Adam Savage

November 8, 2013

I am Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters, back again. AMA!

Hi, reddit. It's Adam Savage -- special effects artist, maker, sculptor, public speaker, movie prop collector, writer, father and husband -- and Redditor. I'm back again. Looking forward to taking your questions!

My Proof:

UPDATE: I have to stop answering questions again now ... But thanks, everyone! See you again soon.

In the meantime, come see me and Jamie on tour; we hit the road Nov. 20. List of cities and dates here: And don't miss new episodes of MythBusters after the New Year: Finally, you can always find more of me and Jamie at Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:

THANKS, REDDIT! So fun, as always!

How much could you scale up a frisbee and still have it fly before its own weight became too much?

Edit: I am rather surprised by how popular my silly little question is.

That is a great question. My guess is pretty big. But I'd love to test this.

How much could you scale up a frisbee and still have it fly before its own weight became too much?

Edit: I am rather surprised by how popular my silly little question is.

Have you ever thrown a garbage can lid? Those suckers fly like a dream. We once played ultimate with one in GG park, back in the 90's. Back when I did stuff like that.

Frisbees fly using the same principle as aircraft wings. The frisbee would need to collapse under its own weight or break apart from centrifugal forces before it would be unable to fly (presuming it was scaled correctly and you had something powerful to throw it). If you built the frisbee out of aluminum or titanium, it could be as large as a 747 before having any structural problems--if it was designed correctly. There's really no limit to how large something can be before it can't fly, it's just a matter of how much thrust and how strong the object is.

very cool. This is now on our official myths list.

In your last IAmA, you mentioned that in 1987, you were almost shot by an entire NYC SWAT team. You also mentioned that you'd tell that story some day....mind making today that day?

Still too long to write here. I can't make today that day. Hmmm. I'll have to figure out a perfect venue. Maybe the MOTH in NYC next year. You WILL hear that story one day.

What do you think is the most awesome thing that happened while filming Mythbusters? I feel the show has so many awesome moments.

P.S. Huge fan of the show, keep up the awesome work!

Impossible to choose one. So many. Talking with Chris Hadfield on the ISS is up there.

Have you ever felt truly in danger while testing one of your myths?

Many times. There's a difference between being in danger and feeling in danger. Underwater car, the revisit; THAT'S the most sphincter clenching moment.

What is your least favourite episode of Mythbusters and why?

Pyramid power. So sorry I did that.

Pyramid power. So sorry I did that.

I'm aware that I didn't test that myth. But that we let it into our production schedule.

A pyramid of karma, if you will.

My comments get sharper under my Karma Pyramid.

We forgive you.

THank you.

What are your favorite educational tv shows?

Breaking Bad. How it's made. I love America's test Kitchen. Anything Alton Brown does.

I love how you consider breaking bad as educational.

best. show. ever.

With the legalization of pot in WA and CO, I look forward to nationwide legalization. And when that happens, you just know that there'll a niche for marijuana cooking shows.

"Hello and welcome to the Chronic Kitchen! Today, we'll learn how to make sticky-icky-raspberry-banana-sorbet lightly sprinkled with Cheerios dust and whatever else we can find that looks good."

It'll more like,

"Welcome to the... wait. What?"

You and Alton Brown NEED to do something together!!!!

Totes magotes.

Big fan of the series, I love the fact that you're educating so many while keeping it amazing!

What is the single most memorable experience within your Mythbusters career? Could you even imagine yourself doing anything different?

I'm always imagining other things to do. I can see myself doing lots of other things: teaching, interviewing, directing. There are many more. I'm a life long freelancer, I'm always wondering what's next.

Adam, thank you so much for coming back for another AMA.

I am extremely jealous of your Star Wars experiences and collection. What is the ONE collectible you haven't been able to get your hands on that you absolutely must have? Thanks again!

I'd love to have a Threepio suit that fit me. I'd love to be thin enough to fit in one.

Conclusion: Yes, but not as effectively as an alternating diet of heroin/meth.

Not something we're gonna test I think .

How was it shooting an episode of Curiosity?

Shooting that "I can live forever" episode of Curiosity was amazing. I'm a huge fan of John Hendricks, the creator of the series and the founder of Discovery. The production crew was fantastic. We filmed it in record time AND the special effects were done by a lot of my colleagues from ILM. It was like going home. I still have my old man makeup from that. Danny Wagner who sculpted it put it on a head and it's in my shop.

How was it shooting an episode of Curiosity?

BTW, here's a photo of the head in my shop.

Would you rather blow up a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

Cut it out with the horses and the ducks.

Why after 10 years does Jamie still look uncomfortable on camera?

He's not uncomfortable actually, he just considers it a nuisance. But honestly, that's kind of part of his brand at this point. Isn't it? I see no reason to fix that.

Hey Adam, big fan of the show! I've watched you guys use a lot of heavy weapons on the show like mini guns, .50 cal rifles, assault rifles, a flamethrower, etc. My question is, was there ever a moment during any of those myths where you said to yourself, "Good God, these things were made to be used against people!" Scary! In any case, keep up the good work!

