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Don’t try this at home: ‘MythBusters’ brings science to the Vegas stage

7 thoughts on the live show

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Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage from MythBusters.
ROBERT FUJIOKA STUDIOS INC

1. Discovery channel heroes Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are in the house at the Palazzo. They walk onstage to P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life,” proving once and for all that scientists have swagger. And berets.

2. Can we have a volunteer? Hands shoot up. As Hyneman told the Weekly, this tour is more about audience experimentation than myth-busting explosions. Waivers are taped to chairs in the front rows, and the pair selects a young blond boy as one of the first volunteers. Savage leads him in front of a bed of steel nails and asks if he’d like to lie down. When the kid agrees, Savage laughs, “Most kids say ‘no.’”

3. Savage lies down on the nails himself and explains how the distribution of his weight makes it possible. Then Hyneman puts a 20-pound cinderblock on his chest and smashes it with a sledgehammer, natch.

Calendar

Behind the Myths
August 31-September 2
7 p.m., $60-$205
Palazzo, 414-9000

4. In between demos on paper friction (two interlocked phonebooks support Savage’s weight as he’s hoisted to the ceiling) and human power (audience members engage in some competitive biking), both MythBusters take turns answering audience questions on favorite busted myths (Hyneman: Lead Balloon) and worst accidents (Savage: three broken fingers and a few dozen stitches, all off-camera). Savage refuses to talk about the underwater car experiment out of respect for his mom, who’s at tonight’s show.

5. When someone asks Savage about myths filmed that didn’t make the show he says there’ve only been about three. One he can’t talk about about, except to say that something readily available proved to be so lethal they decided not to air it in the interest of public safety. Another involved sugared cereal, cardboard boxes and a cannibalistic lab mouse.

6. More volunteers! This time three lucky audience members take a seat in front of the MythBusters’ favorite toy, a super high-speed camera. They make funny faces while the camera rolls, and the results are terrifying-amazing-hilarious. A man looks like an alien is emerging from his mouth. A woman’s brows clench in concentration as her cheeks ripple like waves. Note to self: Purchase one of these as soon as possible.

7. By the time the show ends, I feel like I’ve just attended the most entertaining lecture of my life. It’s a pleasant counterpoint to usual Strip theater fare, not anti-Vegas but un-Vegas—no scantily clad assistants, no sexual innuendos and about as family-friendly as it gets. Maybe the MythBusters did bust a myth during their local shows: the one about what Las Vegas has to offer and what you’ll find here.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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