Best Job Ever: Kari Byron, Mythbuster

Kari Byron kicks butt. From shooting machine guns to rolling giant balls of Legos down the street, she keeps us entertained and educated each week on Mythbusters, Discovery Channel’s show that puts common – and not so common – lore to the test. Between hosting a new show, creating her own art, raising a one-year-old daughter, and her full-time job busting myths, Kari was gracious enough to find some time to meet up with us because we just had to know…

How’d you get this awesome job?
I was a sculptor, trying to do the starving artist thing, and wanted a job that actually paid me. About seven years ago, I went to M5, Jamie Hyneman’s special effects shop, to try to get into model-making and toy-prototyping. My first day as an intern just happened to be the first day of filming for [Mythbusters], so it was just really lucky that the opportunity was there, and I worked my butt off until I ended up in this position!

How did your background as an artist prepare you for this job?
Everyone here has backgrounds in different things. Jamie has a degree in Russian, Grant has a degree in engineering, and Tory has a degree in film. We all bring our jack of all trades to the table in everything we do. I think science and art intersect continually. At the moment, I’m trying to create and simulate real bugs. We need Goliath beetles – which you can’t import live from Africa – because we’re going to see if you hit a bug while riding on a motorcycle, and if it could create a fatal blow. We tried it with flies and locusts, now we need to try it with these beetles. So, I need to simulate the mass and texture of them. To make a mold of the beetle, I had to make a hard exoskeleton, and then fill the inside with green pudding so I could get the splat effect. All of the things that I learned as a sculptor come into play here.

What’s been your favorite myth to bust?
You know, it changes – it’s usually whatever were working on. When I first came back from maternity leave, I hadn’t done anything really hands on in a while. The whole pregnancy I had to beware of fumes and bullets, so I couldn’t be around explosions. My first day back after maternity leave, I got to shoot a .50 caliber gun at an SUV that was covered in phone books, to see if it was bulletproof – and I got the kill shot. I hit it in the engine block on the first shot and the thing just went, “Umph” – and I could just hear my dad smiling.


So, this is your dream job then?
I never dreamed of any job like this. This is nuts. I’ve actually exceeded any expectation of any awesome job that I would have. I never thought that I’d ever be doing anything remotely this interesting. I mean sculpture was cool, special effects was cool, but this is amazing!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I was a process server for awhile – I had to serve evictions. I did that for a very short period of time, because nobody wants to see you at the door.

What advice do you have for people who are trying to find their dream job?
Anything that you really want to do, find someone who does it, ask them about it. Then get internships in that field. Because if you work hard enough, and someone sees that – sooner or later – they’re going to pay you. Just prove yourself.

Each month, we’ll feature awesome women with amazing jobs. Tell us what you think the best job ever is – and we might just find someone who does it!


About Sarah

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  1. Avatar
    Fiona 09/03/2010 at 1:41 am #

    Kari has the coolest job ever! Is she wearing ModCloth? She should!

  2. Avatar
    Nakita Campbell 09/03/2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Wow. She is such an impressive woman. That was inspiring to see how she got to where she is now.

    Thank you Modcloth for featuring strong, intelligent women doing amazing jobs that they love. As a college student searching for my own path, I couldn’t come across anything more inspiring.


  3. Avatar
    sofia 09/03/2010 at 12:51 pm #

    I have long stood by the belief that being a Mythbuster is the best job in the universe. Seriously. Perfect choice for the first feature.

  4. Avatar
    Jess (ModCloth) 09/03/2010 at 3:21 pm #

    this is so cool!

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    Amara 09/03/2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Oh I could not agree more with the above comments! Her job is one of the most awesome out there! I had no idea that the phonebook car was her first job back haha! Great pick for your first “Best Job Ever” feature!!! I can not wait to see more!!!!

  6. Avatar
    Jill 09/03/2010 at 6:15 pm #

    you know who has an awesome job on tv? samantha brown from the travel channel. i think she’s been everywhere in the world! she’s very lucky.

  7. Avatar
    Victoria Klein 09/03/2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Kari rocks hardcore. 🙂 I’ve watched almost every episode of Mythbusters because of her & her great spunk.

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    Caitlin 09/04/2010 at 7:30 am #

    Bloody love this woman! She should be a modcloth spokesperson!

  9. Avatar
    Janet 09/04/2010 at 5:18 pm #

    I love Mythbusters! Thanks for the feature on Kari.

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    Sophie 09/05/2010 at 3:43 pm #

    I love Kari and Mythbusters! She does indeed have an awesome job.

  11. Avatar
    mlv 09/08/2010 at 7:07 pm #

    I like her “worked my butt off” comment. That’s a reference to one of her first Mythbusters days, when she was a butt model for the “Airplane toilet” myth.

  12. Avatar
    Woulfe 09/09/2010 at 11:17 am #

    The newest NurdGirl on the block, yes I called her a NurdGirl, but that’s what makes her cool you know.

  13. Avatar
    Josh 09/09/2010 at 11:29 am #

    I’m a heavy equipment operator which is my personal best job in the world. How about a feature on female operators, i think i’ve yet to meet one!

  14. Avatar
    Lala 09/09/2010 at 12:08 pm #

    She indeed has the best job ever! I always want to try to those stuffs they do.
    Apparently, I’m just a boring and typical student who has no experience…
    Anyway, I love this show so much.

  15. Avatar
    saeba 09/09/2010 at 2:28 pm #

    woo~~is really COOL!!!!

  16. Avatar
    Krislyn Dillard 09/09/2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I knew Kari was cool, but an artist too!? I checked out her sculptures and they are very good.
    Now I want to see the car be reassembled with duct tape…

  17. Avatar
    Karel 09/10/2010 at 1:23 am #

    I’ve always liked Kari. I think she’s a woman that will inspire girls to go for their dreams, and achieve great things. Mythbusters just wouldn’t be the same without her creative energy, humour and presence. Keep Up The Great Work Kari!

  18. Avatar
    casey 10/01/2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Wanna get married Kari???? LOL

  19. Avatar
    skyler 10/15/2010 at 6:30 pm #

    hi, i,m eleven years old,and love Mythbusters i watch with my dad all the time!

  20. Avatar
    skyler 10/15/2010 at 6:34 pm #


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    Debbie 12/03/2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Kari is the bomb- a total inspiration to working moms! She is a woman, a mother and a geek. I’m a geek (Stanford/Comicon), a mom, and a working professional. My company helps mom’s make extra money selling fashions. Great job Kari!

  22. Avatar
    tiffany. 01/26/2011 at 10:58 pm #

    WOW!!! i LOVE Kari… she’s my fave. So glad you guys got to feature her (o:


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