I think that every single time I pick up a gun.

Guns were not meant to be used against people. I use mine yearly to stock the freezer full of venison.

They have bulletproof freezers?

Adam - what is a costume you'd love to do for ComicCon but you know would be against the rules (due to crazy theatrics maybe?)

Turns out flash mobs aren't allowed.

What's it like working with a Jamie android?

THe new model is very reliable.

Uncanny Valley aside...

Jamie has a very nice house by the lake in the Uncanny Valley.

What is the funniest thing you ever did as a child?

Made an alien burst from a Thanksgiving turkey. Seriously.

Made an alien burst from a Thanksgiving turkey. Seriously.

I have a picture actually. I'll try and get it up to this next week. It's freaking hilarious.

your parents must have had their hands full with you

I was a great kid. I didn't cause too much trouble. 'cept when I broke my neck at 18.

Hi Adam. Thanks for doing this again. Kind of a combo question:

  1. What does your desk look like right now?
  2. What are a few things on that desk that you couldn't live without?
  3. How do those things help you get your work done?


Desk is a mess. Iphone charger. Nerf Gun. Police hat. The mess is inspirational to me. I need a certain amount of visual cacophony to get inspired. The nerf gun is fun. I'm working into our touring show, so I've been shooting EVERYTHING with it.

Will you be participating in No shave/Mustache Movember?

Nah. I love what happens in San Francisco during that time, but I get too itchy.

Adam, what has been your all-time favorite, best, funniest moment with Jamie ever?

When we were testing blind driving. Jamie in the backseat, drunk, giving driving directions to a blind man who's driving (on a closed course). Jamie's directions made him drive like a drunk person. Yes I'm sure the blind guy was sober.

Have you ever done anything as dumb on the show or behind she scenes as Tory with the bike? By the way my mom told me to tell you that your awesome

edit: i was in a rush to type it i know i messed up you're

Tell your mom she is awesome.

Tell your mom she is awesome.

It was very tempting to write: "tell your mom that she was awesome too"

What is your favourite movie prop that you have collected and why? Also I am a huge fan, and i have seen every episode! The one with the 4way stop vs round about was very interesting!!

Hellboy props. I own a number of screen used ones and Guillermo is a friend. Amazing movie. Amazing man.

Hi Adam.

If you get to read this than please allow me to apologise for the wall of text, but I would just like to preface my question by saying a couple of things.

Your work, in all its myriad forms, covers a wide variety of topics and subjects; however they all seem to share a common theme in that they are the result of great passion and a desire to learn. As a result of this your work is able to do something which is difficult to achieve in modern media.

It seems as if modern media on the whole is moving away from engaging or knowledgeable content and is instead focusing purely on entertainment value. Whilst being entertained is, in of itself, an excellent and worthwhile endeavour, media which focuses purely on entertainment often struggles to inspire people and help them develop or pursue new interests. However, by exhibiting such an involved interest and passion for what you do, you have been able to create entertaining media which also acts as a source of inspiration and motivation for both the topics that are discussed in your work and the pursuit of knowledge as a whole.

This is personally evident in how your work has served as both a spark for new interests and the fuel that continues to inspire and motivate these new interests. What’s more, in some cases these new areas of interest are entirely unconnected to those with which I am already concerned and as such whole new worlds, whose knowledge I was previously ignorant of, have been opened up to me.

Given this I would like to convey my appreciation for what you do and thank you for using your skills, abilities and passions in a way that inspires and motivates not just myself, but countless others to become engaged in previously unknown subjects.

As such, I now present to you my question:

Just as your work has caused me to form interests which are completely unrelated to those I already hold dear, are there any topics you have found yourself interested in that are entirely different or unconnected to what you are usually passionate about? If so, what sparked your interest in these subjects?

With the utmost respect and gratitude Mr. Savage, Thank you.

Amazing intro and question. I'm very interested in copyright and trademark and patent law, and where they all overlap with personal liberty. I'm an advocate for privacy (i've done a bunch of work with the amazing Electronic Frontier Foundation) and I follow news stories like the Snowden story very closely. I'm a bit of a law geek. As those who follow me on twitter can attest (I'm @donttrythis)

How the hell did you type that all out within a minute after he posted?

I type 70 wpm or so.

I type 70 wpm or so.

I read fast. I type fast. So pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the fucking car.

You've done a lot of crazy stuff on Mythbusters, and you probably get used to it all - but are there still moments when you think "I can't believe we're actually allowed to be doing this"?

Thanks for doing another AMA!

Almost every week I have that thought. We have a term of art for it on the show. We call it a "Mythbuster Moment".

You've done a lot of crazy stuff on Mythbusters, and you probably get used to it all - but are there still moments when you think "I can't believe we're actually allowed to be doing this"?

Thanks for doing another AMA!

Of course! I love Reddit.

What is your favorite type of soup, Adam?

