The writers of MacGyver paid fans to come up with new ''MacGyverisms''

By: H&I Staff     Posted: December 29, 2021, 3:55PM

Few TV series have become so popular that their own title becomes a verb included in Webster’s dictionary. Whether you’re a longtime fan or have never seen a single episode, it’s hard to find anyone not familiar with the term "MacGyverism."

As defined: turning a near-death situation around with simple household items. This method of creativity would put the series on the map and draw in millions of fans around the world.

Coming up with these new quick escapes for Mac each episode was no easy task for the creators of the show. To help come up with fresh concepts, combined with the fans' love of Mac's many daring escapes, the writers of the series offered a cash reward to any fan that could come up with a new MacGyverism for Mac to use on the show.

“We had offered monetary incentives to anyone who could write in a usable trick for MacGyver," said MacGyver producer John Rich.

Receiving thousands of letters throughout the entire run of the series, the MacGyver writing team had a dedicated branch that would carefully read through each and every idea submitted by fans. While many weren’t ever used, one of the first fan ideas used involved using an egg on a car radiator.

“If MacGyver ever found himself trying to drive a vehicle that had lost all its water through leaks in the cooling system, he could temporarily solve the problem by cracking an egg into the radiator. As it cooked, the egg would harden and plug the hole, allowing the cart to start and run for a short time.”

Impressed with the idea, the writers would not only add it in an episode but also test it out in real life and were even more surprised that it actually worked.

The fan was paid for his idea that was used in the MacGyver episode “Bushmaster.” The story found Mac attempting to escape a hostile South American country when all of a sudden his jeep's radiator gives out. Using the very egg method that was submitted, Mac got the jeep running in no time and made another successful escape.

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