My apartment complex is probably just as usual as any other. It's got the lazy maintenance staff, stupid kids playing with traffic in the streets, the old indigents rummaging through the garbage dumpsters, busybody neighbors that know too much about tenants... and of course, Bill Nye.
Where I live we've got our share of celebrity origins: Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher from Mastodon, Lou Reed, Lou Gramm of Foreigner (My dad used to have a band with him ^_^), Eddie Murphy, and others. But Bill Nye is one I never expected.
I should've stopped my car. While pulling out of the parking lot I almost stopped short - some dude was casually strolling along my block, and ffs, he looked EXACTLY like Bill Nye. No shit, I almost ran over the damn curb, the likeness was that uncanny. If I weren't in a hurry to get to work on time, maybe a quick question woulda been in order. But whatever.
Bill Nye was always cool in my book. Most people knew him as "Bill Nye the Science Guy", sort of a new-age Mr. Wizard with an after-school show dedicated to lab experiments, math help, and other dumbed-down scientific jargon for helping kids learn the subject. We used to have to watch his shows in Bio and Earth Science back in Jr. High/HS. They were interesting and funny, although I do remember stating the music videos had to go... something about MTV rejects morphing their tunes into informational lessons just made too many of us feel embarrassed for them.
Fortunately, I had a soft spot for Mr. Nye long before he wore goggles. People never seem to know Bill Nye isn't really a scientist, but a comedian.
He got his start on the Seattle-based sketch comedy show Almost Live!, which you used to be able to watch on Comedy Central in 1992-93. As an avid fan of satire and sketch comedy, Almost Live! was always a favorite, although short-lived, with a budget that may have been less that of MadTV.
Still, it's good a few of the actors made something great of themselves, especially Mr. Nye. Whether in comedy or behind a lab table, I always thought of him as too good an actor for just sketches and beakers. It'd be great to see him in some kind of Hollywood film... still, many years later...
Anyway, for anyone who isn't familiar with the great sketch comedies of old, here's one of Almost Live!'s most popular skits - The Lame List. One glance should let you in on how dated the show really is (I feel old), especially when one contributing metal head was none other than Kim Thayil of (what was once) Soundgarden. Enjoy!!