French onion. A nice cold cucumber soup can make a hot summer afternoon just perfect. Tomato bisque. Clam chowder.

I love soup in general.

French onion. A nice cold cucumber soup can make a hot summer afternoon just perfect. Tomato bisque. Clam chowder.

I love soup in general.

I love PHO.

This is a bit selfish, but every time I watch MythBusters, I can't help but think "MAN, I wish one of these dudes was my uncle or my dad or something, I bet they give the craziest gifts at holidays." So my burning question is this: what kind of insane homemade birthday or christmas presents have your kids/nephews/nieces received from you?

That's funny. In this case the reality is boring. I love purchasing gifts for those I love, but they're about the person, not about my crazy personality. With my kids I look always to foment their interests and to put whatever creativity tools they want in front of them. I've bought a lot of musical instruments over the years. ONe of my kids plays bass and drums, the other plays guitar and sings.

First off, I'm gonna fanboy for a sec: I love myth busters, and my dad and I think you're a total stud.

I've known you were going to do an AMA today for a while so I asked my friends if they had any questions. We produced these (these may have been previously asked, but I have't seen any of your previous AMAs): 1) Is there any myth you've always wanted to test, but haven't been asked or been able to test it? 2) In video games you can shoot an explosive barrel and it will explode. Is this true in real life? 3) How well do you get along with the other Mythbusters? What are your opinions on them?

Thanks for doing this AMA. You're a legend to all of us.

EDIT: Holy crap! You actually replied! Definitely taking a picture of this! Thanks man! P.S. I'd pee myself if you tested my myth on Mythbusters.

Seriously I love all the other team. They are all friends no lie. I've known Grant and Tory for 16 years and Kari for 10. Jamie for 20 (but how we get along is well known)

As for the barrel, depends on the kind of explosive. Modern plastic explosives are super stable, so no. But if it's full of black powder or TNT, get the hell away. Love to test this.

Adam, are there any myths out there that you guys haven't tested, maybe because of budget concerns or whatnot, that you really want to test?

There are still some moon-landing-deniers out there. I'd go to the moon and come back with a piece of apollo hardware. THAT would show them. (probably not- there's no convincing those who insist that they need "evidence" yet who reject all "evidence" as not the evidence that they need. sigh)

What was the most fun myth to prove/bust?

Our season opener this next year was CRAZY FUN to test. That's all I can say. It also involved the amazing Sophia Bush from One Tree Hill.

As successful as you are, what do you see as your next big challenge either in your career or personal objective?

Thanks for being so awesome!!! Loved seeing you and Jamie speak at Cisco Live in Orlando!

I really like interviewing people. We did a really cool one with a friend/hero of mine in LA yesterday that will be up on soon.

What is one piece of advise you would give someone who wants to pursue a career in Engineering/Physics? (Or any other science)

Read everything you can. Stay curious. Ask questions and don't pretend to know shit you don't know. The smartest people I know ask the most questions.

What is the strangest thing you have ever put into your mouth in the name of Sciene aka for a myth?

Food coloring for the sneezing story? Each color tastes awful in a unique way. Very tangy.

Hey Adam,

I was wondering if you could detail the process of going from doing graphic design work to doing special effects work. I'm currently a graphic designer who would one day like to work in a more physical, effects related field.

I know times are different now with movies studios being what they are, but I was just wondering if you had any advice for people coincidentally trying to follow you down your career path.

It all comes into play. Everything I've ever done has been useful. Graphic design was a fantastic skill to develop- the ability to find balance among elements. I use it every day on MB for composing shots, telling the story of the experiment in each frame. I can't give advice about following my exact career path because it's mine. It's by dint of my personality. And though it looks linear, I can assure you it was anything but.

Hey Adam,

Since the start of Mythbusters, what is the most scariest experience you've ever had?


Here's my video answer to this question:

If you could blow up anything, what would you blow up?

Are you trying to get the Secret Service to come to my house?

What was it that first got you started in model creating and roboteering?

What is the funniest thing you've ever gotten to create?

Star Wars. I was 11 when it came out.

Hey Adam! I am one of your biggest fans and I just wanted to thank you for the years of endless entertainment, but more importantly, KNOWLEDGE, that you have provided me and countless others like me. From Mythbusters to, more recently, Tested, from your TED talks to your panels at Dragoncon and Comic-con, I have never seen anything of yours that I did not enjoy. You have always been and still are one of my biggest role models. That one episode of "Still Untitled" where you talk about hard work and paying your dues had motivated me to stick with architecture school more than once, so thank you for that :).

Now for my question: Do you know if we'll get to see any more Tested episodes from the cave, or maybe even one-day builds? I love Still Untitled, but my favourite episodes by far are the ones where we explored all the interesting things found in your shop. (that and "The Talking Room")

We just shot a one day build. Sorry for the delay. We love doing those, but my time is tight between full time MB, the other tested stuff, raising twin 14 year olds. etc.

There WILL be more. Promise.

Hi from Sweden!

