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Bill Nye Shares His Two Favorite Disaster Movies Of All Time - Exclusive

For whatever reason, disaster movies are almost always a great deal of fun. Even if the films are somewhat poorly plotted (and let's be honest, they often are), sometimes it's just enjoyable to watch a massive force of nature take out its fury on the people on screen. In fact, you don't have to look very far in Hollywood to see that disaster regularly sells quite well at the box office. Whether we're watching the latest film from disaster-auteur Roland Emmerich or the third highest-grossing movie of all time (1997's "Titanic"), plenty of audiences seem eager to prove the title of comedian George Carlin's final album — "I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die" — correct.

Peacock's newest series from Bill Nye would seem eager to capitalize on the general public's apparently insatiable appetite for destruction. "The End Is Nye," which premiered on the streaming network on August 25, tells six different stories about the end of the world as we know it. Nye's latest series, which is led by executive producer Brannon Braga, portrays the people of Earth meeting the apocalypse via a variety of uniquely destructive means, including everything from the eruption of a supervolcano to multiple comet strikes (as if one isn't bad enough). 

Although we think it's a safe guess that many of the most popular films in this genre might not please his scientific sensibilities, even Bill Nye the Science Guy isn't immune to the charms of an enjoyable Hollywood disaster flick. In an exclusive interview with Looper at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Nye revealed his top two picks for the best disaster movies of all time. Given what the world has been through in the last two years, at least one of these answers shouldn't come as an enormous surprise.

Bill Nye likes The Towering Inferno and Contagion

When asked to identify his favorite disaster movie of all time, Bill Nye responded as if asked to pick his favorite science. Instead of zeroing in on a single disaster flick, Nye opted to provide two answers, which, in this case, is even better than one. "I've always admired '[The] Towering Inferno,' but 'Contagion' is pretty creepy," he replied. "Don't make me pick."

Although the two films are very different, it isn't hard to see why Nye admires both movies. Released in 1974, "The Towering Inferno" tells the story of the destruction of the Glass Tower, a fictional skyscraper in San Francisco that is also the world's tallest building. In typical disaster movie fashion, the fiery end of the high-rise structure spells the deaths of a great many people. However clichéd the idea may be now, the Steve McQueen-starring film was a sensation when it was first released, earning a total of eight Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture.

37 years later, "Contagion" terrified audiences in a very different and decidedly unnerving manner. The 2011 film doesn't focus on a single mass-casualty incident but instead tells the story of a deadly pandemic that wipes out 26 million people worldwide. Although the 2011 film didn't earn any praise at the Oscars during the year of its release, it became an oft-cited reference for many people throughout 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world (via CNN).

Of course, pandemics and fires are only two of the more terrifying methods of mass destruction. For even more sneak peeks into the potential disasters of the future, you'll have to check out "The End Is Nye."

All six episodes of "The End Is Nye" are available for streaming on Peacock.