Meet the Mythbusters
MythBusters, the Emmy®-nominated series, aims to uncover the truth behind popular myths and legends by mixing the scientific method, gleeful curiosity and elbow-grease ingenuity in their own signature style of explosive experimentation, commonly known as MythBusting.
Called "the best science show on television," MythBusters is hosted by special-effects experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, and co-hosts Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara.
Some of the myths the team has put to rest:
- Can combining Diet Coke and Mentos make your stomach explode?
- Would a bull really destroy a china shop?
- Can a person dodge a bullet?
- Do you get wetter running or walking in the rain?
- Is a mid 80s sports car more areodynamic if driven backwards?
- Can Christmas tree lights really cause house fires?
- Does buttered toast always land butter-side down?
Jamie Hyneman, Co-Host
Hailing from Indiana farm country, Jamie Hyneman is a multifaceted man. He's been a wilderness survival expert, boat captain, diver, linguist, animal wrangler, machinist and cook, to name but a few.
Jamie earned a degree in Russian languages and ran a sailing/diving charter business in the Caribbean for several years before he moved over to the visual-effects industry. After working for several special-effects companies, Jamie found his way to Colossal Pictures' model shop, where he managed the production of models and special effects for hundreds of commercials and movies. Then, 18 years ago, Jamie took over the shop and created M5 Industries, Inc.
Jamie has worked on more than 800 commercials for major automobile manufacturers, soft-drink companies, athletic shoes and numerous other products. In the midst of all this activity, Jamie's company diversified into toy prototyping and research & development in a variety of other areas. The holder of several patents and the winner of numerous industry awards, Jamie is also a long-standing Screen Actors Guild member.
Today, while MythBusters occupies the majority of Jamie's professional activity, M5 is actively developing cutting edge technologies for a variety of industries, ranging from defense to green vehicle design.
Adam Savage, Co-Host
Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills to take what's in his brain and make it real. He's built everything from ancient Buddhas to futuristic weapons, spaceships to dancing vegetables, fine art sculptures to animated chocolate — and just about anything else you can think of.
The son of a filmmaker/painter and a psychotherapist, Adam has been making his own toys since he was allowed to hold scissors. Having held positions as a projectionist, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, interior and stage designer, toy designer, welder, and scenic painter, he's worked with every material and in every medium he could fathom: metal, paper, glass, plastic, rubber, foam, plaster, pneumatics, hydraulics, animatronics, neon, glassblowing, mold-making and injection molding...to name just a few.
Since 1993, Adam was focused on the special effects industry, honing his skills in more than 100 television commercials and a dozen feature films, including Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Galaxy Quest, Terminator 3, A.I. and the Matrix sequels. He's also designed props and sets for Coca-Cola, Hershey's, Lexus and a host of New York and San Francisco theater companies.
Adam has consulted and directly worked in the research and development divisions of toy companies, made several short films and acted in several films and commercials — including a Charmin ad (as Mr. Whipple's stock boy) and the Billy Joel music video for "Second Wind" (as a drowning victim).
Today, in addition to co-hosting MythBusters, Adam teaches, lectures and consults on a variety of topics to students, business folks and everyday Joes.
Somehow, he still finds time to devote to his own art. His sculptures have been showcased in over 40 shows in San Francisco, New York and Charleston, West Virginia.
TORY BELLICI, CO-HOST
Ever since he was a child, Tory Belleci knew he would work in the film industry. At age 11, his uncle gave him a Super 8 movie camera and he began making movies. Tory went on to San Francisco State University film school and graduated magnum cum-laude.
In 1994, he started working with Jamie Hyneman, beginning as a stage manager and quickly moving up the ranks. In a few years' time, Tory started work at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), building models for films including Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones. Some of his models include the pod racers and Federation battleships.
Tory worked for ILM for eight years as a model builder, sculptor and painter. His special-effects work can also be seen in Starship Troopers, Sphere, Galaxy Quest, Bicentennial Man, Terminator 3, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and Van Helsing. Tory also has written and directed his own short films, including the 1999 short Sand Trooper, which played at the Slamdance Film Festival and also aired on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Tory has been with MythBusters since the beginning, first doing work behind-the-scenes and then becoming one of the show's co-hosts. He has since jumped out of several planes, wake-boarded behind a cruise ship, been chased by a crocodile, stared down a bull and swam with sharks.
KARI BYRON, CO-HOST
Kari Byron has trained to be on MythBusters since she was a child. By the age of 5 she was using her sister as a test subject and dolls as crash-test dummies. Luckily for her parents, they always caught her right before her little sister took a ride down a laundry chute or went "around-the-world" on the playground swings.
After graduating from San Francisco State University and traveling the world, Kari began her career as a sculptor and painter, holding successful exhibitions at some of San Francisco's leading galleries. "Artist" was only one of many hats she wore while searching for her place in the world. Her sculpting skills and love for odd jobs soon led to model-making and toy-prototyping, which led to a job with Jamie Hyneman at M5 Industries. It was at M5 that Kari got her big break with MythBusters.
Kari brings a unique perspective to the show as an artist, a science chick and a working mom.
GRANT IMAHARA, CO-HOST
Electronics and radio-control specialist Grant Imahara is a former animatronics engineer and model maker for Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on such movies as The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Van Helsing. Grant also worked on The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions.
In addition to operating R2-D2 (one of only a handful of official operators), Grant has another claim to beloved-character fame: developing a custom circuit to cycle the Energizer Bunny's arm beats and ears at a constant rate. In fact, he's responsible for all of the electronics installation and radio programming on the current generation of bunnies, even serving as the bunny's driver and crew supervisor on numerous commercials.
A native of Los Angeles, Grant earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. He's also the author of the book, Kickin' Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots. His own machine, Deadblow, is a former BattleBots champion.
Buster, one of the biggest stars ever, is the infamous stunt dummy of MythBusters.
Though he hails from humble beginnings, Buster grew up like any other little guy with a love for sports and fast cars. But it was drama club where Buster found his true talent as a performer. After high school, and a particularly well-reviewed performance as Yorick in a local production of Hamlet, Buster moved to Hollywood.
There, Buster took odd jobs to pay the bills between auditions. But soon enough, he landed his first commercial for Insane Auto. It was his commanding, on-camera presence that caught the attention of MythBusters producers, casting for the new Discovery Channel series at the time. In 2003, Buster's big moment finally arrived when he was hired to drive the car in the Jet-Assisted Chevy myth. Tory Belleci recalls of his castmate, "Everyone was just like, 'Who is that?' And someone said, 'That's Buster, man. That's Buster.'"
The show was a hit, and America went crazy for the dummy. But while Buster enjoyed the golden life, his fame soon put him on a crash course with reality. By 2005, Buster's demands got bigger and grander — luxury trailers, stunt doubles, personal chefs — and rumors of discord on the MythBusters set began to appear in tabloids. Eventually, his hard living catapulted Buster to rock bottom, and only an intervention by his co-stars (and some time in the Henry Ford clinic) returned him to superstardom.
Today, the MythBusters are as big as ever, and their hunk made from junk is back as its star stuntman. Says castmate Grant Imahara, "He's a pro. There'll never be another one like him...well, until we have to build a new one."