Many strange sights have been witnessed on Las Vegas casino stages, but a science show isn't one that usually comes to mind.
Jamie Hyneman sounds like he would prefer to keep it that way.
The unflappable half of "Mythbusters" is headed to the Palazzo with his more gregarious partner, Adam Savage, to present a live version of their Discovery Channel hit.
Hyneman is the Spock to Savage's Kirk in terms of sheer logic, more Chong than Cheech on the serenity scale. He does not speak off the cuff, so even this subject of their team dynamic merits an analytical response.
"We're distinctly different personalities and so there's an inherent tug of war between whatever it is we're dealing with. It actually is a very useful tool for us," Hyneman says. "Even onstage it makes it a little bit more interesting than just one guy linearly moving along this particular path."
Chumlee this ain't. Yet here are the "Mythbusters," reality TV rock stars now on a live tour, serving as a glimmer of hope that Kardashian minds will not rule every corner of the basic cable universe.
"We're delighted to have a job and one that's fun. The rest of it's all gravy," Hyneman says. And that would include the "Behind the Myths" tour today through Sunday, returning Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
Seeing his name in lights on the Strip is "just as bizarre as the fact that we've been doing a television show for 10 years and I'm a guy that's happiest tinkering in the back of a shop by myself," Hyneman says. "For some reason I'm an international celebrity."
Celebrity does not come with a fear of public speaking.
"Dealing with things like explosives and having to jump off the top of buildings is what's made me fairly comfortable with having to go onstage," he says. "It's kind of hard to get me nervous anymore."
Frequent explosions on "Mythbusters" may help explain why Hyneman doesn't cozy up too close to the S-word.
"It just turns out the best way to do about anything is to be methodical and careful about it, and that also happens to be basically what science is," he says.
"Mythbusters" has been described as "Jackass" meets "Mr. Science," very much a product of an age when that word can no longer be uttered in a show title, as it could for "Mr. Science" (Tim Perkins) or "Bill Nye the Science Guy."
Doesn't matter whether the 'Busters want to find out whether pancaking on the ground would help their odds against an exploding grenade, or whether "beer goggles" really make people in bars more attractive. They find their answers the hard way.
"One of the things that we've done that has resonated along those lines, is that we don't go about doing the stuff that we do by sitting down and saying, 'Let's do some science on this.'
"What we're doing is simply saying, 'We've got a job to do, a question to answer, something to build. And so, what's the best way to do that?'
"So that's what we do. That's different. That implies science isn't just for guys in lab coats. That applies to anybody who simply wants to answer a question or do a good job figuring something out."
Any TV show is better with massive amounts of C4 explosives. But on its most basic level, the hands-on approach to "Mythbusters" means "kids are not looking at science and math studies as something that is an onerous task. (It's more like) 'Do you want to be able to understand something? Well then, be methodical and diligent about it and you'll figure it out.' "
Hyneman does have a few qualms about showing "Mythbusters" episodes in school science classes.
"I would expect them to show the actual examples we're presenting and then either critique how we approached it or do a proper class to deal with that topic," he says. "Using us to generate interest or attention in some particular subject is fine, but then go do some real science after that."
In their live show, Savage and Hyneman try to preserve that air of experimentation. "The only problem is by definition, you don't know how experiments are going to turn out," he says.
"That's a little problematic in a stage show, we decided we should just ignore that and not try to have something that's a slick, rehearsed sort of thing, but something that replicates the spirit of what we do."
So, does that mean stuff blows up?
Here Hyneman is uncharacteristically coy.
Audience volunteers are "required to wear safety equipment with some of the pieces that we do," he says.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.