Ah, I see. And did they participate in that, because I know Grant did?
Tory: Yes, Jamie had a robot called Blendo. I was at one of the fights and it tore another robot apart. After its first battle they had to pull it out of the competition because it was too dangerous.
That was sort of an apt precursor for the show, this combination of technical elegance and naked aggression.
Grant: Yes, you might say that! His robot was one of the most fearsome competitors there. The idea of making something that dangerous is something that continues on with the show today. It’s not what the show is all about: the basis of the show is science and using your skills to solve problems and figure things out, but the explosive force with which his robot executed things is also reflected today.
Boy, it sure is, and you guys seem gleeful about blowing things up – the more extreme the better. I assume that enthusiasm is real because it sure comes off that way.
Kari: Oh yeah, it’s a good job. Who wouldn’t be excited to do this every day?
Tory: People ask, “Do you ever get tired of the explosions?” I don’t care how many explosions I see, even if it’s a small one, when there is something blowing up I’m as happy as can be.
Kari: Would you ask an astronaut, “Is it getting boring going to the moon?” I don’t think so!
No way – you’re right! You guys are at the very top of the pyramid of all the people in the world who love to blow things up because you get to do it for a living and people watch you!
What is the single most surprising/shocking result you’ve found?
Kari: The bull in the china shop episode was pretty counter-intuitive. This started as a gag for us at the end of red-flag-to-a-bull myth. We were going to create a little china shop and let a bull loose and watch him knock everything down and break everything. But the bull danced around with such grace and agility that it didn’t knock over one thing.
So we proceeded to use two bulls. They chased each other around all of the shelves with elegance and they didn’t knock anything over. We got up to five bulls running around in this tiny little pen and they weren’t breaking anything – so we "busted" bull in a china shop.