It should come as no surprise that Bill Nye plans to do this during his show Friday night at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury: "I'll eat marshmallows and steam will come out of my nose," he says. "I'm not kidding. Come to the show. I'll explain it."
The lanky, bow-tied Nye became a pop-culture icon with his children's show, "Bill Nye the Science Guy," which ran in the 1990s and blended zaniness and science and is still shown in school science classes. The Cornell University-educated mechanical engineer also appeals to adults, expounding on the danger of global warming and the evidence of evolution.
Nye turns 59 on Nov. 27, and he said for a birthday gift he'd like his newest book, "Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation," to hit the New York Times best-seller list. He's since gotten his wish. Nye spoke to Newsday from his home in Manhattan:
Q. What else will your presentation on Long Island entail?
A. It's a kooky little show. We'll have a few science demonstrations. We're going to have some magical-looking scientific effects, and we'll have audience members onstage.
Q. What serious matters will the show address?
A. Neat messages about climate change. Climate change is the most serious problem humankind faces. We all have to get together and change the world. And Europa, the proposed mission to Europa that's going to the U.S. Congress.
Q. What do you think of the Rosetta robot probe landing on a comet last week?
A. Fantastic. There's no evidence that the ancient dinosaurs had a space program, and it cost them. An asteroid hit the earth and killed everybody or most everybody. We don't want that to happen again. We are the first generations of humans that could avoid being wiped out by an asteroid.
Q. So every space advancement helps with that goal?
A. Yeah. It's good.
Q. What can we do to change the world?
A. Talk about climate change. If it were in the public conversation the way Ebola is, we would be addressing it. We would be electing different officials.
Q. What do you fear will happen if we don't address climate change soon enough?
A. Millions, in fact billions will be displaced, their quality of life will go down, and there'll be human misery for the next century or century and a half that we could have avoided.
Q. What is your favorite part of the show?
A. It's all about the Q&A for me. I've heard what I have to say. I want to hear what people want to hear about.
Q. What question are you frequently asked?
A. When the computers are able to think exactly like humans, won't the world as we know it end completely?
Q. And your response?
A. No, probably not. Because somebody has to make the electricity for the computer that's going to end the world to run. That's usually people.
Q. Any question you get asked that bugs you?
A. I'll just say up front I can't take a selfie with everybody in the audience.
Q. Who should come to the show?
A. Anybody who enjoyed the "Science Guy" show will enjoy this show. My only point is it's more than 50 minutes. Very young people may tune out.
Q. After years of explaining science to children and adults, what do you wish someone would explain to you?
A. I want to know what the relationship between dark energy and dark matter is. I'd like to know if there's life on Mars. I'd like to know if there's life on the moon of Jupiter called Europa.
Q. Would you ever want to live on Mars?
A. I would love to go and explore Mars, but I want to come home. People have this romantic idea that you go to Mars and be pioneers and set up camp and live off the land and so on. Ain't so freaking easy, people. First of all, you can't breathe, and you would notice that right away. And then, it's bitterly cold, even in the warmest areas. There's no lounging on the Martian beach. And people I think have kind of lost sight of that.
Q. Might you ever create new television episodes of "Bill Nye the Science Guy"?
A. It would be a different show. In fact, I'm going to a meeting at 3:00 about this. We'll see what happens.
Q. You're not married and don't have any kids, right?
A. As far as I know.
Q. Why do you have so many bow ties?
A. They do not flop into your flask when you lean over on a lab bench.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. I go swing dancing and ride my bicycle.
Q. Will you return to "Dancing With the Stars"?
A. I would love to do that. They have to ask you back.
Q. When you were a kid, did you have an "aha" moment when you knew you'd become a scientist? In interviews you've mentioned playing with toy, rubber-band-powered airplanes.
A. This is an eyewitness account, which you know are notoriously unreliable. But the way I remember it was, usually when you wind up the rubber band and throw the thing it crashes immediately. It's depressing. But one time I wound it up and threw it and it just was perfect. It made three perfect circles and came back to my hand like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. That's when I thought, "That's the coolest thing I've ever seen," and I wanted to pursue that. I ended up working on airplanes.
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury
INFO $29.50, $39.50, $69.50; 516-247-5200; ticketmaster.com