Since 2003, Mythbusters hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage have proved and disproved the legitimacy of hundreds of myths, movie stunts and old wives’ tales. (You know your life wasn’t complete until you found out whether or not a lava lamp could explode on a stove.) And while it seems like the duo gets to do pretty much whatever they want, that’s not always the case, and Hyneman in particular has an experiment involving a bus and a catapult that no one wants to let him do.
You might be thinking, “he wants to drive a bus onto a catapult and then launch it,” but that’s not the case at all. Hyneman wants to be the one in the catapult. Perhaps it’s best to just let him explain the science-based stunt.
It involved a baseball player hanging his arm out a train that was going in one direction throwing a baseball in the opposite direction at exactly the same speed to somebody on the side of the track. It ends up just dropping straight out of the air because the velocity has been canceled. We tested that and it worked and all, but what I actually wanted to do was be the baseball. I have this concept of building this reverse-facing slingshot outside of a bus. You would press the trigger and it would go off, so you would end up – bang – on the side of the road, dead still. For some reason, they won’t let me do it.
First of all, I’m now going to make “Be the baseball” one of my life’s mantras. It’s right up there with “Am I missing an eyebrow?” and “Jamie wants big boom.”
Second, that sounds like a crazy ass stunt that could end in a horrifying way if things go wrong. But as Hyneman sees it, all it would take to decrease the danger element is incremental testing, which is what they do on Mythbusters all the time anyway. But apparently no one wants to let him even get to that point, and it doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with the danger. Here’s how he put it to Uproxx.
I think we could get it past the insurance people. For some reason, Adam or the executive producer of the show doesn’t seem to be interested in it…For me it’s a great story because on the face of it, it’s ridiculous or funny and potentially dangerous, but then when you start to break it down, it’s actually not.
And as it goes on that show, if everyone isn’t down with doing a particular project, then the project doesn’t get done. Luckily, they did get to do that episode with the lead balloon, which Hyneman says is both his and Savage’s favorite episode. It’s nice when people can agree on things.
This season has been a pretty pop culture-heavy one for Mythbusters, as they kicked things off with some Simpsons-related stunts, tackled Jaws and Breaking Bad, and then the next episode will see the duo taking on Star Wars. Check it out on Discovery on Saturday, September 5.