By far, one of the zaniest men ever given a television show of his own, Jeff Corwin loves animals, and he'll make you love them too. He can be compared to another famous zoologist, Steve Irwin, in several ways. They both have television shows on the Animal Planet channel, they both love animals and are both certifiably insane.
Jeff has always had a love for nature and for animals. At four years of age, a young Jeff would come face to face with the king of the suburban jungle, the garden snake! While his parents strongly recommended that lil Jeffy not go near the reptile, he could not resist. This would not be the last time Jeff would be bitten by a snake. And even though he was bitten, he was still fascinated by the creature. Throughout his childhood, Jeff's room was full of different aquariums each with different snakes, lizards, reptiles, spiders, insects and other things that I'm sure made his mother happy
As he entered his teenage years, Jeff was lucky enough to travel to the rain forests of Belize before he could legally drive a car. A decade later, Jeff returned to Belize with the JASON project. The JASON project was a program that aimed to teach biology, the importance of wildlife and the delicate balance of the environment and ecosystems to school children in perhaps the most environmentally unfriendly country.
But let's not jump ahead. Jeff Corwin was born on July 11, 1967 in Norwell, Massachusetts. Jeff attended Bridgewater State College and double-majored in both biology and anthropology. Later, Jeff would continue his studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During his graduate education Jeff studied Central American Bats through the departmnent of Natural Resource Conservation. In May of 1999, Jeff was honored by his alma mater with a doctorate in public education.
Publicly educating is what Corwin does best, and has been doing for most of his life. While at Bridgewater State, Corwin became involved with various institutions and groups working to save and protect the Central and South American rain forests. It would be through these groups that Jeff was able to do work on the JASON project as well as Jaguar Trax.
Jaguar Trax was a "natural-history docu-drama" that was filmed on location in the jungles of Costa Rica. A short film, lasting about 45 minutes, Jaguar Trax is directed at a younger audience. In the film, a high-school biology teacher travels down to Costa Rica, learns about the natural biodiversity from the indigionous people and works on a banana plantation. Amy, one of the teacher's students, does some research and learns of the rampant uncoolness towards the environment. The two come together at the end of the film to teach the students of the teacher's bio class valuable lessons about the environment and nature. Hey, like I said, aimed at the younger crowd.
Two years after Jaguar Trax, Corwin landed a contract with every child's favorite company, Disney. 1997 saw America's introduction to the quirky animal lover with the show Going Wild with Jeff Corwin. Going Wild, aimed at both children and their parents, was similar to most other "animal shows" with the host walking around, showing and talking about different animals in their native environments. However, the show stood out due to Corwin and his genuine love for the animals that he delt with. However, the show would only run for 2 seasons before being cancelled by Disney.
Not wanted to let such a quality free-agent slide by, The Discovery Channel quickly contracted Jeff to work on a new show for their fledging Animal Planet channel. Jeff named this show The Jeff Corwin Experience, and it is a perfect title. The show is not just a show. Jeff does his best to keep his show from ever being dry or stale. Jeff is genuinely excited whenever he sees a new creature to show off to those at home. His eyes widen and, depending on the animal, usually charges to nab the creature. The show is more than Corwin running around grabbing animals though. Jeff has a tendency to start acting out scenes of various movies if the situation is right. Corwin also attempts to do a poor ventriloquist act with the animal he's captured, which usually consists of the camera zooming in on the captured creature and Jeff doing a high pitched voice of some sort. Occasionally a bit of reality television is thrown in, and scenes of Jeff being Jeff are shown. One such instance occurred off the coast of South America, where Jeff was island hopping and his only sustinence for his journey was a certain type of Banana. Clips were shown at the beginning, where Jeff was singing the praises of the Banana as a good and wholesome fruit, and towards the end of the journey, where Jeff was begging for anything else. The banana counter read 86 bananas ingested during the trip. Jeff Corwin is also known for unexpectedly throwing in a "fake attack" on camera when he reaches in to small holes or cracks he can't see into.
Outside of the idiot box, Corwin is developing a series of books detailing endangered species as well as threatened ecosystems. He has his own lecture series and has been a keynote speaker for various organizations including the United Nations conference on Youth and the Environment, the Maui Earth Summit, the International Rainforest Conference, Explorers Hall at the National Geographic Society, as well as commencement ceremonies for Bridgewater State College. Jeff is also busy with the construction and design of EcoZone, an interactive museum and environmental education center in Massachusetts. As with his television shows, lectures and books, the idea of EcoZone is to promote awareness and education of wildlife and the environment. Jeff currently lives with his wife, Thalia, on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Jeff Corwin was also named one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world 2002. The experience usually airs after Irwin's The Crocodile Hunter at 10:00pm on Animal Planet, ymmv.