Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage have enjoyed 10 years of success on television. Their show features a mix of scientific method with gleeful curiosity and old-fashioned ingenuity to create its own style of explosive experimentation, while trying to support or de-bunk urban myths.
Now the duo is traveling across Canada to showcase the new live show MythBusters: Behind the Myths.
“We were actually somewhat hesitant about doing something like this because we didn’t want to disappoint expectations of our fans that would come and expect things to be blown up,” said Hyneman during a phone interview with The News.
For obvious reasons, gunfire, cannons and explosives can’t be used inside an arena.
Hyneman said after careful thought, they created a show that recreates the spirit of the TV series and “brings the audience into it to do it with us.”
Audience participation plays a big part of the show.
“The things that we have set up are fairly controlled and we have a good idea what the outcome is, but a lot of it depends on the viewers,” he said adding the results are both thought-provoking and hilarious.
“We’ve set up a number of things on stage where what you think is happening is not actually happening and it can actually be quite funny and interesting.”
The show has been presented all across the U.S. and is a huge hit with fans.
He said the huge success of both the live show and the television series came as a huge surprise.
“As a special effects guy I ran my own business for a number of years and as a small business owner you find you have to diversify to make ends meet.”
Hyneman is the owner of M5 Industries, an effects company that serves as headquarters of MythBusters. He began his career in show business as special effects shop assistant in New York and later in San Francisco as a crew member on films including Robocop, Arachnophobia and Naked Lunch.
When the chance to do MythBusters came along, Hyneman decided to give it a try.
“It turned out to be a wise thing to do because in the special effects world, now it’s all digital and our specialty was the practical effect where we actually built things.”
One part of success that Hyneman is not a fan of is his new found celebrity status. Normally a behind the scenes guy, the television show has thrust him into the limelight. Fans of the show know that Hyneman is the quieter, more laid back personality, as compared to his co-host Savage.
And he says the personalities you see on TV are the real thing.
“Adam likes being in front of the camera. He was Mr Whipple’s stock boy when he was little (referring to the old toilet paper commercials) and he even does stand up comedy from time to time.”
Hyneman is the opposite, even going so far as to wear disguises when he goes out in public to avoid being recognized.
But he still loves to do the show.
“The main value for me for doing the show, other than having a good steady job, is that I get to build all sorts of things – and have fun that way – that I wouldn’t be allowed to or be able to otherwise. As far as being on camera I never sought it.”
But as long as there are new myths and theories to explore, he plans to keep on testing them.
“For us to run out of material means that we’d have to not be interested in anything anymore. Which I hope never happens.”
MythBusters: Behind the Myths takes place on March 17 at 8 p.m. at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit abbotsfordcentre.ca