Adam hasn't ruined everything. Not yet. But Wading River native Adam Conover continues to give it his best as he debunks widely held myths and common misconceptions in the new season of "Adam Ruins Everything," premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. on truTV.
"The episode that I'm working on right now is called 'Adam Ruins America' and that's a really, really big topic since we're taking on some of the biggest myths about America," says the comedian, 35. "Like the myth of the American dream that anyone can make it, the myth that we have the best method of government ever devised, the myth that America always does the right thing in every situation. It's some heavy stuff — and," he adds, with the delight of both a born educator and a born pedant, "it's a really, really fun topic!"
Other episodes this season of the heavily researched show include "Adam Ruins Flying," in which "we talk about how frequent-flyer miles are really scammy stuff that airlines put together to try to rope you into flying with their airline while giving you funny-money in exchange."
This season also ups the ante on guest stars. While name actors like "Frasier" star Peri Gilpin and comedians Mo Gaffney, Larry Hankin and John Michael Higgins have appeared on the quirky little educational-comedy show, the new season offers stand-up star Whitney Cummings, song parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic and singer Lance Bass.
"Whitney is a fan of the show," Conover explains of the comic and hit producer ("2 Broke Girls"). "I saw she tweeted that she liked it, so I got in touch and said, 'Thank you so much for your compliment,' and we were just chatting a little bit and I said, 'Do you want to come and be a guest sometime?' And she said, 'Sure thing.' "
Yankovic, he says, "was one of my personal heroes growing up and I'm so thrilled. We asked and he immediately said yes. That's why we're in L.A. — because people say, 'Oh, you're shooting in [easily accessible] Burbank? Sure, I'll show up.' "
The Shoreham-Wading River High School alumnus, who went on to a bachelor's degree in philosophy at Bard College, developed what became the show while a staff writer at CollegeHumor.com. One of the online videos there, "Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam," became a hit and formed the basis for the "Adam Ruins Everything" premiere in 2015.
His father, science professor David O. Conover, at the time was a research chief at Stony Brook University and operations manager for the SUNY Research Foundation. He and Conover's mother, Margaret, have since moved to Eugene, Oregon, where the elder Conover is Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon.
"So I currently have no family left in Long Island, which bums me out because I miss it," Conover says. "Wading River was a gorgeous place to grow up and I feel very lucky there was a wood by our house where I could go explore when I was a kid."
His parents have played themselves on an episode apiece, but the recurring role of Conover's sister “Rhea" is fictional, played by comedian Rhea Butcher. Conover says his real-life sister Emily, a science journalist, gives him grief for that.
"My real sister said, 'Why don't you put me on the show? You put mom and dad on!"
See? Adam really does ruin everything!