List of additional MythBusters cast members

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This is a list of additional cast members of the television series MythBusters. In addition to the core cast members, the MythBusters team includes several honorary MythBusters as well as some recurring guests.

Former, current, and honorary MythBusters[edit]

Christine Chamberlain[edit]

Christine Chamberlain was a "MythTern" (portmanteau of MythBusters and intern) who joined the MythBusters team as a result of a Discovery Channel contest and was present for the second season of MythBusters. She was injured in some myths[1][2] and argued on screen with Jamie but stayed on the show until season 3.

Scottie Chapman[edit]

Scottie Chapman (born 1971) is a former member of the Build Team who was called the "Mistress of Metal" for her work in welding and metal craft. Notable for her tattoos (which were used for a myth investigation in one episode), she departed after the third season. On her MySpace blog, she revealed that she would not be back as a regular, but appeared in the November 14, 2007 episode Supersized Myths, as well as the 2008 "Young Scientists" Mythbusters special. She also made an appearance in one episode broadcast after her departure that involved an experiment, executed over a number of months, which began when she was with the show, and ended after she had left.

Jessi Combs[edit]

Main article: Jessi Combs

Jessi Combs joined the cast in 2009 when host Kari Byron left to go on maternity leave. Combs is an American television personality and metal fabricator who appeared from 2005–2008 on the Spike show Xtreme 4x4 which is a part of the Powerblock on Spike. Combs was cast as a co-host of Xtreme 4x4 along with Ian Johnson after an international search which required contestants to send audition videos to Spike. Prior to appearing on Xtreme 4x4 she appeared on the TLC program Overhaulin' as a guest fabricator.

After high school Combs turned down a scholarship to attend an interior design school. In 2004 she graduated from WyoTech in the Collision & Refinishing Core Program at the top of her class. She also took the Street Rod Fabrication and Custom Fabrication and High Performance Powertrain programs.

Heather Joseph-Witham[edit]

Heather Joseph-Witham is a folklorist whose extensive research in urban legends, myths, and folklore led her to be tapped for information by the MythBusters team. She appeared on camera in the three pilot episodes and the entire thirteen-episode first season. Joseph-Witham's role on the show was terminated after the third episode of the second season. She received her doctorate from the now defunct Folklore and Mythology Program at UCLA in 1998. She is currently an Associate Professor at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California.[3]

Robert Lee[edit]

Robert Lee (born (1957-09-25)September 25, 1957) is the narrator of the series, who shares the job of explaining experiments and facts with the hosts, often using a copious number of puns and humor. While he did not curse in the earlier episodes, he uses mild profanity in the more recent ones. In some regions—such as the UK and Scandinavia—he is replaced by Irish and British narrators Robin Banks or Daisy Beaumont. Rufus Hound narrates the version of the show that aired on the BBC.

Eric Haven[edit]

Eric Haven is a former comic book artist who draws the blueprint drawings used to introduce each episode, as was revealed in the 2012 season's "Mailbag Special". He took over the job from the MythBusters (Savage and Hyneman) and the Build Team (Byron, Belleci, and Imahara).

He has been a researcher for the program for 33 episodes from 2004 to 2005 and served as an associate producer from 2005 until 2012 for 143 episodes. Since the broadcast of Season 13, he has been credited as a producer for the show. [4]

Jess Nelson[edit]

Jess Nelson was a "MythTern" (MythBusters Intern). She made her first appearance on MythBusters during the "Archimedes' Death Ray" episode as part of the girls' team on the small scale build-off. She appeared again in the "Whirlpool of Death" episode where she was introduced as a "MythTern." In that episode she assisted Adam with the building of scale models to test the whirlpool, and towards the end of the episode got to hold his hand as he vomited in the whirlpool tank, adding her own memorable quote to MythBusters: "Smells like pizza." She then appeared in the "Mega Movie Myths 2 Hour Special" episode where she helped find a car for the use with the ejector seat myth; Once again, she was cited as a "MythTern". She also appeared in "Air Cylinder Rocket", "Christmas Lights", "Hindenburg Mystery", "Western Myths", "Walking on Water", "Birds in a Truck", "Bifurcated Boat", mixing the Non-Newtonian fluid, "Pirate Special", "Supersized myths", and "Superhero Hour".

Non-human assistants[edit]

Buster[edit]

Buster is a crash test dummy that plays an important role in many experiments by taking the place of a human subject in the more dangerous myth tests. The first and most recognized of the dummies used in the show, Buster was introduced in the beginning of the first season for the Exploding Toilet myth. Adam had purchased the dummy to take the place of Jamie (who had second thoughts about testing the myth because he realized the foam he would be using was flammable), and Jamie gave it its name.

Because of the nature of the situations in which the MythBusters use him, Buster has been subjected to forces and situations that far exceed his original design parameters as an automobile crash test dummy. As a testament to the danger of the tests in which he is used—often resulting in his being broken into pieces, burnt, or otherwise mutilated—Buster has had to be extensively repaired and rebuilt over the course of the series to the point that an entire special was devoted to his being completely redesigned and rebuilt as "Buster 2.0". Buster was designed with quick and simple repair in mind, and boasts improved joints, with a more realistic range of movement, and easily replaceable poplar wood "bones". Poplar was chosen because its shear strength was very similar to human bone, providing an accurate gauge of how bones would react in experiments. Buster's new flesh (with the exception of his face, hands, and feet) is made of a silicone marketed for use in animatronics called Dragon Skin. Buster's original head was retained when he was rebuilt, but it had to be replaced after it was shattered during a mishap on the Escape Slide Parachute myth. His original face was retained to fit over his replacement head. They tested Buster 2.0 by dropping him 60 feet (about 20 meters) off a crane while inside a donated Cadillac named Earl.