Your biggest tip on how to get your word out there(other than being a genious and/or generally awesome)?

Tell everyone that you have great healthcare and they will come.

Tell everyone that you have great healthcare and they will come.

That was a Sweden specific joke.

I've heard you say that, when Mythbusters started, you had no idea what it would turn in to. Regardless of any intent, I think we can all pretty much agree that it has become a force of critical thought. You in particular have embraced this role with great passion, and through your work with Mythbusters and other venues, have inspired people with the notion that science can be damn fun, and subsequently taught them to how to behave in a manner consistent with the scientific method -- assume nothing, test everything.

However, at the start of every show, you tell us emphatically to never try anything you do. While I understand that this is your lawyers speaking and that we can't all run around sawing trees in half with chain guns, the stance of "don't ever do any of this" is rather dogmatic, and completely counter to the very essence of critical thinking and scientific discovery that you have come to represent.

Do you feel conflicted about this? Does it bother you that, as a champion of science, you're forced to tell us that we should blindly accept your findings? Do you ever want to scream, "Please DO try this at home! Run your own tests! Verify or disprove our findings!"

it's not dogmatic. That's a bit extreme. And we have NEVER told people to blindly accept our findings. We simply don't want people to get hurt. ANd the Discovery lawyers don't want that either. The disclaimer is a legal requirement. Your extrapolation is a bit of a stretch.

Since you're in the Bay Area, curious what some of your favorite watering holes and restaurants are.

Mission Beach Cafe State Bird Locanda Jardinierre Namu There are so many amazing restaurants here. I can't begin to list them all.

What does Jamie's moustache feel like?

Like a yak's tail

Any more TED talks planned. The one about where discoveries came from was great!

Yes. In short. Yes.

Hello Adam. Is it fun working with Jamie?

Video answer to this coming soon.

Hello Adam. Is it fun working with Jamie?

Thanks for the question! Video answer here:

I'm about to graduate with a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, am a good wrench monkey, smart, pretty, with a fun personality. Hiring? I'll be in SF for the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

We aren't. Our turnover is incredibly low. Many on our crew have been with us for the better part of a decade. Like a family.

Adam, Hi I love you so much. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to work on Star Wars, and I wanted to design for Lego. Given that I DID work on Star Wars (albeit on Episodes 1 and 2- sigh) and also ran R&D for ZOOB in the mid 90's, I think I did pretty good. I never imagined that I'd be having THIS much fun doing it all.

We've heard a lot about the fun stuff working on the show, but what's the worst part about your job? What aspects of working on mythbusters really (or, even, kind of) sucks?

Well, anything that you do at a high level of excellence, or where excellence is your real goal, is hard work. Hard work is hard. Tiring, we fail a lot. We have to work extra days to make things go. We argue. Most of the stuff at a normal job really.

Hi Adam!! My son (9) and I are huge fans. Him probably more than I, as he's watched every episode on Netfilx 1,038,673,237.23 times. We're going to your show in Milwaukee and he can't wait. He cried when we gave him the tickets (maybe you saw the YouTube video

I asked him if be could ask you anything what would it be, and all he wants to know the most is how to become a Mythbuster, as that is his aspiration in life.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: added video link because it's damn cute. EDIT2: Sorry for the vertical filming. It was a heat-of-the-moment thing!

I'll keep saying this until I'm blue in the face. STay interested in everything that you're curious about. Satisfy your curiosity. Keep asking questions. Stay curious.

Could you tell us about some of the "That's not funny" moments on the show?

When I got shocked. 10 years ago and Tory STILL feels guilty.

Hey Adam, I love the show!

For the last year it seems like new episodes air for 3 weeks or so then reruns... What gives? When can we expect a whole new season?


New episodes are coming after the New Year! Here's one sneak-peek photo:

Hey Adam, I love the show!

For the last year it seems like new episodes air for 3 weeks or so then reruns... What gives? When can we expect a whole new season?

New Year

Here's another. Quite a story behind this one.

What are your thoughts on 3D printers? Do you think they remove the need to learn skills; which people like yourself have dedicated their whole lives honing, to build brilliant objects?

How do you cope with people constantly coming up to you asking for your signature? You seem like one of the nicest, happiest guys to have lived though you surely must have days when you just want to force grip the next person who asks you.

Final question, if you could live forever would you? Or, do you believe that death is a wonderful thing which allows new generations to improve on their ancestors methods?

3D printing isn't quite there yet for me. I order a lot of stuff from shapeways all the time, but for my needs it still is too rough.

Giving autographs is part of the job. I don't do it when I'm out with the kids but it's my only restriction. Sometimes I'd rather be anonymous, but hells bells margaret, if THAT'S my only complaint then things aren't that bad. The pros of my position FAR outweigh the cons. I'm also cognizant of how people are feeling when they meet me. I want it to go well. I remember meeting Peter Gabriel. I remember every second of the 19 words we spoke. I think about that all the time.

What are your thoughts on 3D printers? Do you think they remove the need to learn skills; which people like yourself have dedicated their whole lives honing, to build brilliant objects?

