Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters was a documentary-style show that set out to debunk urban legends. Here are 10 behind the scenes facts about the show.
Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters was a documentary-style show in which the hosts set out to debunk urban legends. With their own testing mechanisms, special effects experts would find out what held true and what was simply a myth.
It’s no secret that Mythbusters was on the air for a long time, but a lot of people don’t know that it ran for 15 years. The show began on Discovery in 2003 and concluded on Science Channel in 2018, which is an excellent run for such a niche program.
In all those years, the team recreated countless tricks, like filling a house with popcorn, putting paper battle armor to the test, and more.
With a show that lands so well and stays on so long, it is normal to have a bit of changeover in hosts. The series began with Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage as the lead hosts, and then a secondary team of Mythbusters quickly took shape. This group was known as “The Build Team” and consisted of multiple cast members, most notably Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara. Imahara tragically passed away in July 2020.
Upon hearing the news of Grant Imahara’s passing, Discovery Channel and Science Channel each created programming blocks in his memory. Back in 2014, Imahara, Belleci, and Byron departed from Mythbusters, leaving Hyneman and Savage to their own devices. The two big-time hosts left in 2017. Science Channel then picked up the series with new hosts, Brian Louden and Jon Lung.
Jon Lung and Brian Louden didn’t just appear out of thin air. The short-lived Mythbusters hosts came out of a reality series called Mythbusters: The Search, which was specifically designed to put potential new hosts in competition with one another.
Louden and Lung were the winners of the eight-episode contest and took on hosting duties from 2017 to the show’s end in 2018.
Drama On Set?
According to International Business Times, the set of Mythbusters was not always a happy environment. When the key members of “The Build Team” left the show, Kari Byron opened up on Twitter and stated that the series was headed in a new direction.
IBT summarized the situation with a creative theory: “Fans have theorized that ‘MythBusters’ is following in the footsteps of another successful reality series, “Dancing With the Stars,” which ABC revamped in 2014 by firing Brooke Burke-Charvet weeks before the Season 18 premiere and replacing her with journalist Erin Andrews.” Beyond that, Jamie Hyneman has confirmed that cast members did not always see eye to eye and tended to dislike one another at times.
What would Mythbusters be without Buster? Discovery wrote a hilarious bio on the stunt dummy.
Apparently, Buster’s “big moment” was when he helped clear up the myth of the jet-assisted Chevy. Buster was the driver that day, and the rest is history. Though the dummy is somewhat unsightly, he was a valued part of the show.
Australian Production Company
It isn’t so common for fans to know too much about their favorite shows on the production end of things. Mythbusters was produced by an Australian company called Beyond Productions.
The Sydney-based company has offices in LA and Washington, D.C. and has worked on a wide range of media, including the Australian version of Love it or List It and a show called Selling Houses Australia.
Mythbusters is so popular that it led to a spin-off. Mythbusters, Jr. was produced by Beyond Productions and led by host Adam Savage. The Science Channel series featured six highly intelligent and accomplished children.
The mini-Mythbusters explored slightly different concepts from their parent show. They checked out the power of flatulence in launching a rocket, the danger of big moves in a Jenga game, the strength of duct tape in patching up a tire or forming a parachute, and other fun experiments. The show only lasted for one season.
The man who started it all is Peter Rees. Rees grew up in Sydney, Australia, and is an award-winning creator of factual television programming. He developed and executive produced Mythbusters, noting in his IMDb bio that the show’s 2005 Shark Week Jaws special garnered more than eight million views in the United States.
Peter Rees is just as adventurous as his show is and even circumnavigated the globe in 1993 by sea and land, winning the Charles Heisdick International Travel Challenge.
Mythbusters drew in some pretty big names as special guests during its years.
President Obama posed the “Archimedes Solar Ray 3.0” myth, Food Network personality Alton Brown appeared on “Food Fables,” and Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul both arrived for the Breaking Bad special. These guests and more are just a testament to the wide reach of the show.
Even though all Mythbusters properties are no longer airing new episodes, the show has made an impact on the lives of its viewers. Adults and children alike love it because it is science that entertains.
Kids learned about experimentation in unorthodox but explainable ways. Children are precisely why Adam agreed to do Mythbusters Jr. He wanted to pass the gift of the show on to a new generation. Fans won’t forget the dynasty of these shows anytime soon.
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