To most folks, Jamie Hyneman is "the serious guy" on Discovery Channel's long-running science program "MythBusters." While that's still his day job, there are a lot of things you might not know about the beret-wearing half of TV's most popular experimenting duo.
For starters, he's got three college degrees. Hyneman graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Russian linguistics; he's since received two more honorary diplomas, one a Doctor of Engineering from Villanova University in 2010, and another in 2011, from the University of Twente - that's in the Netherlands. If you didn't already know that Hyneman was brainy, he's got the paperwork to prove it.
Before "MythBusters," he left home at the young age of 14 and traveled the country, according to an interview with Blast Magazine. He then worked a series of odd jobs, including running a sailing and charter boat business in the Caribbean, before finding his way into more familiar territory. Hyneman was an uncredited special effects crew member on the Tom Cruise classic "Top Gun," and eventually founded his own special effects company, M5 Industries.
In the mid 1990's, Hyneman and future co-host Adam Savage collaborated on the combat robot Blendo - Hyneman did the design and building, while Savage wired the electronics - which appeared on "Robot Wars" and its US spinoff "BattleBots." They didn't become the guys from "MythBusters" until the series premiere in 2003, and the rest is TV history.
You know him for always wearing the a beret, for being the calm one compared to Savage's more excitable and often bigger approaches, and for the Internet joke that notes his resemblance to a walrus. Yet all humor aside, we can thank Jamie Hyneman for making science cool and popular again.
Aside from the more than 250 episodes of their hit show, Adam and Jamie have gone on to make cameo appearances in CBS's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (in the 2008 installment "The Theory of Everything") and FOX's "The Simpsons" (parodying themselves in the 2012 episode "The Daughter Also Rises," as "MythCrackers"). They also co-hosted Discovery Channel's 2012 science-themed game show "Unchained Reaction," which lasted just one season in 2012.
Hyneman will return, along with Savage, for the upcoming 2015 season of "MythBusters," which recently made headlines for the dismissal of "Build Team" Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara (who also competed on "BattleBots"). He and Savage are also contributors to the website Tested.com. To keep an eye on all Hyneman's future fantastic projects, keep up with Jamie Hyneman at AXS.