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D'oh! 'MythBusters' to take on 'The Simpsons' best stunts

Exploding toilets! Runaway wrecking balls! Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will bust or prove "Simpsons"-inspired moments in their new season premiere in January.

Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
3 min read

"MythBusters" test school toilet pranks and more on "The Simpsons." Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson are the kind of TV sitcom family that can survive everything from alien invasions to extreme factory disasters. Now their crazy antics will undergo scientific experimentation at the hands of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, hosts of the science-based Discovery Channel show "MythBusters."

The characters on the long-running Fox show "The Simpsons" seem to always escape the kind of perils that us real mortal humans might not bounce back from. Homer has fallen off cliffs, been shot out of a cannon, been chased by bears and worked in an unsafe nuclear power plant for years. Even the kids have been hit by cars, attacked by rogue robots, infected with foreign viruses and injured by jagged metal cereal prizes, just to name a few.

So many crazy events have happened on "The Simpsons" that "MythBusters" hosts Savage and Hyneman are testing their favorite Simpsons-inspired myths to see if it can be replicated in real life.

"We set out to test Bart throwing a cherry bomb into the toilet that makes all toilets in the school act like geysers," Savage told Entertainment Weekly. "And then there's one [from season five's "Sideshow Bob Roberts"] in which Homer's house is about to be destroyed by a wrecking ball and Homer places his body between the wrecking ball and the house to keep it from being destroyed."

The "MythBusters" duo have been itching to do a special tribute to "The Simpsons" ever since Savage and Hyneman played themselves in the 2002 episode "The Daughter Also Rises." The episode spoofs "MythBusters" by showing Bart and his pal Milhouse inspired by a similar show called "MythCrackers."

In "MythCrackers," animated versions of Savage and Hyneman inspired Bart to test schoolyard urban legends. Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Even though "The Simpsons" is a cartoon, the "MythBusters" team wanted to see if they could re-create a few of the most memorable gags from the animated program.

While Bart tossing a cherry bomb into a toilet is an easy experiment to test, Homer vs. the wrecking ball was a bit trickier. After all, the MythBusters team had to find two houses they could demolish and make a life-size Homer to block the wrecking ball.

"We ended up building two replicas of the Springfield house out at a landfill," Savage told EW. "Then we had to make a Homer -- this was the first time we made a non-human crash-test dummy because Homer is human, but he's also a cartoon character, which means his proportions are totally not human. It's a very elaborate process that we went through using three or four different technologies that we've used over the years in special effects. But there's a weirdness to standing next to a 5'11" tall Homer Simpson proportioned correctly to the cartoon in real life."

In addition to busting or proving myths from "The Simpsons," fans can expect "MythBusters" to tackle other TV shows and films this upcoming season. Stunts pulled off in the Indiana Jones films and from AMC's "Breaking Bad" will be tested by Savage and Hyneman on the next season of "MythBusters" on Discovery.

Only "MythBusters" would dare to re-create a wrecking ball stunt with Homer Simpson. Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET