, Beakmania & Einstein" November 5, 1994
48 (2-22) "Mold, Beakmania & Caves" April 16, 1994
49 (2-23) "Momentum, Beakmania & Cows" September 24, 1994
50 (2-24) "Allergies, Beakmania & Codes" October 8, 1994
51 (2-25) "Snakes, Beakmania & Seasons" October 22, 1994
52 (2-26) "Tornadoes, Beakmania & Firefighting" September 17, 1994

Season 3[edit]

Episode #[3] Title[3] Original air date
53 (3-01) "Seeds, Beakmania & Bridges" October 7, 1995
54 (3-02) "Balance, Beakmania & Camouflage" November 4, 1995
55 (3-03) "Carbon, Beakmania & Inventions" October 28, 1995
56 (3-04) "Gyroscopes, Beakmania & the Heart" September 23, 1995
57 (3-05) "Steel, Beakmania & Developing Film" December 2, 1995
58 (3-06) "The Sun, Beakmania & Metamorphosis" November 18, 1995
59 (3-07) "Vacuums, Beakmania & Weaving" October 14, 1995
60 (3-08) "Snow, Beakmania & Natural Selection" December 9, 1995
61 (3-09) "Alligators and Crocodiles, Beakmania & Robots" November 25, 1995
62 (3-10) "Geysers and Hot Springs, Beakmania & Kidneys" September 16, 1995
63 (3-11) "Sleep, Beakmania & Amplification" September 30, 1995
64 (3-12) "Crustaceans, Beakmania & Bernoulli" October 21, 1995
65 (3-13) "Islands, Beakmania & Energy" November 11, 1995

Season 4[edit]

Episode #[3] Title[3] Original air date
66 (4-01) "Sweat, Beakmania & Weighing a Car" September 14, 1996 (1996-09-14)[7]
67 (4-02) "Migration, Beakmania & Living Space" September 21, 1996
68 (4-03) "Bunsen, Beakmania & Sewage" October 5, 1996
69 (4-04) "Cats, Beakmania & Dynamite" November 8, 1997
70 (4-05) "The Mouth, Beakmania & Scale" October 19, 1996
71 (4-06) "Catalysts, Beakmania & Aerosal Cans" September 20, 1997
72 (4-07) "Rubber, Beakmania & Hair" December 14, 1996
73 (4-08) "Camels, Beakmania & Density" November 29, 1997
74 (4-09) "Boomerangs, Beakmania & Circus Science" January 18, 1997
75 (4-10) "Elephants, Beakmania & X-Rays" September 28, 1996
76 (4-11) "Skin, Beakmania & Oxygen" November 30, 1996
77 (4-12) "Bread, Beakmania & Measurement" November 16, 1996
78 (4-13) "Electromagnets, Beakmania & Senses" November 9, 1996
79 (4-14) "Chimps, Beakmania & Eye Exams" September 13, 1997
80 (4-15) "Magic, Beakmania & Cosmetic Chemistry" December 28, 1996
81 (4-16) "Pigs, Beakmania & Sound Frequency" September 27, 1997
82 (4-17) "Sunken Treasure, Beakmania & Archimedian [sic] Screw" October 11, 1997
83 (4-18) "Whales, Beakmania & Optical Illusions II" October 18, 1997
84 (4-19) "Sound Barrier, Beakmania & Healthy Living" October 25, 1997
85 (4-20) "Polar Exploration, Beakmania & Circular Motion" October 4, 1997
86 (4-21) "Dogs, Beakmania & Bio-Medical Engineering" January 11, 1997
87 (4-22) "Human Growth, Beakmania & Solutions and Suspensions" November 15, 1997
88 (4-23) "Action-Reaction, Beakmania & Talking Birds" November 22, 1997
89 (4-24) "Protozoology, Beakmania & Movie Stunts" December 6, 1997
90 (4-25) "Horses, Beakmania & Refrigerators" November 1, 1997
91 (4-26) "Fingerprints, Beakmania & Flatulence" January 4, 1997

Theme song[edit]

The Beakman's World theme song was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame. The Beakman's World theme is an amalgam of Zydeco and Synthpop. An accordion is used for its main riff. The song also prominently features a wide array of wacky sound effects.

DVD release[edit]

On September 7, 2004 a DVD entitled The Best of Beakman's World was released.[8] This DVD is a direct transfer of the VHS of the same name, and features only experiments and segments taken from The Beakman Challenge. There have yet to be any full-episode releases on VHS or DVD.

As of May 23, 2012, all 4 seasons are available, as streaming content only, on Netflix, with the exception of the following five episodes: 9(1-9), 24(1-24), 31(2-5), 51(2-25) and 66(4-1), as noted in the chart above.[9]

Exhibit[edit]

In 1998, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal opened an interactive exhibit called Beakman's World On Tour, based on the television show. The 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) exhibit toured dozens of cities in the United States.[10]

Awards[edit]

Beakman’s World was nominated for and won numerous awards:

  • Excellence in Media's Silver Angel Award (1993)
  • International Monitor Award for Outstanding Audio Post Production (1993)
  • Television Critics Association nomination for Outstanding Children's Program (1993)
  • Ollie Award - American Center for Children's Television (1993)
  • Parent's Choice Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Children's Programming (1993)
  • Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Live and Tape Sound Mixing and Sound Effects (1993–1994)
  • CableACE Award for Best Children's Programming 7+ older (1994)
  • International Monitor Awards for Best Achievement in Children's Programming and Best Audio Post *Production in Children's Programming (1994)
  • Nominated for Seven Daytime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Children's Series (1995)
  • Daytime Emmy Awards (2) for Outstanding Achievement in Live and Tape Sound and Sound Effects (1994–1995).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Beakman's World makes science fun for kids of all ages". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  2. ^ "For Quality TV, Mad Scientist Returns". NY Times. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Beakman's World Episodes". tv.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  4. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (January 31, 1993). "What Becomes This Legend Most? Hard Work and Strong Determination". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (February 14, 1993). "Disney's celebrity concert hopes to raise spirits and money for kids facing AIDS". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (February 28, 1993). "HBO drives home the story of a teen and a mistake he'll never forget". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Beakman opens world of science to kids". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  8. ^ Beakman's World - Best of Beakman's World, The DVD Information | TVShowsOnDVD.com
  9. ^ http://www.netflix.com/Search?v1=beakman Netflix, Beakman's world - Show listings | www.netflix.com
  10. ^ Yeager, Connie (1998-03-02). "Beakman's World: Museum hosts hands-on show". The Cincinnati Post (E. W. Scripps Company). Archived from the original on 2004-09-06. 

External links[edit]