Adam Savage (American)

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Adam Savage
AdamSavageJul2011 cropped.jpg
Savage in July 2011
Born Adam Whitney Savage[1]
(1967-07-15) July 15, 1967 (age 48)
New York, New York, U.S.
Residence San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Tisch School of the Arts
Occupation MythBusters co-host, designer/fabricator, actor, educator
Spouse(s) Julia Ward (m. 2002)
Children 2

Adam Whitney Savage (born July 15, 1967)[2] is an American industrial design and special effects designer/fabricator, actor, educator, and television personality, known as co-host (with Jamie Hyneman) of the Discovery Channel television series MythBusters and Unchained Reaction.[1] His model work has appeared in major films, including Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and The Matrix Reloaded. He is a prominent member of the skeptic community. He lives in San Francisco with his twin sons and wife, Julia.

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, Savage was raised in Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, New York.[3] He graduated from Sleepy Hollow High School in 1985.[4] His Grandfather, Cushman Haagensen, was a surgeon who pioneered in breast-cancer surgery.[5] His father, Whitney Lee Savage (1928–1998), was a painter, filmmaker and animator known for his work on Sesame Street, and has a permanent exhibit in the Avampato Discovery Museum.[6] His mother is a psychotherapist. His sister Kate Savage is also an artist. As a teenager in Sleepy Hollow, he routinely visited the local bike shop to have flat tires fixed. The shop showed him how to do the repairs himself. From this experience, Savage said, "I realized you could take a bike apart and put it back together and it wasn't that hard...I've been building and putting bicycles together since then."[4]

Savage began acting as a child, and has had five years of acting school.[1] His early credits include voicing animated characters that his father produced for Sesame Street, Mr. Whipple's stock boy "Jimmy" in a Charmin commercial, a helper in the special effects of Star Wars, and a drowning young man saved by a lifeguard in the 1985 Billy Joel music video "You're Only Human (Second Wind)".[7]

Describing the early abandonment of his acting career, Savage said that "by the time I was, I guess probably nineteen, I had passed on that in favor of doing stuff with my hands – graphic design, assistant animation in New York, and then eventually working in theater in San Francisco, and film special effects. Then MythBusters came along and it was the perfect marriage of two things, performance and special effects."[8] On November 25, 2011, Savage received an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente (Enschede, Netherlands) for his role in the popularization of science and technology.[9][10]


Savage in July 2008
At Reason Rally Washington, D.C. March 23, 2012

Savage has worked as an animator, graphic designer, carpenter, projectionist, film developer, television presenter, set designer, toy designer, and gallery owner. He worked as a model maker on the films Galaxy Quest, Bicentennial Man, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, The Matrix Reloaded, and Space Cowboys, among others.

Savage played the role of a helpful engineer in the 2001 film Ever Since the World Ended[11] and the role of an army surplus store owner who sells a man a rocket engine for his pickup truck in 2006 in The Darwin Awards, which also featured MythBusters co-star Jamie Hyneman.[12] He made a cameo appearance along with Jamie Hyneman on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on the May 1, 2008, episode "The Theory of Everything." In the "making of" material for The Matrix Revolutions, he appears in his role as a special effects artist and discusses some of the miniature effects used and the difficulties involved.

He previously taught advanced model making in the department of Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.[1]

Savage has become a regular presenter at magician James Randi's annual skeptics' conference, The Amaz!ng Meeting, since first appearing in January 2006.[13] Savage credits his introduction to the skeptical community to Michael Shermer, who interviewed him for Skeptic Magazine.[14] He also appeared in the UK, giving a talk at the first Amazing Meeting London from October 3–4, 2009, hosted at the Mermaid Conference Centre, Blackfriars.[15]

Savage was a featured performer at the three w00tstock v1.x shows in 2009, and appeared in four w00tstock v2.x shows in 2010. He also appeared as a guest on Diggnation's 220th show.[16]

Savage has also been a regular guest speaker at the annual Maker Faire since 2008, speaking on different topics such as his obsession with the dodo bird and problem solving, and also taking questions from the audience members about the MythBusters and other things.

Savage hosted an episode of the Discovery Channel series Curiosity, in which he speculated as to whether or not it is possible for humans to live forever. During the program various topics such as limb regeneration, organ printers, and even age reversal are discussed.

In 2011, Adam Savage appeared as Dan in a short film directed by Frank Ippolito titled Night of the Little Dead.[17]

Savage and Hyneman are judges on the game show Unchained Reaction which premiered in March 2012.[18]

Savage is an occasional guest host for lecture events at the San Francisco-based non-profit City Arts & Lectures.,[19] and delivered the keynote address at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival on March 10, 2014.[20]

Savage is a co-host on the weekly podcast Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project. The project launched on June 5, 2012, and is in the format of a conversation between 3 or 4 people about topics from science and movies to work ethic. Episodes typically last 30–45 minutes.[21]

Savage is currently an editor and contributor at alongside fellow Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman.[22][23]


Savage has been involved in MythBusters since its creation. His role in the show (that he shares with all the other talent) is to either disprove ("bust") myths or confirm them through testing and experiments done at different scales. If the myth is about a one-time occurrence, or if a myth requires extremely specific circumstances to occur as stated, it is often deemed "plausible" instead.

