Jamie Hyneman

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Jamie Hyneman
Jamie Hyneman.jpg
Hyneman in 2006.
Born James Franklin Hyneman
(1956-09-25) September 25, 1956 (age 59)
Marshall, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Indiana University
Occupation MythBusters co-host, M5 Industries CEO
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Eileen Walsh (1984–present)
Website www.m5industries.com

James Franklin "Jamie" Hyneman (born September 25, 1956)[1] is an American special effects expert and the co-host of the television series MythBusters alongside Adam Savage. He is also the owner of M5 Industries, the special effects workshop where MythBusters is filmed. He is known among Robot Wars devotees for his robot entry, Blendo, which, for a time, was deemed too dangerous for entry in the competition. He is one of the designers of the aerial robotic camera system Wavecam, used in sports and entertainment events.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hyneman was born in Marshall, Michigan, and raised in Columbus, Indiana. Describing his early life, Hyneman said "I was a problematic kid, to be sure. I left home when I was 14 and hitchhiked all over the country."[3]

He earned a degree in Russian linguistics from Indiana University.[4] He also received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Villanova University.[5][6] On November 25, 2011, Hyneman was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente (Enschede, Netherlands) for his role in the popularization of science and technology.[7]


Hyneman has worked as a certified dive master,[8] wilderness survival expert, boat captain,[8] linguist, pet shop owner, animal wrangler, machinist, concrete inspector, and chef. He apparently has a mild case of acrophobia (fear of heights), as mentioned in the "Hammer Drop" and "Duct Tape Bridge" episodes of MythBusters.

Special effects work[edit]

Much of the experience Hyneman uses on MythBusters comes from his time in the visual and special effects professions. Hyneman first broke into the effects industry in the mid 80s as an uncredited special effects crew member on Top Gun. From there, Hyneman spent time as an animatronics technician for films such as Naked Lunch and Flubber, as well as work on the second and third installments of the Matrix Trilogy.

Hyneman owns his own special effects company, M5 Industries, located in San Francisco.

Some of his achievements in commercials include the can-spitting vending machine seen in 7 Up commercials, and his patented two-wheeled football shoe from Nike Lab commercials.[9]


Hyneman and a Blue Angels team member at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma prepare for the Sonic Boom Sound-off episode in 2009.

A distinctive part of his appearance is his dark beret, white long-sleeve button-up shirt over a black T-shirt, no-rim glasses, and occasionally, mirrored sunglasses with side anti-glare guards. This, along with his walrus-style mustache and deep voice, are constant subjects for jokes by co-host Adam Savage and other team members. A sign hanging in his workshop reading "Clean Up or Die", visible in several episodes, expresses his desire to keep the shop clean and tidy.[citation needed]

Hyneman's demeanor on MythBusters is calm, logical and no-nonsense, in stark contrast to Savage's more animated, impulsive and energetic persona.[10] Hyneman is often exasperated by Savage's antics and he sometimes argues with him about the best approach to take. The two often have very different ideas for performing experiments and building devices. Hyneman's ideas tend to be more simplified than his co-host's, and he has a philosophy of reducing a solution to its most basic form, wherever possible. This difference has led to numerous competitions between the two presenters when testing myths, such as testing the Goldfish Memory myth and Hoverboard myth.

In the "AC on vs. Windows Down" myth, Hyneman revealed a food that he invented (and commonly eats) known as "the 444", a smoothie-like concoction of four fruit, four vegetable, and four grain servings. Despite skepticism by the rest of the crew, Hyneman described the 444's taste as "quite pleasant" and compared it to gazpacho.

Other appearances[edit]

The two army-junk sellers in The Darwin Awards are portrayed by Savage and Hyneman. They appear during the story of the rocket-car, which they partially reproduced in the MythBusters series' pilot episode and have retested two more times.[11]

He attended the annual skeptics' conference called The Amaz!ng Meeting in 2006.[12]

On May 16, 2010, Hyneman delivered the commencement address and received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering, from Villanova University.[13] Hyneman has been dr.h.c. Jamie Hyneman since November 25, 2011, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Twente on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. He was awarded his honorary doctorate together with Adam Savage for their work in popularizing science.[14]

Hyneman made a cameo appearance along with Savage on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on the May 1, 2008, episode "The Theory of Everything",[15] where they play inspectors each giving thumbs-up after seeing a shirt soaked in pepper spray catch fire when shot by a taser. They went on to test this myth on MythBusters and declare it confirmed with certain types of pepper spray.

He and MythBusters co-host Savage appear as judges on the game show Unchained Reaction, which premiered in March 2012.[16]

Hyneman and Savage have also voiced characters on The Simpsons episode "The Daughter Also Rises" as a parody of themselves, the "MythCrackers", which prompts Bart and Milhouse to experiment in a similar fashion. Hyneman and Savage then reference this episode during the MythBusters Simpsons special.

Both Hyneman and Savage also voiced stormtroopers like office workers in the Phineas and Ferb Star Wars special.

Hyneman is an editor and contributor at Tested.com alongside fellow Mythbuster Adam Savage, and technology reviewers Will Smith and Norman Chan.

Personal life[edit]

In 1984, Hyneman met his wife, Eileen Walsh, a science teacher, while he owned a sailboat diving charter business in the Virgin Islands.[17][18] Hyneman identifies strongly as both a skeptic[19] and an atheist.[20]


  1. ^ The Editors of Chase's (2009). Chase's Calendar of Events 2009. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 472. ISBN 978-0-07-159956-6. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "'MythBusters' make surprise appearance at SolidWorks World 2006". SolidWorks. January 23, 2005. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  3. ^ Dwyer, John Stephen (May 5, 2010). "The men behind the MythBusters". Blast Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  4. ^ Zimmerman, Keith; Zimmerman, Kent (2004). MythBusters: The Explosive Truth Behind 30 of the Most Perplexing Urban Legends of All Time. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4169-0929-3. 
  5. ^ "MythBusters Co-Host Jamie Hyneman To Deliver Villanova University's 2010 Commencement Address". Villanova University. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Meet Jamie and Adam". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  7. ^ UT awards honorary doctorates to MythBusters, two leading scientists and a business pioneer - website of the University of Twente
  8. ^ a b "Skepticality: The MythBusters". www.skepticality.com. Skeptic Magazine. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  9. ^ US patent 6458008, Jamie Hyneman, "Remote Control Device with Gyroscopic Stabilization and Directional Control", issued 2002-10-01 
  10. ^ Strauss, Gary (January 16, 2008). "'MythBusters' is the stuff of legends, tall tales". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  11. ^ "The Darwin Awards (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  12. ^ [1]. James Randi Educational Foundation. Archived June 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "MythBusters Co-Host Jamie Hyneman to Deliver Villanova University's 2010 Commencement Address". Villanova University. April 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  14. ^ Eredoctoraten voor MythBusters Aandrijftechniek, July 1, 2011.
  15. ^ "CSI: The Theory of Everything Cast List". tv.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  16. ^ Hibberd, James (January 20, 2012). "'MythBusters' hosts launching new show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  17. ^ "MythBusters Behind The Scenes Interview". Discovery UK. Archived from the original on 2009-03-21. 
  18. ^ "Adam Savage Interview - Part 1". The Sneeze. August 23, 2005. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  19. ^ On December 12, 2006, in an interview for Skepticality, the official podcast of Skeptic Magazine, Hyneman said, "[A]ctually I'm pretty adamant about, you know, the whole God thing and it seems that skeptics are by and large atheists or something approaching that, which I strongly identify with. So it turned out to be a good thing and I have become enthusiastically part of it."
  20. ^ 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."

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