How do you cope with people constantly coming up to you asking for your signature? You seem like one of the nicest, happiest guys to have lived though you surely must have days when you just want to force grip the next person who asks you.

Final question, if you could live forever would you? Or, do you believe that death is a wonderful thing which allows new generations to improve on their ancestors methods?

I would not live forever. much as I'd love to see what's going to happen, I do not want to outlive everyone I love. What would be the point? Life is about beginnings and endings.

Your discovery that the five second rule and double dipping are not unhealthy have changed my life forever.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Does M5 Industries still do work unrelated to the show? Or did Mythbusters take over the company? Can you name any recent M5 projects that we might recognize?

Related to that, do you and the other Mythbusters presenters still work on M5 business, or have your television careers pushed all that aside?

That's a Jamie question. He's doing an AMA in December.

Hey Adam, i was at the rally to restore sanity/fear in DC several years ago and was part of your "biggest sample ever" In that experiment, did you actually expect to get any seismic result? or were you surprised that we actually registered a significant vibration? also, did you guys feel it on stage?

We did.

[No question]

Hey, I also want you guys and gals to know that we're touring the US and Canada starting in a couple of weeks. 30 cities in 35 or so days. Tix available at VIP tix are also available and they come with a meet and greet. Come on out and see us!

Hi Adam! I'm a huge fan of Mythbusters, but I've had this question bugging me for the past few weeks: While working on a myth, have you guys ever had a brush with the law so bad, that it didn't make it on the air? And if so, what was it? P.S.: A ton of people say I look like you (, and we have the same birthday! Maybe you're my long long father! :D

Nope. We call the law first. That technique works well. But I'm also sure that the emails, texts and phone calls coming out of our production office are a significant portion of the noise/signal ratio for the NSA. HA!

Our birthday is also Rembrandt's!

Hello Mr. Savage, thank you for doing this AMA!

Which myth was your least favorite to do and why?

Whirlpool of death was rough, and not just because I got sick and vomited in my own whirlpool. It was freezing on that day, we had one 14 hour day to complete it and it was raining AND super windy. Did I mention that we were on top of 18' high scaffolding? Man that day sucked.


About half the time. Hell I'm scared every time I use a table saw. If I wasn't there'd be something wrong.

Where are you going to do your tests since NAS Alameda was returned to the city of Oakland?

They still allow us to shoot there for now. I hope forever. I love that location.

So I know Jamie abhors that Discovery makes you go small scale before testing a bunch of myths. What is the part of the show's narrative that you disagree with the most? What do you like the most about the narrative, and you can't say blowing everything up because that's too obvious.

That is not the case. I think you've misunderstood an old interview comment. We drive the narrative. Jamie's just more interested in the building of the cool stuff than the storytelling. But he recognizes the format we're working in and doesn't begrudge it.

What's going to be your new myth

We have a new season starting in January. Not sure of the first airdate yet, but as soon as we know we'll make it known to the world.

I'd just like to start with how awesome you are Adam. My family has always loved Mythbusters, and when my dad and I found out you used to work for ILM, our respect for you increased exponentially (we both are editors).

Anyways, to the questions: How did you and Jamie get introduced to the Tested crew? What are they like off camera? What is your favourite moment with them? Am I asking too many questions??

Like Jamie and I, the guys from Tested are exactly what you expect. Will, Norm and Joey are awesome. We actually hang out a fair bit and I love those guys. THese guys. I'm in the Tested office as we type.

Why are you doing an AMA today? I don't mean to sound rude. I'm really asking if you're promoting something (that I will buy as soon as it comes out) or if you just love Reddit.

Yes. Our stage tour, and the fact that we have new MB episodes coming in January. It also seemed like as good a day as any.

Real answer: someone from Reddit emailed me to say that I promised another AMA in a year, and that it'd been a year.

Have you guys ever considered doing the Home Alone traps on Mythbusters? I'm thinking, testing 'lethality level', would some actually work, etc. etc.

Yeah, that was on our list and then it wasn't. It's a good story. I think we should test it.

I love you

Love you back.

Do you have a favourite novel?

Anything by Raymond Chandler. Anything by Elmore Leonard. Hundred Years of Solitude. Anything by Michael Chabon. (esp Yiddish Policemen's union and Telegraph Ave)

So many others but those are high points.

If Adam now could go back and talk with 12 year old Adam, what would you want to tell him?

There's more time than you think. Be yourself. So many other things. But that's one of the main ones.

Adam, once I dropped a mechanical fan from my window at my third floor apartment (no one was hurt) and the fan made a very big and strange "oh my god this is the end" noise. Thank you for reading this, I love watching you laugh, have a nice day.

That'll teach you for buying a sentient fan.

Have you ever considered growing a full beard?

Sometimes I do during breaks. But that shit is itchy. ANd I'd look EXACTLY like my dad. Not that that would be a bad thing. My dad was a damn handsome man.

