Interview with Tamara Robertson of "Scijinks" on The Science Channel - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Tamara Robertson

Interview with Tamara Robertson of "Scijinks" on The Science Channel 5/16/18

I interviewed Tamara Robertson, an engineer, who, along with a creative production team, and magician Jason Latimer, devised pranks for the show "Scijinks," which premieres tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on Science Channel. The team came up with ideas for pranks, based on science, and then Tamara let them know whether they were possible or not and helped them figure out how to implement them. She said that some of the tricks they wanted to do involved electromagnets, "which just don't work the way they think they do." Latimer helped them figure out how to hide the tricks they used to decieve the "marks" (i.e. the people that were being pranked). They called various people in, on the premise of a job interview or other types of diversions, and then they would do the pranks. There are 10 episodes, and two pranks per episode, that they filmed last year. It sounds like an exciting and funny show to watch.

Besides the pranks, host Johnny Galecki (Leonard on "The Big Bang Theory") discusses the pranks with STEM students (this is the SCIENCE channel, after all). Galecki has an interest in science beyond the dialogue he recites on BBT, so he was excited to join this show and work with the students. He had many interesting questions about the science, according to Robertson, when they started the show. He also invited her and Latimer to two tapings of BBT, which she was thrilled to see. She doesn't have cable, but she watches BBT regularly. She was behind on watching episodes of the show when she went to the taping where Sheldon proposes to Amy. She also got to see the episode where Amy was trying on wedding dresses. When Amy picked the big frilly dress that Bernadette and Penny thought was ugly, it made perfect sense to Robertson because of Amy's love for "Little House on the Prairie!" I had to laugh when she said that because it hadn't occurred to me, but it was obviously true.

When they set up the pranks, they created a whole "world" for each contestant/mark to convince them that the setup was real. Each person had a different reaction to the stunts, captured on film, which should be fun to watch. A couple of them arrived early to the sets and caught them setting up the hidden cameras, so they were paid and then left. They had to find other marks to take their place. Robertson explained that, due to L.A. traffic, many people try to get early to their appointments, to avoid being late, so that's how the people got there too early. After the marks were pranked, the team explained to them what happened and the science behind it all. Not one of the marks refused to let their prank be aired, probably because they were so impressed with the setup and the science behind it. Also, I'm sure that most people like to be featured on TV.

Robertson said that one of the things she enjoyed about the show is that in real life, scientists are always pulling pranks on each other, so it was right up her alley. (This is news to me! I'll have to ask some scientists I know about pranks they've pulled or been the victim of.) When asked if there were any funny moments she'd like to share, Robertson said that they made two life-size pinatas of Galecki for one of the pranks. One was filled with candy, and one wasn't. The crew kept wondering which one had the candy. She'll be posting a photo of the those later today on social media (see below for her Twitter and Instagram links).

Besides her work on this show, Robertson appears on "Mythbusters" on The Discovery Channel. She also starred in this show "Commotion" last year, which you can view on Vimeo. She was very modest when I spoke with her and didn't mention the fact that, not only is she a scientist, but an actress! She has quite an extensive backgound in science (she trained as an engineer), but also in acting. Make sure you check out the series tonight!





Using cutting-edge science as the foundation for outrageous stunts and practical jokes, SCIJINKS, the all-new science prank show hosted by Johnny Galecki, will premiere Wednesday, May 16 at 10 PM ET/PT on Science Channel . Galecki orchestrates a team of inventive scientists who use science to feed people’s minds, and to mess with their heads. Galecki’s Alcide Bava Productions, and A. Smith & Co. Productions are producing the series, which is comprised of eight 30-minute episodes.

Galecki, along with science “prankologists” Tamara Robertson and Jason Latimer, test out science on unsuspecting marks, drawing from chemistry, physics, technology, engineering and more, with never-before-seen pranks that will introduce audiences to remarkable and unusual scientific discoveries. From showcasing classic chemical reactions under the guise of a cooking class, to controlling the movement of objects with their brains using electroencephalography, the pranks not only contain mind-blowing science, but a heaping dose of chaos too.

With a professional acting career that spans more than 25 years, Johnny Galecki is best known for his roles on two hugely popular television series, Roseanne and The Big Bang Theory. He currently stars on the CBS sitcom, which is airing Season 11. As socially awkward physicist Leonard Hofstadter, Galecki has garnered an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination, along with those from the Critic’s Choice Awards, People’s Choice Awards and four consecutive ensemble nominations by the Screen Actors Guild Awards, among others. Along with numerous television movies, his credits include guest roles on My Name is Earl and Entourage, as well as lending his voice to such animated series as American Dad! and Family Guy.

Galecki portrayed band manager Terry Ork in the 2013 indie movie CBGB about the legendary punk rock club in New York City, and appeared in Peter Berg’s superhero film Hancock. Other film credits include the Don Roos films The Opposite of SexBounce and Happy Endings, Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky, the hit horror film I Know What You Did Last SummerSuicide KingsPlaying Mona Lisa and the comedy classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, playing Rusty, the son of dad Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase).

