There will be a rather unusual and extraordinary marriage taking place at Bumbershoot 2014. On one side we have comedy, on the other we have science. This marriage takes shape in the form StarTalk Live. StarTalk, usually hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a podcast dedicated to connecting science with pop-culture. This year at Bumbershoot, Eugene Mirman will be joined by Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy) for a very special edition of StarTalk Live.
Bill Nye represents science in this out-of-the-norm coupling. You may know Bill as the center of Bill Nye the Science Guy, an educational TV show produced by Disney that taught science to pre-teens. The show won 18 Emmy awards and Bill Nye developed a reputation as an entertainer in addition to being a scientist. Even more interesting, Bill’s “Science Guy” persona was originally born on Seattle’s own Almost Live!, a local sketch comedy TV show that aired from 1984 to 1999.
Bill is no stranger to StarTalk, this past month Bill joined Neil deGrasse Tyson to discuss space, science, and whatever else came to mind. Bill and Neil answer all sorts of questions submitted by listeners. One listener asks, “Which occupation would best fit for a student majoring in aeronautical engineering and minoring in music theory?” Bill quickly responds, “Well it depends- if you really dig rockets, I must point out a significant problem in rocket launching is the acoustic energy in the flame tunnel. And so to me…rocket acoustics and sound music theory are related, intimately, they’re smooch-a-fying!” In addition to answering questions from listeners, Bill and Neil discuss the beginning of time, life outside our universe, and occasionally tangent on quirky topics that have you constantly wondering what subject will be next.
Eugene Mirman, representing comedy, will be Bill’s partner in crime. Eugene is a comedian who has played several roles on Comedy Central, such as the incompetent Russian hitman Yvgeny Mirminsky, on Delocated, and he also does the voice of “Gene” from Fox’s animated show Bob’s Burgers. In college, Eugene designed his own major surrounding comedy and as a senior, performed stand-up for an hour as his thesis. In light of the graduation season and to give you a taste of what you can expect from Eugene, check out the commencement speech he delivered to his alma mater, Hampshire College:
Eugene has been a co-host several times on StarTalk. In one episode, Eugene and Neil were joined by comedians Jim Gaffigan, Sarah Silverman, and astrobiologist David Grinspoon for a hilarious banter surrounding a rover being dropped on Mars. As a co-host, Eugene keeps the momentum going, there’s never a dull moment as he sneaks in playful comments whenever possible. At one point, Neil refers to the rover as a “she” and Eugene dramatically sighs before saying, “Scientists have to build a lady and send her to Mars…that’s how they fall in love ladies and gentleman!”
Make sure to join Bill Nye and Eugene Mirman at Bumbershoot 2014 for a wondrous show in celebration of both science and comedy. This is a marriage you don’t want to miss, it will surely be an energetic and extremely amusing comedic performance that’ll have you laughing until your side hurts.