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The MythBusters' long history of accidents and mishaps

The now-famous cannonball incident is just the latest in a long string of experiments gone wrong on the hit Discovery Channel show. Of course, no one ever gets injured--except the show's hosts.

On Tuesday, the misfiring of a cannon at a MythBusters shoot sent a ball of metal flying into a neighborhood in Dublin, Calif. Luckily, no one was injured. The show has a long history of accidents and mishaps, usually involving its co-hosts.
Screenshot by CNET

Cannonballs into people's houses. Blown-out windows. Electric shocks. Goat-kicks to the groin. Welcome to the "MythBusters."

If you think the now-famous MythBusters cannonball mishap is the only example of things going wrong at the hit TV show, you haven't been paying attention.

It turns out there's no shortage of examples of accidents, injuries, and even damaging explosions resulting from the show's countless attempts to bust myths (See videos at the end of this blog post). As co-host Adam Savage once put it, "MythBusters" is "four minutes of science, and 10 minutes of me hurting myself."

On Tuesday, as has now been widely reported, the MythBusters misfired a cannon, sending a shot deep into a Dublin, Calif., neighborhood--through someone's house and into a minivan. Luckily, no one was injured. But this wasn't the first time the show went into a small California town and inadvertently shook things up.

In 2009, according to TV station KCRA, the show visited Esparto, Calif., to film an experiment in which the team tried to "literally 'knock the socks off' a mannequin by igniting 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate. But the explosion was a lot bigger than they expected."

Indeed, the explosion shattered at least one Esparto resident's window, and knocked her off her couch. "It was a boom that was just--I had never heard anything like that before," Sherril Stephens told KCRA. "It was really weird."

But if no one was hurt in the cannonball or the blown-out window accidents, that may only be because one of the show's hosts wasn't there to take the brunt. It turns out that most "MythBusters" mishaps seem to involve one of the five co-hosts taking it for the team in one ignominious way or another. A quick perusal of YouTube turned up no shortage of memorable accidents, many resulting in small injuries, or at least embarrassment, to either Savage or co-host Tory Bellici.

In many of the incidents, oddly enough, it's Bellici in the line of fire, often getting hit by something in the groin. There's the goat that kicked him there. The kite-borne magnet. The martial-arts kick.

"If I had a nickel for every time I got hit in the [testicles] on this show, I could retire," Bellici said. "I hope I could still have kids...They're like a magnet to flying things."

But it's not just Bellici's reproductive organs that have taken the brunt of the long "MythBusters" comedy of errors. There's been plenty of instances of Savage falling and getting shocked, and of course Bellici falling off bicycles and buildings. Yet they just keep on doing their thing.

As for whether the MythBusters were actually able to knock the socks off that mannequin? Stephens sounded like she didn't care. "It knocked me off the couch," a laughing Stephens told KCRA, "and that takes a lot to do."