Jamie Hyneman

February 12, 2014

I am Jamie Hyneman, co-host of MythBusters

Thanks, you guys. I love doing these because I can express myself without having to talk or be on camera or do multiple things at the same time. Y'all are fun.


I need to go back to work now, but I'll be answering more of your questions as part of the next Ask Jamie podcast on Tested.com. (Subscribe here: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=testedcom)

Otherwise, see you Saturday at 8/7c on Discovery Channel: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters

Hi Jamie, big fan here. I've heard on the show that the legal team sometimes gives you and Adam a hard time about what kinds of testing you can't do because it might be too dangerous. Was there any particular time you got the green light to do something and then afterwards you were like "I can't believe they let us do that"? Conversely was there any time that they would not allow you to do something that you thought was pretty harmless? Thanks!

Hi, At this point we know we have to look after ourselves. 11 years of doing this shit and barely escaping intact- we have learned a thing or two. That is why we work with the bomb squad when it comes to explosives and even then we check everything ourselves as well. Insurance adjusters and safety consultants pick up the obvious stuff, but we are pretty much only dealing with the stuff on the periphery, where unexpected things happen. So we back off on things all the time.

As a person who associates with the freethought/atheism movement's how has this affected you and how do you feel about living so close to the scientology HQ

I am not aware of any scientology HQ nearby. Atheism or Agnosticism or whatever movement doesn't affect me at all. I don't believe in anything. There are only probabilities, and the probability of a diety or some shit is pretty fucking low IMHO.

Hi Jaime! I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan. I have heard you are a big reader and like science fiction. I am wanting to get into the genre so I was wondering if you had science fiction books you would recommend reading?

I like Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon, Master and Margherita by Blugakov, Much of Lem.... So much good stuff out there. I haven't read any sci fi really since starting Mythbusters because science and tech that is not fictional is so much to keep up with and just as fascinating.

Would you be willing to take part in that one-way ticket to Mars? FOR SCIENCE!




We know you’re an inventor and that you love to build “weird shit”, so what has been your favorite thing to build, either on the show or off it? And did you ever get to build something with the giant magnets you talked about last year?

I have not done anything with those giant magnets. You should check out Correlated Magnetics. http://www.correlatedmagnetics.com/

Well, now you blew something up today. it's their server


What is that brown vest you always wear? Did you make that?

It's goat. I did make it but I did not kill and eat the goat first.

Hi from BC,

what ever happened to Blendo ?

Blendo is still around and went on the Behind the Myths tour with me and Adam.

Although everyone else does, do you personally think you look like a walrus?

God, I hope not.

Jamie, I saw you in NYC at the Beacon Theatre a few months ago when you did you live show with Adam. I was the one 20-something amongst the sea of kids and their parents. I had a tremendous amount of fun, you guys did a great job, so thank you! That paintball gun was insane, can you tell me how you built it?

It's all plywood except for the guns, and it's mounted on a trailer from Harbor Freight.

Thanks you for being here Jamie! My favorite episodes of the Mythbusters tend to focus on some kind of build. It's fun and encouraging to see you all overcome your crazy engineering challenges. Will Mythbusters be showing more of the build process in the future?

A good example of a recent episode doing this is the Star Wars special with the Tauntaun build. However, it seems like many episodes lately focus more on showing other stuff (booms, fluff, etc) than the building and problem solving process. Thanks again!

In fact, yes, we are.

Hi Jamie,

If I were you right now, I'd be overwhelmed trying to sort through all of these questions (~850 in 30 minutes.) I've also read about how you've been involved in a lot of different pursuits over the years. How do you keep from getting overwhelmed by an ever-increasing flow of information coming at you and keep cool enough to run a tv show, among so many other pursuits?

Its hard to keep up with stuff, and I have trouble with it. It's all surreal to me; I am someone who doesn't socialize much, talk much, don't care to be on camera, and I don't do well handling more than one thing at a time. And yet my job for the last 11 years has been to do exactly those things. Go figure

Jamie, big fan of the show!

