Mythbusters represented a massive shift in tone for the Discovery Channel when it first aired back in 2003. Previously, the station had focused on airing historical and science documentaries. With Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the network started producing more hosted shows that spoke on contemporary science and technology.
Over the past few years, the Discovery Channel again shifted focus, leaning more toward reality programming. This led to the eventual cancellation of Mythbusters, but that hasn’t stopped Adam Savage from continuing to produce the same style of content we came to love him and Hyneman for.
Immediately after the end of Mythbusters earlier this year, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman moved to Tested.com, a social publishing website run by Whiskey Media. There, they produced coverage of a wide variety of contemporary technology, both commercial and consumer. But what else has Adam Savage been doing?
Adam Savage Before Mythbusters
Adam Savage was born in 1967 in New York City and raised in Sleepy Hollow, a small town about 50 miles north of the city. His father, Whitney Lee, was a painter and animator. Best known for his work with Sesame Street, Whitney also directed the infamous bootleg Mickey Mouse in Vietnam.
Savage was an avid cyclist as a kid and was taught basic bike repair by a local shop. This introduced him to basic crafts and left him with a fondness for working with his hands. Thanks to his father’s connections, Adam Savage also took acting classes as a teenager. He voiced a few one-time characters for Sesame Street and appeared in a couple commercials.
But by the time Savage was 19, he had lost interest in acting. He preferred to work behind the scenes. For a while, he was an assistant animator living in New York, and in his early 20s, he moved to San Fransisco to work in special effects and set design. Some of the notable films Savage worked on are Galaxy Quest, The Matrix Reloaded, and Star Wars: Episode II. He was also in the music video for Billy Joel’s 1985 song “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)”.
Adam Savage met the future co-host of Mythbusters in 1993 when building sets and props for commercials in San Fransisco. Jamie Hyneman was working in special effects at the time. They almost immediately hit it off, showing each other their toys and methods. The friendship quickly became a healthy working relationship, and they ended up collaborating on more than 100 commercials.
In 1997, Hyneman and Savage built a robot together for Robot Wars, an old remote-controlled robot combat show. This put them on the radar of Peter Rees, who in 2002 was looking who should host an upcoming show he’d planned.
The show involved taking urban legends and putting them to the test. Given how much specialized equipment would have to be built to try out the myths, Jamie Hyneman seemed like a natural choice. Hyneman didn’t think he had the personality to carry the show on his own. So, he recorded an audition tape with Adam Savage.
Mythbusters premiered on January 23, 2003, and went on to run for 13 years. During its 282 episode run, the show was syndicated internationally, becoming one of the most popular shows on the Discovery Channel. The majority of filming took place in Jamie Hyneman’s San Fransisco workshops, where he and Adam Savage tested out 769 different urban legends, old wives’ tales, and apocryphal facts.
Some of the most outlandish myths put to the test were “Can you waterski behind a cruise ship?”, “How can you keep a Christmas tree green?”, “How far can you fly propelled by fireworks?”, “What counteracts spicy food?”, and “What happens when you fill a cement truck with fertilizer and diesel?” (In order, the answers are: yes, Viagra, 700 feet, milk, and it disappears.)
The show wasn’t without its share of controversy. There were numerous small injuries, mostly broken fingers, but also bigger issues. In the episode where they blew up a cement truck, windows in a nearby town shattered from the blast. They accidentally shot a cannonball through a house behind a bomb range. The Mythbusters also drew some ire from advertisers when they wanted to report on potential vulnerabilities in RFID chips, but that episode was never produced.
The show led to both Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman becoming nationally recognized. They appeared on radio and multiple late night shows, and in an episode of CSI. They were both given numerous honors from the education and science community for their work encouraging interest in science. Savage was given an honorary doctorate from a university in the Netherlands.
What’s Adam Savage Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Through the course of the show, Adam Savage, and Jamie Hyneman went on multiple college speaking tours, appeared in an episode of The Simpsons, and became regulars at numerous tech conventions. Savage has been at every Maker Faire since 2008 and frequently performs at w00tstock.
Starting in 2012, he hosted his own weekly podcast, Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project. Each half-hour episode is a roundtable between Savage and other celebrities, usually about science, but sometimes topics as banal as wedding speeches.
After Mythbusters ended earlier this year, Adam Savage moved full time to Tested.com, a tech review website. There, he shows up new technology, but also fun projects that he’s working on. He has a series of “One Day Builds,” projects where he tries to meet a construction goal in just one day.
Most recently, Adam Savage drew headlines for going to the most recent ComiCon dressed as Kylo Ren, the lead antagonist from the latest Star Wars, filming fan’s reactions and uploading them to Youtube.
His One Day Build videos, produced by the company behind Tested.com, show him building other costumes, but he’s also done tutorials on how to make fake glass bottles or the Captain’s chair from Star Trek.
Between doing videos online and speaking/demo tours, Adam Savage stays pretty busy. It’s unlikely he’s planning to return to television, but that doesn’t mean he’s done building crazy contraptions and causing explosions.