Brooklyn native Jonathan Lung nearly missed his chance to become a MythBuster.
Lung had set aside an online application to compete on MythBusters: The Search, a contest to replace previous hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman on the popular Discovery Channel reality show. He remembered it the day the application was due as he was moving out of his studio after graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts from New Yorks School of Visual Arts. With help from a friend, he hastily put together a video interview and portfolio and submitted them.
A week later, they were like, Hey, we loved your stuff! That was it, says Lung, 28. The whole thing seems like a crazy dream.
Last spring, Lung along with Brian Louden, an engineer and paramedic from Houston won the competition and will debut their skill sets on MythBusters at 9 p.m. Wednesday on sister network Science Channel.
In the Search finale, Lung could be seen laughing and letting out a sharp exhale of relief. It felt like when you first open a bottle of sparkling water and all the bubbles go whoosh when they rush to the top, says Lung, a bundle of energy who spoke with The Post at New York Comic Con last month, where he was rocking a bushy faux hawk, chin scruff and geeky black specs. I dont even remember most of it.
Lung was a fan for the full 14 seasons of the original MythBusters, which debunked rumors using science and countless explosions before signing off in March of 2016. Despite his enthusiasm and engineering skills, he did have apprehensions going in.
I didnt know Id be a good fit, honestly. Id never been on camera before, never done TV, he says. But on the first day of filming, Lung was buoyed by a surprise set visit from former host Adam Savage.
He walks in and gives us a piece of advice, like, Youre gonna go on a crazy journey and the most important thing is to just be yourself and have fun, Lung says. That set my mind up to be, like, all right, if Im not a good fit, then they wont choose me. If it works out, then it works out.
And it has. Lung, who was raised in Staten Island, brings a background in graphic, product and prototype design including working with furniture to the show. Flexibility in working with different materials and tools really helped me out, he says.
Every challenge was a surprise to see if you could adapt to the pressures of Do this in this amount of time! Go, go, go, go!
Still, nothing could prepare him for the uncertainty and frenetic pace of the shows production.
Every challenge was a surprise to see if you could adapt to the pressures of Do this in this amount of time! Go, go, go, go!, he says. Its kinda nuts, like a blind sprint.
In Wednesdays premiere, Lung and Louden test the safety of air bags, and the realism of movie murder scenes. Lungs most adrenaline-inducing challenge this season tests whether an action-movie hero could really rappel from a buildings rooftop and swing through a window on a floor below, a la John McClane (Bruce Willis) in the Die Hard movies.
Its incredibly counterintuitive when youre, like, three stories high, and you look out on a parking lot and they go, Yeah, just run off the roof! Lung says, adding that safety precautions are stringent. As soon as you leap off the building, your body is like, Why are we jumping off? My heart was like [thumps left side of his chest with his fist] boom, boom, boom, boom!
Its insane. Its crazy!
MythBusters 9 p.m. Wednesday on Science Channel