YouTube star and former “Mythbuster” bring new science show to Aronoff

Adam Savage is best known as the former co-host of “Mythbusters,” the popular Discovery Channel show that used the scientific method to test popular myths. When Savage (and his partner, Jamie Hyneman) stepped down in 2016 after 14 seasons, Savage’s talent agents asked if he wanted to start a new project with Michael Stevens, host of the hit YouTube channel, VSauce, which explores various mathematical, scientific and psychological topics.

“I was a fan and I said, ‘yes,’ immediately,” Savage said. “Michael is a master explainer without being a ‘mansplainer,’ which is impressive for someone who covers such complex material. As a recovering ‘mansplainer’ myself, I found it very instructive.”

The result of Savage and Stevens’ collaboration is “Brain Candy Live!”, which stops at the Aronoff Thursday. “Brain Candy Live” has been described in a number of ways. A combination of Albert Einstein and Willy Wonka, or what your high school science class would’ve looked like if your teacher employed a Las Vegas budget. Savage described it as a science show that’s structured like a magic show.

“We brought in a director who is also a magic designer,” he said. “He has a magician’s understanding of narrative. Magic is rigorous because the stakes are so high. If the trick doesn’t work, it’s ruined. The difference is, instead of giving illusions, we’re giving knowledge.”

The theme for this inaugural “Brain Candy Live” is “air.” Savage said he and Stevens will use movie smoke and other effects to teach the audience cool things about the movement of air molecules. Through the highly interactive, family-oriented show, Savage and Stevens will bring kids onstage to help set up experiments and hold contests.

“We’ll have 11 vantage points on a single experiment so (the audience) can really internalize it,” Savage said. “When I interact with the public, I’m finding a large hunger for the stories science can tell. Our (Brain Candy) audience is 40 percent families, but also college students and grizzled engineers.”

For Savage, being the bringer of knowledge is what makes “Brain Candy” such a natural transition from “Mythbusters.” Savage said that on his former show, he never took any particular pleasure in confirming or “busting” a myth, only in the scientific process that brought the truth, whatever it was, to light. And while “Mythbusters” never took on the really, really big myths, just as JFK or 9/11 truthers, for reasons involving logistics, budget, and sheer morbidity (“a series of experiments involving exploding heads was a little too dark for us,” he said), Savage does have a certain sympathy for conspiracy theorists.

“Even if it’s completely evil, it’s more comforting to believe that someone is in charge,” he said. “Otherwise, you have to acknowledge that nobody is driving this boat, and that’s a crushing burden.”

In the meantime, Savage and Stevens are already brainstorming ideas for the next “Brain Candy” tour.

“We’d like to do a show about mass that doesn’t include any numbers,” he said


What: "Brain Candy Live"

Where: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati

When: Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $45-$150

More Info: 513-621-2787 or

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