What is your favourite thing you have built on the show?

I don't have a favorite, but the dump truck with the cow catcher plowing through a line of cars -aired on Jan. 11 was right up there.

I'm also an engineering freshman! I asked roughly the same thing somewhere down the line. Please respond! It would be awesome to work with you guys.

No, it is too dangerous to have interns.

Did you ever have a moment on the show where you were really giddy about something but had to act all cool, like the straight man you're supposed to be in contrast to Adam's character?

No, I don't get giddy.

Bullshit. You were pretty damn giddy when the dump truck plowed through the lines of cars.

edit: Damn! I called bullshit on one of my heroes, the one and only Jamie Hyneman, and not only did he respond, he agreed. My week has peaked.

OK, you got me.

Given a relatively level playing field, IE Water deep enough for a shark to maneuver proficiently, yet shallow enough for a bear to stand and fight with his characteristic dexterity... Who would win in a fight between a bear and a shark? Why?

....Can you please do an episode on this?

A horse sized duck..

You and Adam have been RC-ing full sized cars since literally day one of Mythbusters. Why didn't you RC the truck for the recent "Traffic Ram" myth?

(Hopefully this still gets answered, I got it in early, but apparently the AMA was in the wrong sub before)

We deemed the truck safe enough to actually be in there. Also, radio controlling a truck with 12 gears is difficult.

How was your day?

Excellent, thanks.



I want to try a stunt, I want to know if you fell from 10,000 feet without a parachute into water, is there any way you can land to sustain minimal injury? And how deep does the water need to be?

Flap my arms really, really fast

Did testing the Oculus Rift goggles make you want to get into gaming?

No, but it was interesting testing it: http://www.tested.com/tech/455063-jamie-hyneman-tests-oculus-rift-virtual-reality-goggles/

Waffles or pancakes?


Hi Jamie! how much animosity, if any, is there between you and Adam? Do you ever hang out outside of shooting the show?

Since this seems to be coming up quite a bit here, for the record, Adam and I have done quite well by each other and have learned to have respect. We don't hang out, we don't like each other, but see that as an asset rather than a problem. There is no dishonesty, no meanness, no game playing, no emotion. Just get the job done. We both feel the other brings a lot to the game.

Hi Jamie, I'm a giant fan of Mythbusters and was very happy to see your recent tour in San Francisco!

What more do you think can be done to introduce building/engineering/science in general to girls? Do you believe Mythbusters is doing as much as you want in terms of being engaging to them?

Thanks for your question, wintersage. Here's your video answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2NiBiqhzo8

Do you ever do any programming for the robots you build, or does part of your team handle it? I'm a programmer, and would love to know.

They’re mostly puppeted. They’re rarely programmed. It’s more fun that way.


On my list right now is racing spiders - I have the design pretty complete, and a person will be able to ride them. They have 120 hp and will go as fast as motorcycles. I generally don't waste my time with projects that would require an infinite budget. I do fantasize about taking up extreme sports when I get old; I figure I'll mount a lawn chair on the tip of a large rocket, sit on it with a parachute...you go up, you float back down. Or not. You wanna die in your bed?

Scotch or bourbon?

Bourbon. Definitely. Bourbon is for real men.

No question, i just want to let you know that i love mythbusters. Carry on. :)

Thank you.

Hi, and greetings from snowy Finland. Just wanted (as car enthusiast) to ask what cars you own? What is favorite one? What is one you would like to own but not possible?

I drive a Prius- would drive any car that does not use much fuel. Cars are tools as far as I am concerned. I like tools that work well and last. I would want one I designed and built myself. It would fly, not use much fuel, never break down.

Is there anything left that you'd like to be certified to do that you can't do right now?

I don't know. I need more magnets, though.

What happens to the pig carcasses you guys use after you're finished shooting canon balls at them or blowing them up?

We eat them. 250 degrees overnight, and the meat falls off the bone.

Which co-host would you choose to be your companion in the zombie apocalypse and why?

