Fans of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson are in for a treat. The world renowned scientist and pop culture icon is set to host a new late night talk sow on National Geographic Channel. The show, titled Star Talk, will debut in April.
The program is based on Tyson’s popular podcast, similarly titled StarTalk, and will film in front of a live studio audience at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Tyson serves as director of the Planetarium.
Early concepts for the show suggest it will follow a similar format to his podcast. Tyson mixes science with comedy and pop culture, usually inviting a celebrity guest or stand-up comedian to join him.
Rumors suggest fellow pop culture scientist Bill Nye, the Science Guy, will join Tyson. In talk show parlance, Nye will be more a featured player than a sidekick, having a one-minute segment each episode to talk about scientific concepts in the simplified manner for which Nye is famous.
Tyson may be most famous for his role as narrator and guide on National Geographic Channel’s COSMOS. Tyson told news media that, in some ways, Star Talk will be an extension of that show.
“COSMOS allowed us to share the awesome power of the universe with a global audience in ways that we never thought possible,” Tyson told reports via press conference. “To be able to continue to spread wonder and excitement through Star Talk, which is a true passion project for me, is beyond exciting. And National Geographic Channel is the perfect home as we continue to explore the universe.”
A little bit about your host
Tyson was born on Oct. 5, 1958, in Manhattan, New York. He is a middle child, was raised in the Bronx by a gerontologist and sociologist.
His love of science was evident early. Tyson tells the story of being a nine-year-old boy out in the country under the stars on a trip to Pennsylvania. There he mentioned how the stars reminded him of the Hayden Planetarium, where his career would eventually make him director.
Tyson attended public school, including The Bronx High School of Science. He was wrestling team captain and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, Physical Science Journal. Higher education classes were taken Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of Texas at Austin
He began his undergraduate studies at Harvard University – this after already having established himself as a physics lecturer at age 15. There he majored in physics, but kept his athletic career going. Tyson crewed his freshmen year, before going back to wrestling. He lettered in the sport as a senior. He also studied dance – jazz, ballet and ballroom.
Tyson went after his masters degree at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a masters in astronomy, even though many of his professors encouraged him to consider different career paths. Even Tyson admits that his studies suffered at UTA.
He eventually returned to New York and Columbia University, where he earned his masters of philosophy in astrophysics, as well as his Doctorate of Philosophy in astrophysics.
Tyson’s career has taken him to the University of Maryland, Princeton University, the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium, where he serves today. And among the many accolades and notables Tyson has brought to that role, one of the most controversial may have been his push to have Pluto not referred to as one of the nine planets. That push garnered him a fair amount of hate mail. Much of it from children.
Since then, Tyson’s popularity has grown, with regular appearances on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Tonight Show and more.