For 14 seasons, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman were the faces of MythBusters, the science experimentation show that took over pop culture with its mission of determining whether a variety of urban legends, movie scenes and internet videos were actually possible. The show was a Discovery Channel fan-favorite until it was taken off the air in 2016.
Now, MythBusters is returning to the small screen, debuting its new season Wednesday on the Science Channel, with new hosts Brian Louden and Jon Lung. The two landed the gig after winning MythBusters: The Search, a reality competition show to determine who would replace Savage and Hyneman as hosts of the reboot.
“Brian and I have been MythBusters fans since day one, so we’ve been watching it for 14 years,” Lung told The Hollywood Reporter during a visit to the show’s new set in Valencia, Calif. “When they retired, I was in grad school and I remember being like, ‘Oh that’s kind of depressing, you know, it’s like what do you do now?”
Lung, a New York native, is an engineer and product designer, having worked in metal and wood shops for most of his adult life. He had just graduated with his master’s degree when he saw an online posting looking for competitors on The Search.
“Every week, at least once a week, I would just Google search MythBusters just to see what Adam and Jamie were doing,” he said. “Then one week I Google it and this application video comes up and I think it’s like a joke,” seeing the posting on the exact day the application was due.
Louden, originally from Texas, has quite the diverse background, with his resume including work as a paramedic, bar owner, drilling engineer, rescue diver and blacksmith, as well as a degree in biology. He got on The Search after his mom saw a news story about the new show and encouraged him to apply, fulfilling what he said was a dream.
Once the two won the reality show, then began the process of filling the shoes left by Savage and Hyneman. Neither had ever been on camera before, so they have relied heavily on the show’s crew, many of whom worked on the original show, for guidance.
“I think it was the advice Adam Savage gave us day one on The Search … the one piece that kind of hit home for Jon and I was just be yourselves,” Louden said. “That was so much easier to do and believe people wanted to watch us as ourselves when you have an amazing team who are going, ‘Tell you what, we’ll make you comfortable and be your family and make you not worried about being in front of the screen, or that that weld didn’t look good.'”
Even though the new hosts are fans of the old show, which collected eight Emmy nominations during its run, they are looking forward to putting their own twist on the series.
“When you watch the new season of MythBusters, it will be the same exact MythBusters you love,” Lung said. “We do the same thing of, like, the breadth of experiments we do and the breadth of topics we approach, except that Brian and I have completely different backgrounds than Jaime and Adam, so we’re testing it, bringing our own flare, our own approach, our own kind of experience to MythBusters.”
The 14-episode season, debuting at 9 p.m. PT/ET on Wednesday, includes testing myths of getting stuck in a chimney, creating an explosion by flatulence and getting killed by riding with one’s feet up on the dashboard while in the passenger seat.
The stunt Lung is most excited about, which they have not yet filmed, involves re-enacting a classic Die Hard sequence of swinging from the roof of a building into a window below and taking out the bad guy. He said it’s moments like these he has to pinch himself that this is his new job.
“‘Oh, what are you gonna do at work today?’ Oh, I’m gonna jump off a roof, fire a gun and smash through a window, what are you gonna do?” Lung said. “It’s just insane, it’s crazy.”