Adam Ruins Everything’s Adam Conover on Skepticism, the TSA, and Cultural Myths

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“I want to do stories that are about the bits of cultural furniture that are sitting there that we’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s been there for years! What could possibly be weird about it?’ And then we’re going to lift that piece of furniture and look at all the bugs scurry away,” says Adam Conover, host Adam Ruins Everything.

Adam Ruins Everything started as a web series for College Humor. As the eponymous host of the show, Conover “ruins” widely held beliefs that just so happen to be wrong. His targets have ranged from the TSA, to forensic science, to engagement rings, to car dealerships. TruTV picked up the series, which is still airing its first season on Tuesday nights, and expanded it into its current half hour format.

Reason TV’s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Conover to discuss his approach to debunking, why he believes there’s a market for skeptical inquiry, what other shows influenced him, and why false cultural beliefs persist in the age of nearly unlimited access to information.

“You can’t escape culture,” says Conover. “You can learn about it. You can criticize it. You can try to move it slowly. But at the end of the day, you can’t actually opt out of the culture that you’re in.”

Approximately 10 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg and Anthony Fisher. Music by Ant Neely. Additional footage provided by College Humor and TruTV.