Q: What topic do you most want to tackle for season 2?
We have a list of 100 topics. The ones I would really like to do include: -HOW TO JUMP INTO WATER -HOW TO TAKE A NAP -HOW TO GO TO THE BATHROOM -HOW TO BOUNCE A BALL And, finally, the greatest topic of all, which literally came to me in a dream: -HOW TO WASH A BUSINESS CARD
Q: Love the show and all of your work! How much do you shoot relative to how much is shown on the show? Are there more interviews with experts that get cut for time/episode flow?
Thanks for your kind words! I’ve never made a TV show before, so one thing that really surprised me (other than the fact that you get a free lunch every day FOR FREE) is how much footage we shoot compared to what makes it into the show.
Our visits with experts usually last 4-5 hours. And that winds up being about 2-3 minutes onscreen … sometimes less. A lot of that was due to my inexperience in hosting a TV show: I would go on these long tangents with people, where we would start talking about roller derby or heavy metal for like 30 minutes even though there was no way any of it would make it into the show. I just like talking to people about interesting topics! But anyway, yeah, I must give massive props and respect to our experts, who have all been very patient and gracious and knowledgeable about roller derby and heavy metal.
Q: What’s with the donut in the title sequence?
Good question. Basically the donut situation on this show spun out of control. Before we shot the title sequence, we had visited a mine in Colorado for HOW TO DIG A HOLE. The staff at the mine had a pastry table set up for us and there were a couple donuts with sprinkles and I thought, “It would be really cool to eat a donut in a deep, dark mine” so we shot some footage of what I called my “underground donut party.” And then, later, when we were shooting the title sequence, one of the producers was like, “let’s get another donut in this shot.” (I think because we had also shot a scene of me holding a donut while being swarmed by flies.) Anyway, the point is: DONUTS
Q: Hey David! I watch your show every week with my whole family gathered round the tv. You are hilarious and we love you. My question is: Which episode has been your favorite to shoot? Also, What is your favorite thing that you’ve learned through the show?
Thanks, I appreciate that! I think the biggest thing I learned while making the show was the idea that the practice of science is a lot like the practice of making art — it’s fundamentally creative, and good scientists need to have the same mastery of metaphorical thinking that you see in great novelists and poets. I’ve never been much of a science person, but talking to so many scientists really opened my eyes and inspired me to think about science in poetic terms. ALSO: Learning that fire obeys the laws of fluid dynamics was kind of mind-blowing (HOW TO LIGHT A MATCH).
Q: What would be your steps on: how to jump rope?
Way too complicated for our show. Maybe we could do “HOW TO JUMP,” but adding rope to the equation seems like gilding the lily.