The MythBusters have at times adapted Buster to fit specialized equipment or give him new functionality. For myths involving holding onto things (such as "Plywood Builder"), his hands are replaced with clamps or quick-release rigs. For myths involving falls (like "Hammer Bridge Drop"), monitoring equipment, such as accelerometers or shock gauges, is installed on or within his body. He was also attached to a pneumatic system at one time so he could punch sharks for the Shark Week special.

Just before testing the revisited "Jet Taxi" myth, Buster spoke two lines as chosen by fans: "Adam, I am your father," followed by "I wonder if Mike Rowe is hiring," a reference to the host of Discovery's other popular show, Dirty Jobs. In October 2007, the fan site also uploaded a video spoof of Buster's life[5] narrated by Jim Forbes of Behind the Music and starring Tory, Grant, Kari and Adam.

As Grant once noted, there are very few times when Buster is actually used for his original purpose (a crash test dummy) on MythBusters.

Since his introduction on the show (in something of a running joke) the cast refer to Buster as if he were an actual living person, and consider him a full member of the cast in his own right. On several myths that involved long drops or intense forces in which Buster was damaged, Adam and others expressed dismay and concern over Buster having been damaged so extensively, most notably during Escape Slide Parachute.

On the Viewer Pick Special 2 episode, a new Buster was introduced. This Buster is a former crash test dummy provided by Dayton T. Brown, Inc. The new Buster was named "Buster 2.0"—not to be confused with the remodeled "Buster 1.0". The original Buster has been retired. During the James Bond special, Buster was dressed up in a tuxedo when he was used for the exploding propane myth. In most myths involving people, Buster is usually dressed in whatever clothes are relevant to the myth (e.g. a police uniform, farmer's overalls, etc.) to give him more character and an air of faux authenticity.

In more recent episodes, the hosts of the show as well as the narrator appear to have taken up a policy of calling any human-analogue "Buster" (not just the specific crash test dummies given the name). However, this practice is very rarely, if at all, applied to ones that are made out of ballistics gel or ones that are otherwise used to represent human tissue (such as pigs).

Simulaids[edit]

Buster has since been supplemented with a family of at least four Simulaids, dubbed "Randy 'Rescue Randy'" (Father), "Jane" (Mother), "Suzy" (Daughter) and an unnamed son. Rescue Randy has also been referred to as "Ted" (for Bus-Ted, Annihila-Ted, Humilia-Ted, and so on). These were added partly because Buster (even after his redesign) was becoming increasingly difficult to repair, and also because not all myths can be accurately tested with Buster due to his size, weight, and other factors. For instance, Suzy (a child dummy) was used to test the myth that a child could go 360 degrees around a swing set. Being representative of an adult man, Buster would not have properly fit the criteria for the myth. The Simulaids were first introduced in the Killer Brace Position myth, primarily because multiple dummies were needed for testing. At least one Simulaid has been destroyed in the course of subsequent experiments (In the "Point Break" trilogy the Simulaid was destroyed when it hit the ground from 4000 feet).

Additionally, a dummy named Ariel (pun on "aerial") was used testing whether a human in a free-fall could propel a six-year-old girl off a seesaw onto a 7-story building.

Ted[edit]

In addition to being one of the extra crash-test dummies used in the show, any full-size human made from ballistics gelatin is usually named Ted, from the last syllable of bus-ted, annihila-ted, exploi-ted.[6] One instance of Ted's use was in the Train Suction myth, where he played the unsuspecting commuter.

Deadblow[edit]

Main article: Deadblow

Deadblow, Grant Imahara's Battlebot, has been used to aid the MythBusters in various ways, such as measuring vibrations in the ground (for the "Chinese Invasion Alarm" Myth) to being a cat decoy (in the "Beat the Guard Dog" Myth). Grant temporarily renamed the robot "Blinky" and fitted it with a set of headlights to simulate an oncoming vehicle for the "Driving in the Dark" myth.

Earl[edit]

Earl was a Cadillac donated by MythBusters fan Ben Rillie that had been used in many episodes such as the Exploding Gas Tank myth. Originally destined to be destroyed by the exploding gas tank, its failure to explode allowed Earl to be used to test myths in subsequent episodes. It was finally destroyed when it was dropped nose-down from 60 feet in the air to test the resilience of a remodeled Buster, and to satisfy the cast's promise to Ben that they would do their best to destroy the car.

Sparky[edit]

In Trailblazers, Jamie took the motor and wheels from an electric wheelchair and fitted it with a metal hood for protection, a remote control, and a stand for a keg of gunpowder. The Mythbusters drilled a hole in the keg and lit the ensuing trail of gunpowder on fire to see if the fire would travel up the falling stream of gunpowder and explode the keg. After many trials, the myth was called plausible, and Sparky survived.

Guests[edit]

In addition, several celebrity guests have been brought in to guest on the show, either for their high level of skill or knowledge in a certain area. Famous guests have included world-record-holding card thrower Ricky Jay ("Killer Deck"), Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens ("Baseball Myths"), National Football League Punter Ray Guy ("Helium Football"), the Ask a Ninja ninja, James Bond actress Shirley Eaton ("Pilot 3 - Goldfinger"), MMA fighter Jon Fitch ("Coffin Punch"), Major League Baseball pitcher Matt Cain ("Monk Magic"), as well as actor Seth Rogen ("Green Hornet Special"). President Barack Obama asked Jamie and Adam to meet him in the White House Library, to which they happily obliged. He gave them the President's Challenge, asking them to revisit for the third time the Archimedes' Death Ray myth and report the results. Once again, the myth was busted, but Jamie found an alternate and possibly useful purpose: though the mirrors could not concentrate sunlight to set a ship on fire, the reflected sunlight could blind and distract the crew.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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