Richard Dean Anderson used 144 swiss army knives throughout MacGyver

By: H&I Staff     Posted: September 24, 2021, 3:10PM

MacGyver and his trusty Swiss army knife made for one of TV's greatest duos. No matter what situation MacGyver found himself in, he could always find a way in or out with a Swiss army knife in hand. The pair would become so embedded into pop culture history that the term 'MacGyverism' was added to websters dictionary as a verb that defines someone finding a way out of a situation through improvised techniques.

While MacGyver the character had a lot of respect for the versatile tool, the same could not be said for Richard Dean Anderson. During the initial filming of the series, Anderson found himself with a lot of free time during breaks on set when he wasn't needed on set. To keep himself preoccupied, the actor would take up knife throwing with the very Swiss army knives used on the show.

“I taught myself how to throw a knife. How to stick a knife in a board or something at a distance,” said Anderson on picking up knife throwing on the set of MacGyver.

Anderson would stick with his new hobby all throughout the series, during which he would either break or lose a lot of the prop knives. By the time the series had wrapped up, Anderson found out just how many of his knives he went through during his downtime alone, which was a lot.

“If you’ve ever held a Swiss army knife, it has no balance whatsoever. It’s virtually impossible at any great distance. So I went through at least a gross. Do you know how many that is? 144. At least 144 — my prop-master told me that.”

Watch MacGyver on H&I

Thursdays at 12 PM Eastern/Pacific