A longtime patron of the theater, Galecki has himself been involved in live theater since age six.  Among numerous credits, he starred in Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony-nominated Broadway play The Little Dog Laughed, receiving a Theater World Award for outstanding Broadway debut.  His other theater credits include The Drawer Boy and Pot Mom at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater, Galileo at the Goodman Theater and The Member of the Wedding, for which he was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award at the age of eleven.

SCIJINKS is produced by Alcide Bava Productions and A. Smith & Co. Productions for Science Channel. Johnny Galecki is executive producer for Alcide Bava Productions. Arthur Smith, Frank Sinton and Anthony Storm are executive producers for A. Smith & Co. Productions. Andrew Haas is also executive producer. Caroline Perez is executive producer for Science Channel.

About Science Channel:

Science Channel, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the home of all things science around the clock, including series such as MYTHBUSTERS, OUTRAGEOUS ACTS OF SCIENCE, WHAT ON EARTH?,  HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS, UNEARTHED, and HOW IT’S MADE. Science Channel’s programming also included timely, expert-driven specials covering breaking science news and discoveries. Science Channel is the premiere TV, digital and social community for those with a passion for science, space, technology, archeology, and engineering, providing immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment across all Science Channel assets including: Science Channel television network, available in more than 72 million homes in the U.S; complimentary Video On Demand offering; SCI Go app allowing viewers to catch up on full episodes of their favorite shows anytime; deep video, interactive storytelling and virtual reality at; and conversations on Science Channel’s popular social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat via @ScienceChannel.

About Discovery:

Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps and Discovery Kids Play; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and Motor Trend OnDemand; and digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.

About Alcide Bava:

In 2014, Galecki established Alcide Bava Productions, which is focused on developing TV series and feature films. He teamed up with writer/director Bobby Miller to executive produce the film Master Cleanse, which premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival in Austin.

Alcide Bava is currently producing a new CBS comedy, Living Biblically, which will premiere on February 26, 2018. Directed by multi-Emmy winner Andy Ackerman (Seinfeld, Cheers), with Galecki serving as an executive producer, the comedy series is adapted by A.J. Jacobs and Patrick Walsh from Jacobs’ nonfiction book about a man who tries to live in accordance with the Bible’s teachings as closely as possible.

About A. Smith & Co. Productions:

A. Smith & Co. Productions creates some of the most innovative, highly rated, and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. The company has produced more than 4,000 hours of award-winning programming - with budgets totaling well over one billion dollars across more than 47 broadcast and cable networks. Current productions include “Hell’s Kitchen," “American Ninja Warrior,” “The Titan Games,” “Unsung,” “Inside the Label,” “American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja,” “NFL Pro Bowl Skills Showdown,” “Acting Out,” “The Dunk King,” “The Game of Dating,” and “That Awkward Game Show.” Past hits include “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” “Full Throttle Saloon,” “Wizard Wars,” “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “UFC Countdown,” “Joe Rogan Questions Everything,” “Paradise Hotel,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” “The Swan,” “Trading Spaces,” “Celebrity Duets,” “Pros vs. Joes,” “Skating with Celebrities,” and many others. For more information, visit

Trailer and more

More Info about Tamara Robertson



About Jason Latimer:


Where illusion meets science; where magic meets technology, physics, chemistry and mathematics is Jason Latimer. Latimer is the celebrated magician and curator behind “Impossible Science,” an unprecedented science exhibit, festival, live show and teaching tool designed to inspire wonder and ignite curiosity.

At nine years old, Latimer saw his first magic show and was inspired to start his own journey of wonder beginning with the Magic Castle Junior Program. Since then, his unique performances have garnered him several prestigious awards, including the highest honor the world of magic can bestow on an individual, the title of The Grand Prix Best Overall at the World Championships of Magic.

A captivating public speaker, Latimer regularly appears at conferences and events all over the country and is set to appear this spring at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

Following a successful keynote at TEDxWallStreet at the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 titled, “Seeing Beyond the Illusion of Knowledge,” Latimer was emboldened to combine his studies in magic and science into an academic platform. By using magic as an educational tool, his hope was to instill a sense of wonder, and encourage people to ask questions and explore what’s possible. Later that year he opened his first live show, which would become Impossible Science— a unique and engaging combination of nearly 50 illusions and science fiction questions designed to spark curiosity.

Impossible Science has since expanded to museums all over Southern California, and hundreds of thousands of students and families have experienced Impossible Science live performances, festivals and exhibits. Latimer also currently serves as the curator of Impossible Science for the Fleet Science Center in San Diego, where he continues his research on impossible topics while also further developing the Impossible Science curriculum.

In the Spring of 2018, Latimer will appear alongside Johnny Galecki (“Big Bang Theory”) in Discovery and Science Channel’s science-based prank series, “SciJinks.” Previously Latimer hosted “Impossible Science” for Lionsgate and Comic Con HQ, a 10-episode series that explored how science fiction and illusion are brought to life by scientists and engineers. He also appeared with Penn and Teller as a judge on Syfy’s “Wizard Wars” and was featured in BBC’s special series “The Magicians.”

Originally from Oregon, Latimer has a degree in Economics from UC Santa Barbara, where he also studied applied physics, econometrics, game theory, kinematics, and perceptual psychology.

Twitter: @jasonlatimer

Instagram: @jason_latimer, @ImpossibleScience


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