Mr. Savage! Your Kaonashi cosplay was one of a few cosplays which spurred me to return to the cosplay hobby (after a long hiatus due to life). How much time, money, and design usually goes into your cosplays? I'm curious because you seem to be so busy and always have magnificent projects to take on. Yet, come Comic Con, you always seem to have glorious cosplays.

All sorts of different amounts! The Koanashi (NoFace) cost 105 bucks total. My rocketeer was thousands.

/u/mistersavage sorry I'm late! I really wanted to remind you about this. During a convention (DragonCon IIRC) someone who worked as a boiler technician asked you about the possibility of detonating a commercial water heater! I just wanted to make sure you had the Mythterns tracking one down!

Now for a question. With everything you have to do for the show, I imagine that you're boundaries get pushed further and further back. What is something that you have held fast on, and refused to do? something that makes you NOPE out as soon as it's suggested?

Thanks for your question! Here's my video answer!

[No question]

Hey guys. I have a doctor's appointment now, so I gotta go. As usual the questions were great and I'll come back to my 'puter later today and try and answer some more.


Have you seen the XKCD comic featuring Zombie feynman and your show? If so, what principals of the scientific method do you think your show brings to a big audience?

One of my Favorites! I love his comic and we've corresponded about it

do you still have the duct tape boat?

We have all of them. One is touring with our museum show. The other two are at M5

Adam, is there anything you could possibly think of that you would have rather done with your life?


I have wondered for quite some time, if someone is smoking while driving and their gas cap is off, can the difference in air pressure suck the cigarette butt into the tank and light the gas? It sounds far fetched but I've actually seen the exact scenario.

And you're still here? Jk. Who rests their cigarette butt in the open tank of their car?

I was at the second ever mythbusters live show you guys did in Santa Rosa. It was really interesting seeing you guys work out the kinks of the show on stage with everyone not exactly sure where to go next. The best part was when you answered a question about why people love the show by unintentionally saying that you "blow shit up". The whole crowd laughed and you were very embarrassed, it was awesome. Anyway, my question is: at comic-con a couple years ago you stated you guys would like to do video game myths. Is this still a possibility? Thanks!

Totally. Still on our list for next season.

Is the NSA spying on us?

In a dark room somewhere someone just wrote down your name.

Damnit, I missed another good ama.

I'm still here. On my way south in a car to interview Chris Hadfield.

[No question]

Hey reddit! Sorry for the delay. I'm running all over the place today. Getting ready to head out on our tour. Dealing with kids etc. I'm in a car heading south to interview Chris Hadfield at NASA. I'll answer some questions now for a bit.

You should test if two cars are driving towards each other, and you prepare for the most epic high five ever, how fast would you have to go to break your arm!

Not very fast I imagine. Jeez. Having hurled a soda at a car coming at me at 100 mph I can tell you it's very scary.

I saw you burn out your Fiat on the Bay Bridge on-ramp a few months ago. What the hell happened???

Clutch overheated. It's fine now. Man I have to remember that someone's always watching. Like when you're 15 and you THINK someone's watching but nobody actually is? It's like that bit for me it's true. In NYC a couple years ago I went out with some comedy peeps that I and my wife admire. I couldn't wait to tell her about it but twitter already had.

Im going to see you tonight. I work at nasa and i just wanted to say you are amazing.

Hi! I can't wait to get there. In fact I'm in my way RIGHT NOW. See you soon!

Are you excited for Talking dead?

Very! Hey Adam. Sorry for ambushing you in San Diego. I didn't know about the formal meet-and-greet inside. I have always been a fan of the show. Instead of watching reality shows, I watched things like Modern Marvels and Mythbusters. Of course I also grew up on fun shows too, like Family Guy and South Park, but I appreciated seeing some real people on TV doing real things - it was original. I didn't have anything useful to say, just thanks. Also, don't go here...

Please don't mention the Kari creep shit on the web to me. My response to that makes me glad I didn't have daughters. Of course is have loved daughters, but I would have been a scary dad to the potential boyfriends.

As a fan of a good boom and a long time fan of the show, I have to ask. Since you have seen so many, do the explosions you guys see ever lose their fun, or are they just as fun as the first. Thanks!

Water heaters are. Favorite splosion ever.

Do you have any pets?

I have two amazing dogs. Huxley and Maggie. Both rescues and both awesome.

How often do people confuse you with the gay guy from seattle?

Dan? Rarely. He's amazing and I love his work.

Did you ever finish the ZF-1?


Do you you guys use video editing to make Jamie's mustache bigger.

We use editing to make that thing SMALLER. You haven't lived until you've seen his mo sweep sesame seeds into his maw while eating a burger. Like a baleen whale.

What does Jamie's beard smell like?

I am very glad I have no idea.

Thanks for introducing me to strandbeests ! They are so cool. Any plans on making a life size one ? Or designing your own version?

Yes I do. I'd like to make one to ride.

How was your day today ?

My day was very busy. 5 meetings in three different towns. Lots of back and forth. Had 15 minutes to nap with the dogs before heading south to NASA. WHEW!