Savage's demeanour on MythBusters is animated and energetic, providing a foil to Jamie Hyneman's more reserved straight man persona.[24]

Savage and Hyneman were the only hosts of the show for the first season of MythBusters. Starting with the second season, members of Hyneman's staff were introduced and began to appear regularly in episodes; Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and welder Scottie Chapman appeared in the second season. In the third season, Chapman was replaced by Grant Imahara, a robot builder and model maker. In an interview Savage gave during The Amaz!ng Meeting 5, he expressed an interest in proving natural selection over creationism on MythBusters.

My goal this year [2007] is to prove natural selection on the show. It's gonna take a while, it's gonna be very hard to make it fascinating on film in the context of our narrative structure, but I figure screw it. The sky's the limit. Let's do natural selection. I'm sick of fifty percent of this country thinking creationism is reasonable. It's appalling. And I have the unique ability, maybe, to sell this idea to Discovery, and they'll, they might allow me to do it, and I'm gonna try as hard as I can.[25]

Savage also stated that such an episode is unlikely because MythBusters has a policy against trying to disprove supernatural phenomena.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Savage and his wife Julia Ward were married in 2002. He has twin sons from a previous relationship.[27] Savage is a self described atheist.[28][29] He wears a hearing aid on his left ear due to the congenital condition, otosclerosis.[30] He is also a practiced juggler as seen on MythBusters. Savage has a lifelong interest in costume making and cosplay. He said, "I remember my mom getting me a 'Jaws' costume when 'Jaws' came out...and wearing a Batman costume. Back then, everyone dressed up as hobos." He strives for authenticity with his costumes. While in high school, he and his father made a suit of armor out of aluminium roof flashing that had 700 rivets. He said, "I wore it to school and passed out from heat exhaustion in math class. I woke up in the nurse's office and the first thing I said was 'Where's my armor?'" In 2011, he built a costume based on the character No-Face from the film Spirited Away.[4] In 2012, he was the commencement speaker at Sarah Lawrence College.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d Adam Savage (August 20, 2008). Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe #215 with guest Adam Savage. Interview with Steve Novella, et al. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2008. 
  2. ^ The Editors of Chase's (2009). Chase's calendar of events 2009. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-07-159956-6. 
  3. ^ "Bio-Adam Savage 2008" (PDF). Symantec. Archived from the original (.PDF) on July 27, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Kramer, Peter D. (October 29, 2011). "Reminiscing with Sleepy Hollow ‘Mythbuster’ Adam Savage". The Journal News (Journal News Media Group). pp. B1–B2. 
  5. ^ Adam tells this in Tour of Adam Savage's Home Office
  6. ^ "Artist Profile: W. Lee Savage (1928-1998)" (PDF). Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Adam Savage, Co-Host". The Discovery Channel. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2008. 
  8. ^ Dwyer, John Stephen (May 5, 2010). "The men behind the MythBusters". Blast Magazine. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ UT awards honorary doctorates to MythBusters, two leading scientists and a business pioneer - website of the University of Twente
  10. ^ Mythbuster in Nederland - website EenVandaag (Dutch)
  11. ^ "Ever Since the World Ended (2001)". The Internet Movie Database. 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2008. 
  12. ^ "The Darwin Awards". The Internet Movie Database. 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2008. 
  13. ^ Wagg, Jeff (February 4, 2008). "The Amaz!ng Meeting 6". James Randi Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Skepticality". Skeptic Magazine. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Amazing Meeting London (2009)". Speakers at Amazing Meeting London. 2009. Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  16. ^ Episode 220: Mythnation! at Revison3
  17. ^ Night of the Little Dead -
  18. ^ Hibberd, James (January 20, 2012). "'MythBusters' hosts launching new show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Adam Savage & John Hodgman - City Arts & Lectures". 
  20. ^ "Adam Savage to Keynote SXSW Interactive on Monday, March 10". South by Southwest 2016 Music, Film and Interactive Festivals - Austin Texas. 
  21. ^ "Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project". iTunes. 
  22. ^ "Viral Video: MythBusters’ "Tested"". 
  23. ^ "Unleashing a Myth Buster: Q&A with Adam Savage". FLY. 
  24. ^ Strauss, Gary (January 15, 2008). "'MythBusters' is the stuff of legends, tall tales". USA Today. p. 1. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  25. ^ * Swoopy; Colanduno, Derek (February 13, 2007), "Ep. #46 - TAM 5 - Adam Savage, Lori Lipman Brown, and Ben Radford (@0:12:15)", Skepticality (Skeptic Magazine), retrieved November 27, 2011 
  26. ^ Swoopy; Colanduno, Derek (July 1, 2008), "Ep. #80 - Skeptic Rock Stars: Adam Savage and Neil DeGrasse Tyson (@0:30:00)", Skepticality (Skeptic Magazine), retrieved November 27, 2011 
  27. ^ Purdy, Kevin (May 30, 2009). "MythBusters' Adam Savage Talks Tech, Obsessions, and Science". Lifehacker. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  28. ^ Savage, Adam (April 18, 2010). Food for The Eagle (Speech). Boing Boing. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  29. ^ In a 2011 interview on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, at 1:20:00, Adam Savage is quoted as saying "Both Jamie and I are atheists."
  30. ^ Savage, Adam (May 4, 2009). "Adam Savage: @jayyoozee Yes I wear a he ...". Adam Savage Twitter. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Adam Savage, Commencement Keynote Address". Sarah Lawrence. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 

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