90s, Music, Quick Lists, TV — June 5, 2014 12:05 pm

6 Bill Nye Videos That Taught Us The Wrong Lesson

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Bill Nye is pretty awesome.  Twenty years ago, he was everywhere (on public television).  If you went to school in the 90s, chances are you had that one teacher who showed episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy on hangover days.  Usually, this happened a little late in school-life when you were beyond the target demographic for the show, say 9th or 10th grade.  Nonetheless, you learned a thing or two about science from those videos.  Sometimes, however, you might miss the point completely.

Here are six Bill Nye videos that taught us the wrong lesson.

6 – “Blood Steam” by AB+ (parody of the B-52s)

At least, it’s not “Blood Lobster”.

What did we learn from this video?  Well, that no one else can do sprechgesang like rocker Fred Schneider.  I guess there was also some fact about the blood stream in there… somewhere.

5 – “(It’s the) Food Web” by Food Webby Web (parody of Snoop Dogg)

Seeing this in an early morning science class didn’t make waiting for lunch any easier.

This time around, I made an important scientific discovery: Bill Nye cannot be trusted with string and beams of wood.  Perhaps, the Bill Nye scenes make more sense in the context of the episode, but they appear to have no connection to the rest of the song.  Speaking of which, the rest of the video just made me want to play a round of Supermarket Sweep.

4 – “The Faster You Push Me” by Momentisey (parody of Morrissey)

“Look out for that sideways train behind you!!”

Did you learn that, even in parody videos, Morrissey seems like he needs to lighten up?  That appears to be the overall message here.  There is some sub-context, though, in that we now have a greater understanding as to how recycled footage saves on budget costs.

3 – “Let’s Talk About Stress” by Stress N’ Tension (parody of Salt-N-Pepa)

Catchy, yet, risqué.

Arguably, children watching this show shouldn’t have been listening to parody source material such as Megadeth and Nirvana.  There’s no arguing, though, that this parody took the inappropriate reference points to the next level.  The show took a catchy safety song we were prone to singing out loud and gave us an excuse to blame science class if our parents called us out on it misinterpreting it again.  “No, mom!  I swear, I was just singing a Bill Nye song!”

2 – “Cellular Haze” by Might Chondria (parody of The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

“Living cells have different jobs: in cows and corn on the cob.”  Yes, they certainly do.

I know I was supposed to learn about cells in this video, but I actually learned what a seizure was thanks to the trippy 90s video effects.  If you were falling asleep in that post-lunch science class, this one definitely brought you back to reality.

1 – “Air Pressure” by Nyevana (parody of Nirvana)

Oh, so that’s how that works…

This take on Nirvana is undeniably the best of the Bill Nye the Science Guy music videos.  Why?  Because producers of the show had the nerve to show up parody master “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Even though he had clearly established an authorized parody of the group, someone thought they could do better… with an educational message!  Don’t worry, he got his jab back in a few years later on his educational children’s TV show.

What was the take away here?  That sweet, sweet revenge… is sweet.

Now that we have the main content out of the way, I have to say that these music videos were the highlight of my week in high school science class.  I don’t know how much influence Bill Nye actually had over the parodies, but thumbs up to the crew for creating a reason not to miss third-period chemistry courses across the nation.

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