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Bill Nye of 'The Science Guy' fame collapses during speech at USC [Updated]

November 16, 2010 | 10:33 pm

Popular TV personality Bill Nye collapsed onstage Tuesday night in front of hundreds of audience members during a presentation at USC, campus officials said.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and USC's department of public safety responded to the scene about 8:40 p.m., but it was unclear if Nye was treated or required transport. There was no information available on his condition late Tuesday.

Some accounts posted on Twitter said Nye fainted more than once and demonstrated slurred speech.

Nye, 54, is best known for making science palatable to young audiences through humor and elaborate contraptions on the Emmy Award-winning show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” that ran during the 1990s.

The Studio City resident was scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at Bovard Auditorium about his experience on the show and his views on science education.

[Updated at 10:52 p.m.: Tristan Camacho, a USC senior who attended the lecture, said Nye was walking toward the podium when he collapsed mid-sentence. "Then after about 10 seconds, he popped back up with much gusto and asked everybody how long he was out for and went on with a story about how a similar thing happened to him that morning."

Nye appeared determined to finish his presentation, but began slurring his words and stumbled against his laptop, Camacho said. At first, Nye refused the offer of a chair and continued taking sips from a water bottle. Camacho said Nye was eventually removed from the stage.

"Nobody went to his aid at the very beginning when he first collapsed -- that just perplexed me beyond reason," USC senior Alastair Fairbanks said. "Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening."]

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-- Corina Knoll

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