Do You Remember the PBS Show ‘Star Gazers?’

Star Gazers Jack Horkheimer
YouTube Screengrab/Adobe Firefly

“Spring is sprung. The grass is ris. I wonder where the birdies is.” At the start of Spring each year, former host Jack Horkheimer would recite this poem on the long-running PBS show Star Gazers. Horkheimer hosted the weekly program, sharing easy-to-digest information about astronomical events for the upcoming week and digging into the history of stars, planets, constellations, and more. The show debuted in 1976 and still runs today with new hosts, as Horkheimer died in 2010.

Horkheimer began working at the Miami Space Transit Planetarium for the Miami Museum of Science in 1964 and by the ’70s, he was sharing his love of astronomy on news programs. He was approached to do a series about astronomy and for about a decade, the show was very serious and studious, mainly marketed towards astronomers, until the ’80s when the show’s executive producer asked him to be more engaging for a wider audience. This led to the show being beloved by children and adults of all ages who were inspired to learn about the cosmos.

When the show began, it was called Jack Horkheimer: Star Hustler but the Internet caused a change in its name. Viewers began letting PBS know that when they searched the show online in the late ’90s, the adult magazine Hustler came up. So, in 1997, they changed the show’s name to Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer to avoid any confusion and unwanted comparisons. In 2011, after his death, it was changed to Star Gazers featuring new rotating hosts.

Horkheimer and the show have been credited with bringing astronomy information to the masses. Many loved the cheesy animations and trippy music and for those interested in the stars, there is nothing better than Star Gazers each week. PBS’s website boasts, “‘Star Gazers’ is the world’s only weekly television series on naked eye astronomy.”

Tell us, do you remember watching the show starring Horkheimer? Do you still watch it now?

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