MythBusters Jr. is being produced for Science Channel by Beyond Productions. John Luscombe and John Tessier are executive producers for Beyond. Wyatt Channell is executive producer for Science Channel.
It doesn’t take a genius to bust a myth.
But it doesn’t hurt to have one or two around, such as the Huey-You brothers from Fort Worth.
The new show, MythBusters Jr., which debuted on the Science Channel in early January, includes Cannan Huey-You, age 13, and his 16-year-old brother Carson. Cannan is in all 10 episodes and Carson appears in a couple and worked as a behind-the-scenes intern.
Both are students at Texas Christian University. Cannan is a sophomore majoring in astrophysics. Carson graduated from TCU at age 14, the youngest person ever to graduate from college in the Texas. He is now in graduate school at TCU, working on his master’s degree in physics and quantum mechanics. The brothers are from Southlake. They went to school in Grapevine and graduated from the Accommodated Learning Academy, a private school there, Cannan in 2017 and Carson six years ago at age 10.
Cannan wants to be an astronaut and Carson plans to enter some field of scientific research.
“It was very fun filming. We got to build stuff and blow stuff up,” Cannan said with a bit of glee. “I’ve been watching MythBusters a long time and when I was asked to audition I had extreme excitement, and it was even more exciting when I learned I was cast.”
The two spent three months at the headquarters in San Rafael, California. Among the myths they tackled (no spoiler alerts, not giving anything away) were the disposal of batteries and whether they can catch fire, and does blocking a door with a chair actually work?
“It was a very exciting time; I got a lot of great hands-on experience,” Carson said.
Among the highlights, Cannan said, was an interview with TV legend Bill Nye, the Science Guy, for Parade magazine. They discussed the solar eclipse, Cannan said.
“I’ve watched Bill Nye for a long time,” he said. “Well, I’m only 13 so maybe it’s not as long as some, but it’s a long time to me.”
Oh, and Cannan also enjoyed getting to drive during the filming.
“I did that for the duct tape episode,” he said. “It was on a closed course, and I had a qualified instructor, but it was very cool.”
The duct tape episode explores the question of whether a serviceable car can indeed be made from duct tape.
MythBusters Jr. is hosted by Adam Savage, the former host of MythBusters when it ran on the Discovery Channel from 2003-16. The show returned on the Science Channel, Discovery’s sister channel, in 2017 with new hosts.
“Had I been 12 and asked to be on a TV show with Adam Savage and go to California to be a part of MythBusters, I would have loved it, and they did,” said C. Magnus L. Rittby, senior associate dean for TCU’s College of Engineering and Science. “The connections they made with Adam and MythBusters are invaluable. That’s real-life experience they’ll always have with them.
“Being a part of this show is going to continue to open doors for them. They’re so young, and they’re handling it so well.”
Cannan said that sometimes being so smart can get in the way of being ordinary youngsters, but not so with this project.
“It was a really nice break from school. It let us be kids,” he said.
To which Carson added, “It acted as a summer camp of sorts. It was just fun.”
Rittby said, “The Discovery and Science Channel team made things safe and fun. And working with Adam Savage was just a great time.”
The series debuted Jan. 2 for a 10-episode run. Both Cannan and Carson believe the experience will benefit them as they pursue their careers, perhaps even working together on a space project in the future.
“Generally, having that experience outside of academia is where it would come in handy,” Carson said.
“I’ve just always found space interesting,” Cannan said. “My experience with hands-on engineering will help in that field.”