Ex-'Mythbusters' Kari Byron, Tory Belleci returning to Discovery
Two ex-Mythbusters are coming back to Discovery Channel: Kari Byron and Tory Belleci have signed on to host Discovery Communications’ annual coverage of Delaware’s Punkin Chunkin event.
Marking their first appearance on the network since Discovery confirmed last month that they were leaving the 11-year-old fan-favorite cable series, Byron and Belleci will re-team to host the Thanksgiving-week event, EW has learned exclusively.
In the competition, more than 100 teams of backyard engineers will gather at Dover International Speedway and use homemade air cannons, trebuchets, catapults and centrifugal machines to attempt to hurl a pumpkin the farthest (the world record, according to Guinness World Records, is 5,545 feet, made by a pneumatic cannon).
The two-hour special will simulcast on Discovery and Science Channel on Saturday, November 29 at 8 p.m. The event is hosted by The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit charitable organizations.
Science Channel and Discovery Channel coverage of Punkin Chunkin has helped boost the profile of the contest with each passing year. Even though the event originated in 1986, Punkin Chunkin plays like an unofficial Mythbusters festival since it aligns with the tropes of the contraption-creation weird-science series. Byron, Belleci and fellow departing Mythbuster Grant Imahara have hosted the networks’ coverage of the event for the last three years. Since last month’s departure announcement, fan have clamored for their return to Mythbusters, and Discovery recently pledged they were going to try and find other projects for them.
“Science Channel is uniquely connected with the spirit of Punkin Chunkin,” said Rita Mullin, general manager of Science Channel. “Every year we’re inspired by the enthusiasm, ingenuity and pure joy of this unique event. As we enter seven straight years of coverage, we’re also proud of the role Science Channel has played in making Punkin Chunkin a pop culture event that America has made part of their Thanksgiving holiday.”