How many times do you on myth busters know the outcome of an experiment before you test it ( especially like the obvious ones like the bullet fired vs dropped)

We often have an idea about what will happen. We are often wrong. Whenever (and this is rare) we must film something out of order (because of location or timing problems etc) and we are backfilling a sequence (again- very rare thing) we will end up in a situation where we are SURE about the result we are supposed to get (and we are in a corner because we've already filmed the sequence that comes after). In that situation the experiment NEVER EVER goes as planned. Sigh.

I can't wait to see yall on the 20th here in Midland Tx

Me too! Midland AND El Paso!

Do you think there is a problem with Americas math and science education programs and if so how would you attempt to solve them?

As a future math teacher I would love your input.

P.S. I really love the show. Keep it up.

Where do I begin? Stop cutting funding for science materials, shop classes, auto shop etc. stop teaching to the stupid test. Science teachers are some of the most enthusiastic missionaries for critical thinking. Let them do their job. I know many who pay a significant portion of their income for class materials.

Have you and Jamie ever thought about bringing the show to Australia and doing a road trip?

It's being discussed...


Cut it out or I'm gonna kick your butt.


My pleasure. You guys and gals are a great crowd to field questions from.

The thought just crossed my mind that you might be able to lift an entire house with the power of a human breath. (Vis-à-vis the demonstration you did with the air bag and the weights) The more I think about the size of the footprint of a house, vs the weight of a single story home, the more plausible it seems. Your thoughts on this idea?

We should totally try that. Then if that works we go to farts.

Dangit I was really hoping to catch this, because I've had a question bothering me FOREVER.

Mr. Savage, in one of the Mythbusters articles for Popular Mechanics (maybe Popular Science), you or Jamie wrote a bit about a concept that was basically (if I remember correctly) "the amount of difference between optimal and suboptimal use a tool has in which it can still produce desired results"...

That was a terribly phrased sentence! Uhm, to rephrase. If you had a graph where the X axis measures optimality of use, and the Y measures degree of results, the term I'm thinking of would describe the range of values between Optimal X and the smallest value of X where Y is still a "getting the job done" level of results.

Sorry for the trouble articulating the concept, but if that sounds familiar, what is the word for that? It's been driving me nuts.

Jamie wrote that.


I love the line from Steve Martin's autobiography "Born Standing Up" (which you should totally read you're welcome) where he gets told: "you will eventually use everything you've ever learned". Too true. My father told me never to believe my own bullshit.

is norm mad at you?

No! Why? Norm are you mad at me?

You have talked about being a "maker", or at least creative in many ways since childhood. With that in mind, were your career choices all easy for you?

As I said somewhere below, the choices may seem linear now, but they weren't always based upon any plan. Just what I was good at plus how much rent needed paying plus what was available.

Hi Adam, I happened to sit in the same row as you at Penn & Teller's Vegas show a few years ago, and throughout the show I couldn't help but think about how you interpreted the tricks and illusions. Did your bullshit meter keep going off, or were you trying to figure out how they were doing what they did? Care to offer some thoughts on "magic" and that show in particular?

What P&T do is so much more than magic. They are the least full of shit performers. They bring you in on the joke. I love their work. The rose. The goldfish- amazing.

Is Grant as smart as he comes across on the show?

Just as smart. Very sweet. Grant is a stand up dude.

I love your show especially how you bring the scientific method to the masses, but...

If at the end of every episode of mythbusters someone said "This conclusion is based on just a few trials, to increase our confidence we would need to try many more" I would be so happy.

I love that idea. I'm going to pitch it to the network. I think that's a lovely sentiment.

Hey, I don't have a question but I just wanted to say you're awesome.

It's true. Oh wait! I mean thank you!

Will there be another Breaking Bad special?

There easily could be. Plenty to test. We are discussing it.

Is the orange arrow you guys painted on the ramp this season supposed to be an upvote?

Not consciously. But sure!

Could you reject our reality and substitute your own?

I'm doing that right now from the back of a town car using my phone. BLAM!

I doubt that you would even remember, but in 2008 when you did your west cast tour, I was at the Moore theater and got to meet you. I was just 7 years old and was your biggest fan at the time. I asked for a picture and you through your arm around me and then told Jamie to get in the picture. That day was literally one the best parts of my childhood. Also, when my bother was crying in the lobby because he didn't get to meet you, the stage manger brought him bak and you made his day. Thank you so much for Beijing so nice and my inspiration for loving science.

My infinite pleasure. I'm glad I wasn't a dick. Seriously I love stories like that. Tell your bro I said hi.

Hey Adam! I'm a big fan of your show, blah blah blah. I think I'm too late, but just in case you have time to answer more questions after your docs visit, I'll toss in a question of mine.

I quite often find myself being unsatisfied with the busting of a myth, feeling as if certain conditions weren't ideal or certain ideas were never explored. Is there a specific myth that you with you could have tested more thoroughly? Perhaps something that you didn't have the time/money/recourses needed to give it the attention it deserved to fully explore the myth? How often do time constraints on filming/producing the show keep you from exploring all facets of a myth?

