Thanks to an invite from the folks at Discovery Canada, I caught the Mythbusters “Behind the Myths Tour” as it stopped in Toronto Thursday night. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman were like rock stars at the Sony Centre, playing two shows with the evening performance packed to the rafters.
A full house of adoring fans–many in the high school and college age range–were probably hoping to see Adam and Hyneman blow stuff up really good. There was none of that, but we did get to see a few stage stunts posing as science experiments, including Savage hanging from the rafters held up by friction in the form of two phone books with overlapping pages.
Savage is such an energized stage presence he must love doing these live shows. Hyneman stays right in his stoic, nonplussed character. Fans just seemed buzzed about seeing their heroes in person. Several were brought up on stage to help with the stunts and experiments. That worked best when the duo’s super slo-mo camera was put to comical use as volunteers saw how dramatically their faces distort doing simple things like giving raspberries.
The show has a Canadian connection. The creative director, Jim Millan, is from Toronto and was asked to stand and take a bow at last night’s show. Millan directs Kids in the Hall, a perfect prep for Savage and Hyneman.
Mythbusters has been one of the most popular shows on Discovery for 10 years now, topping 200 episodes. As Savage said, this is the only stage show where a damaged hot water tank can be wheeled out to spontaneous applause. (It was blasted into space in a memorable episode.) Several other clips from the series, including outtakes, were shown on a giant screen. The two men also take questions from the audience. First question to Hyneman: “Is your mustache real?” Answer: yes.
The difference between science and just screwing around having fun is “writing it down,” Savage reminded us. These two are taking that nugget to the bank. Fans in Montreal can see them tonight on their final stop in Canada (they are near the end of a 31-city tour). As it says on their site, “parents should only bring their young children if they can sit through a two hour theatrical show without disrupting other audience members.” Who, the parents or the children?

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