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MythBusters Tour entertains with out-there science experiments

The MythBusters Tour doesn't disappoint when it comes to showcasing outrageous and entertaining science experiments.

MythBusters hosts Adam Savage (@donttrythis) and Jamie Hyneman (@JamieNoTweet) brought the MythBusters Behind the Myths Tour to Louisville, KY, last weekend, and I was fortunate to attend the event. Fans were treated to an evening of science experiments and demonstrations that featured a bed of nails, a feat of strength, high-speed camera hijinks, an explosion, and much more. The family-friendly event also included lots of audience participation (kids and adults joined in the fun onstage), Q&A sessions with each host, and video footage of explosions, accidents, and a behind-the-scenes tour of their set.

The hosts briefly talked about their backgrounds. We learned from Jamie that the origins of the popular Discovery Channel TV show go back to Blendo the Battlebot, which the audience got to see. Adam talked about his love of costume-making and never underestimating the importance of playing with things.

I don't want to give away too much about what you can expect if you go to one of the remaining shows in the United States or Canada and spoil the elements of surprise, so I'll just offer highlights from the hosts' Q&A sessions with the audience.

  • Jamie answered questions about his favorite myth, injuries, Buster the crash test dummy, and the recent cannonball incident, which he said horrified them.
  • Adam talked about swimming with sharks, his favorite explosion, whether they have a zombie survival plan (they do -- stilts), whether it is true that he received an astronaut suit as a wedding present, and which myth is too scary to test.

They mentioned The MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from March 15 - September 2, 2012 and plugged their new site called Tested. In their welcome to the site video, we learn Tested will cover art, science, technology, blowing stuff up, and more, and Adam and Jamie will be able to delve deeper into topics there than they can on TV. They also introduce Tested curators, producers, and video hosts Will Smith (@willsmith) and Norman Chan (@nchan). Examples of what you'll find on Tested include:

Both hosts did a fantastic job of connecting with the audience -- Adam with his still boyish sense of wonder about what he does for living, and Jamie as the straight man, who seemed like he was especially having fun when he channeled Gallagher. I imagine that a number of kiddos and possibly some of adults left the event with new dreams of studying science as a career. They ended the fun evening with their important motto: Don't try this at home!

Kiddos hold hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman back. (Credit: Kley Welsh)

Adam stated there is no shortage of show ideas; he referenced one study's findings about men acting dumber if women are nearby or even if they think they can see them as one idea he might like to test. What myth would you like to see Adam and Jamie try to bust? What is your favorite MythBusters episode? Share your ideas and episode picks in the discussion.

More MythBusters coverage on TechRepublic

Thanks to The Louisville Palace for providing me with tickets to this event.

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

3 comments
cgubernat
cgubernat

I went to see the show on Friday, 10/12/12 and was highly disappointed. I'll be specific as to the reason. The guys decided to choose an audience member or two for every single 'experiment.' I've always found this annoying because most of the time, non-performers are just awkward and kind of...DUH...on stage. From the beginning, various components of the props were not working correctly and the audience sat idely by during their failed attempts to make repairs. I felt badly for their situation but at the same time, my good sense tells me that if you're to run a show, everything should be tested and fine-tuned before EVERY performance. It's just a standard of professionalism. The majority of the first half of the show (a little over an hour) consisted of a lot of rambling, probably to stall the audience. I'm not referring to Jamie's Q&A because that was probably the highlight (aside from handing a kid a phone book and telling them that's what the Internet used to look like). Then there were the big screens, like there usually is at a show. The projector malfunctioned a couple times, cutting video short and then replaying videos from the beginning again. The screens never showed what was happening on stage and sound quality coming from the guys' microphones was poor enough that the people in the back were a bit confused by the idea behind the experiments. Yes, I sat in the back on the balcony- nose-bleed seats. But, UCF arena is not Madison Square Garden. Aside from the fact that I used a camcorder with an amazing zoom. I'm not sorry we didn't pay more for better seats, though. It was 100 bucks for the two of us to sit in those back seats and the show would not have stunk any less if our seats were better! I love Science, I love comedy, I love creativity, and I still like the MythBusters! It's my opinion, however, that Jamie and Adam are better off keeping their show on the silver screen. The nature of what they do best becomes far too modified for a stage. Furthermore, it is evident there is poor planning and coordination involved for their stage show. Conducting a live show requires a completely different mindset because you cannot do any editing and I'm not sure they've quite grasped this notion. Following the "ten minute" intermission that lasted nearly a half hour, I decided it was best to duck out and head for some sushi and margaritas. The sushi and margaritas were fabulous.

mercedesman1981
mercedesman1981

What a fabulous way to mix physics and engineering with fun in a way everyone, including children, can understand. I'm willing to bet this show will launch more than one engineering career amongst the kids.

escher7
escher7

It seems very strange to me that a couple of guys (and their helpers) have become so recognizable and "famous" by smashing things and debunking myths. They are, of course, just two of many on other similar programs. Buying storage lockers, building motorcycles, surviving in the desert, running pawn shops - the list is very long. I have no problem with it but there sure are a lot of people you would instantly recognize on the street coming from variations on this theme. The Mythbuster guys (and girl), Bear Grylls, Norm Abrams - these folks are really famous. I wonder how their pay-cheques compare to Hugh Laurie (House) and his fellow actors. And are they treated like big-name actors? hair stylists, chauffeurs, etc.? Weird or what?