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Interview with Tamara Robertson of "Scijinks"
on The Science Channel 5/16/18
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
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
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 ON SCIENCE CHANNEL
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
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
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 Sex, Bounce and Happy Endings,
Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky, the hit horror film I
Know What You Did Last Summer, Suicide Kings, Playing
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
conversations on Science Channel’s popular social platforms
including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat via
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 www.corporate.discovery.com 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
About A. Smith & Co.
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
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
Design Challenge,” “Full
“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
“Skating with Celebrities,” and many others. For more
information, visit www.asmithco.com.
Trailer and more
More Info about Tamara Robertson
About Jason Latimer:
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Originally from Oregon, Latimer has a degree in Economics
from UC Santa Barbara, where he also studied applied
physics, econometrics, game theory, kinematics, and
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