All the time. But if there's enough material we will frequently go back and retest. I love those.

If you throw a rock down an endless hole, will it eventually reach a maximum speed, or will it always increes speed?

Normal air pressure? It'll hit its terminal velocity (where gravity and air pressure cancel out) and stay there for the duration.

Do you have a hot wife?


Hi Adam, one episode that really made me shiver was the chinese water torture myth. What were the mood/emotions like after that myth?

Very intense.

You've got a huge fan base here in the UK... Ever thought of coming over for a tour?


Will we be seeing more One Day Builds on Tested? I love seeing you make props.

We just shot one -- it should be up on tested soon.

Not a question, but just wanted to say you and Jamie have both been my heros since I was a little kid (now 17, and have watched every single episode haha). I'm going to be studying engineering in college, hopefully at UPenn or Cornell, and you guys played a huge role in my choice of career path. My Dad is still trying to force me to go to Duke's Fuqua business school, but every time he brings up the topic I remind him of little seven-year old me watching the first ever episode of Mythbusters to air and screaming at the top of my little lungs at the end "I want to be like those guys!". Thanks again! Have good one Adam!

Tell him that Engineering jobs are good jobs. Caterpillar is always in need from what Mike Rowe tells me. High starting salary and everything. Seriously. We've devalued the blue collar jobs in this country.

Understand the reply button this time?


How do you feel about your hair?

I am sad that I grew up a redhead but now I'm blonde. Besides that I am very happy with it.

You almost ran me over at Punkin Chunkin a few years back. Thank you for giving me a really interesting story to tell to friends!

I totally REMEMBER you. Sorry bout that bro.

I don't know if this has been asked before, but if people see you in public, is it okay to come over and talk to you, or does it get old quick. I actually saw you at my work shopping for groceries or something, but wasn't sure if it would be okay to come up and say hi. I asked my coworkers and you had apparently been there a few times before. Anyway, love you man, stay golden.

The only time I'll be terse is if I'm out with my kids. Then I don't like to sigh autographs or take pix. Besides that come on over. Unless I'm crying. Then I want to be left alone. Like sad Keanu.

Hi Adam, just wondering if there were any plans to take the tour to other countries? Such as here in the uk?

It's being talked about. Stay tuned.

Why would people downvote his Ama? What is the goal they are trying to achieve?

Yeah I'm curious about that one too?

What is your opinion on this?

Hilarious. The film of the summer! I smell oscar! (With apologies to Walter Monheit)

I have a myth: Can you determine how fast a bullet travels shot by a 50 caliber?

Dude. That's a question. Google it.

what is the deal with mythbusters? when and what time is it on and what channel? it used to be on at 9:30 on Wednesday on discovery.

MythBusters will be back in January with all new episodes.

What is your take on religion/ what is your religion?

I am a 3rd generation atheist.

I would like to say thanks, as you made me more interested in science.

That's music to my ears. You're welcome. Stay curious.

Adam--I love the show, and appreciate the work that you guys do. I realize that you guys have a budget and often are approximating, but do you have any response to criticisms of Mythbusters' lack of multiple trials/repeatability?

Yes. We are telling a story about how to satisfy curiosity. We are not performing the definitive experiment in the subject we are tackling. We don't always stand by our results but we DO stand by our methodologies. If that format bothers people they don't have to watch. I can understand that. But I love our stories. I love writing them and executing them.

Any thoughts about creating a Mythbusters Museum, maybe in conjunction with the city or state? Or maybe The Smithsonian? I think it would be a great attraction, and your experiments and props and even the footage lend themselves easily to becoming cool displays.

I just think it would be another wonderful way to help kids to get a bit more literally in touch with science and creative thinking, plus you could free up a lot of storage space!

Love this idea. Perhaps when our museum show finishes touring the US we can find the stuff a permanent home.

Hi Adam~ I ready your father was an artist. I believe artists in the most basic sense break apart the world and put it back together in a more interesting way: Did this influence you somehow to be more explorative and curious about the world?

An artist is, like all of us, in conversation with his or her culture. Just in a more extroverted way. My father taught me to try anything that interested me. That and a million other things.

Was your goatse picture real?

Of course not.

Walter White or Jesse Pinkman?


You guys love guns and explosives on your show as do I. Does it ever give you pause to feature them because you consider their original purpose?

I saw you speak at Maker's Faire in the bay area a few years ago about your love of books/reading and specifically Raymond Chandler. Since then I've read all of them so thanks for the recommendation!

Have you read the Simple Art of Murder?

What operating system is Jamie running on currently? I want the name for science.

pls adam


Punch cards.

[No question]

Okay now I really must go. I have to prep for the commander (and that's not a euphemism). Thanks for the best AMA yet. Let's do this again sometime.


This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Adam Savage conducted on Reddit on 2013-11-08. The Reddit AMA can be found here.