I wouldn't choose a co host. My companion would be my double barreled, over under, belt fed full auto 12 guage shotgun with the belts crossing over each other as they go through the gun. One ammo case of deer slugs, one with buck shot, strapped to my back. Fucking zombies.


Nice! Thanks!

Who pressured you into doing this AMA?

Like I said, Magnets, bitches!

Will you fight me?

How big are you? Can I use a baseball bat?

Hi Jamie!

My family donated our speed boat to Mythbusters in 2009. You used it on "Dive to Survive" among other myths.

How is the boat? (it's a white and blue Sea Ray) Do you still have it? Thank you for taking that boat ride with my dad and I. I remember you told me you have a degree in Russian! And thank you for the tour of M5!

pic from M5!

edit: picture from the "blueprint room"

No, we gave it to one of our staff.

Do you prefer cats or dogs Jamie? BTW thanks for doing another AMA!


Hey Jamie, What is your favorite tool/piece of tech that you use every day? Thanks!

The toilet. I mean, they are really underrated, you know? I am grateful every day when I have to use one- can you think of another tool that you get really upset about when you don't have it when you need it?

Hi, Jamie!

First of all, I'd like to say thank you for doing this. I love MythBusters, and i think you do a great job on it.

In Adam's AMA, he said you have a very dark sense of humor. Here on Reddit, the darkest of jokes are welcomed and appreciated. What is the darkest joke you know of?

You don't want to know what that joke is.

Could you ever do an episode focused purely on potatoes?

Hmmm. That's interesting.

What is the most extreme thing, whether you killed an animal or bungee jumped naked, that you have done outside of mythbusters?

I don't know if it is the most extreme, but it was up there: we bungee jumped for apples a couple of months ago. Adam barfed after a couple of runs so I had to do it, and I don't like heights. Awful. OH, that was for Mythbusters... Uh, I have been through two hurricanes on a boat in the Caribbean (not at the same time).

I've named my vagina Jamie Hymen, tho to be honest, I'll never be able to achieve your incredible mustache.

My mustache is actually prehensile.

I've heard from your previous AMA as well as on Tested that you're quite the movie prop aficionado. Of your collection, which prop was the hardest to find (or has the best story)?

I actually am not a movie prop afficionado, that is Adam. The only things I collect are tools. Adam is the prop collector. I do have a number, but because I made them professionally or they were done by my co workers.

Are you an ass or a tit man?

Are you kidding me? I want it all.

for the Myth where you tested the ancient Torpedo, your hydro-forming techinique was literally amazing, i was speechless, especially after watching your attempts to use a jackhammer to forge it. Brilliant Eureka-moments like that are why i continue to watch you show after a decade.

Was the idea of hydro-forming something that you discovered while researching the problem, or was this something you just pulled from your scientific bag of tricks? how long did it take to create the form, and how many mistakes did they have to edit out (be honest) before your shell-making started to work that perfectly?

Thank you so much for that question. That kind of experimentation is what I enjoy most on the show. I had seen a YouTube video of hydro-forming a much smaller thing simply by inflating it with water and so decided to try it. The process was pretty much exactly as t happened on the show. There was not much editing required.

Hi Jamie!

What's one myth you've always wanted to test but couldn't, due to financial/legal/safety/etc reasons?

Thanks, H04X. Here's a video answer to your question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1LMWCHQiNI

After somebody uses the transporter in Star Trek, are they the same person, or does reconstituting them out of different molecules mean they're a different person and the original version ceases to exist?


Hey, Jamie. Just want to share some love about the show and tell you how grateful I am about the fact that you guys are so unPC about it. Guns, animal carcasses, explosives- you guys push the limit and it freaking rocks. Never stop.

Fuck yeah! (thanks)

Hey jamie! huge fan here! Could you just say hi to me? that would make my whole week!

You are my favorite mythbuster by the way :D


This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Jamie Hyneman conducted on Reddit on 2014-02-12. The Reddit AMA can be found here.