“Did you know . . . ?”
. . . preceded the musings of the mysterious, fast-talking, all-knowing Wizard (played by Pat McMahon)!! He would entertain with a series of little-known facts that we really could have lived without.
See, things like that.
The sets never seemed to have been designed with the Wizard’s large conical hat in mind, prompting many a head-first entrance and exit.
Wallace talks about the Wizard:
The Wizard was one-dimensional. He just came in and did one-liners . . . The hardest [to write for] was the Wizard. To sit there and come up with 12 one-liners is rather difficult.
-from an interview in 2002
Well, I dearly loved all the characters on the show, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be the Wizard. I’ve never been one to remember jokes to share with others, but there are still a few ‘did you knows’ that stick with me to this day . . . like ‘Did you know it takes a really big dog to weigh a ton?’
Ladmo: Hey Gang, it’s the Wizard!!
Wizard: Did you know. . . that a tired kangaroo is out of bounds? Did you know . . . that Ollie Bortel developed a health food called Vitamo, guaranteed to give one a long, vigorous life? Just one box a day and a person would live to a ripe old age. Ollie himself ate twelve boxes a day and exploded at age 28.
Ladmo: Isn’t that something?
Wizard: Did you know . . . that the deadly piranha fish can smell its prey fifteen miles away? Unfortunately, it can only swim fourteen and a half miles before it dies of malnutrition and exhaustion.
Ladmo: Sounds fishy to me.
Wizard: Did you know . . . when King Kong passed away all 300 pallbearers strained themselves?
Ladmo: You don’t say!
Wizard: Did you know . . . that Louisa Belden of Superior, Arizona, after hearing any speech or lecture could memorize it and repeat it word for word? She mysteriously lost this amazing gift shortly after watching this show.
Ladmo: One more, one more!
Wizard: Did you know . . . the rarest language in the world is Carthinian? It is only spoken by Elmo Bleemis, an elderly gentleman residing in Buckeye. This very same old man was recently thrown out of Harold’s Café in Buckeye for babbling incoherently.
Ladmo: Thank you, Wizard!!