Former MythBusters’ Kari and Tory are reunited and looking for Thrills


MythBusters was a television phenomenon that started in 2003. In a lot of ways it reignited millions of people’s couch quest for knowledge. While Jamie and Adam were the main hosts of the show, many of us fell in love with the more relatable crew known as the build team: notably Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara. Tory and Kari both worked on the show from 2004 to 2014 and formed a very close friendship that transcended the entertainment industry, and now the two are back together working on a brand new show called Thrill Factor for the Travel Channel.

Tory expressed his enthusiasm being reunited with Kari on television, “We are excited to be working together again. Kari and I have had 10 years of television together, and since we left MythBusters we have been wanting to work together again. It’s kind of ridiculous… we are getting on roller coasters, testing the science and we look at each other and we are laughing. It is like, ‘How did we get this job…?'” I asked about Grant, and while he will not be involved in Thrill Factor, they will be working together in the future in other capacities.

Tory had already built in the reputation for being the daredevil of the group, and Kari was always a little more reserved. “Every single episode has pushed me beyond my limits.. There have been a couple episode where I had second thoughts about filming this show, but once you do it you get this amazing rush that bleeds over to your normal life.. I’m riding my Mountain Bike down slightly scarier hills.” Fans of Mythbusters will remember that Kari was actually pregnant during a season of the show. I asked her how motherhood affects her mentally in performing death-defying actions on TV. “I want to be the kind of mom that she looks to and says, ‘My mom is brave. She does crazy fun things. My mom can do anything.’ So for me when I come across scary experiences I often think about her and think I want to do this so she can see that it can be done, because bravery is not doing something you are not scared of; it’s knowing something is scary and still doing it..”

Thrill Factor looks to take the scientific television formula that we loved in MythBusters, but this time kick up the adrenaline. Kari says that in this show they are digging deep into a subculture of thrill seeking. “We are seeing parts of America I didn’t even know existed. We have found a counter culture of people who ride roller-coaster as a part of their main vacation… it is so much fun.” The past summer of filming feels like one giant vacation. Kari feels that in this first ten episode season of the show, they have just scratched the surface of thrill rides and feels like the series can have much more longevity. “It’s not just roller coasters and water slides. We are jumping off of buildings, we went down an Olympic bobsled track… there are so many thrill rides across the country and in my fantasy land, we can take the show global, but that’s more up to the Travel Channel and our audience.”

It’s a rare thing to see in Hollywood where a job is not ‘just a job’. On Thrill Factor you are going to see two legitimately good friends hosting a show where they are having the time of their lives. As a fan of Tory and Kari, it’s going to be fun to watch them go from the ‘B-Team’ of MythBusters to the center stage of Thrill Factor.

Thrill Factor premieres tonight, August 12th, at 8 pm PT/EST on Travel Channel

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.