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Somebody's Gotta Do It: Backstage Las Vegas

Aired October 11, 2014 - 21:00   ET


MIKE ROWE, SOMEBODY'S GOTTA DO IT, HOST: Last time I went to Las Vegas, I visited a pig farm. I met a lot of pigs. I chased a pig, I caught the pigs, lifted a pig, fed the pigs, ate a pig. It was fun. You know what I didn't do? I didn't go to a show.

Well, tonight I have unlimited back stage access with the hottest show of the script and I get to lift a beautiful woman in a bathing suit out of a giant pool and drop her from a great height. Not a Dirty Job but somebody's got to do it. New show, new mission, same guy.

Be right with you. Just a little some for the Facebook. OK. So I was at a meeting over at CNN and the guy in the meeting is that guy Mark (ph). And I was on my way to the airport and Mark (ph) said, "I can take you." And I said, "Really?" And he said, "Yeah, I got a plane." And I said, "That sounds great." So here we are.

Mark (ph) has pointed out the place, well the lavatory, if you need to pee, just flip this down right here. So now pee in there.

Why am I touching this Mark (ph)? Why would I do this? You think?

MARK (PH): It hasn't been use...

ROWE: Really?

MARK (ph): ... in a long time.

ROWE: So it's not a G-4 but hey I got to fly it. Flying is always fun. And of course, whenever you had to Vegas, fun is the operative word. Last time I was there I took in a show called "Le Reve" which I believe means the dream.

And what I saw in the dream, I'm pretty sure human beings are not suppose to be able to do even in Las Vegas. These men and women, they walked on water and sometimes water got on fire. And then, sometimes, these men and women, they fall from the ceiling like 80, maybe 100 feet through the air and into the water that they were previously walking upon.

Lights would swirl around, the music would play. And I'll tell you, the whole thing was spectacle. And I talked to myself, "Who is responsible for the spectacle?' Because whoever that person is, they must be a wizard or a necromancer, somebody that I would like to meet.

So I decided, if ever had a chance to go back to Vegas, I'd checkout Le Reve. Watch the show once again, poke around backstage, ask some questions, see if maybe I can get some answers. Assuming of course I've live through the flight.

Success. That was fun. And no, I didn't have to pee.

So I'm here in Las Vegas, in search of the truth behind the grand facade. This means getting unlimited access to the most dangerous, complicated show in the history of Las Vegas. The PR Department of the Wynn Casino said I can have it. It's all part of my master plan, to chase the face of television. It's not just television I lust. I don't want to overstate it but I do think if we execute this properly, we're going to change the basic direction of western civilization.

If want to shoot in Las Vegas you got to do three basic things in the opening shot. You've got to shoot on the trip. Secondly, you need to involve an escalator and you need to throw a little bit of love toward the company who brought you here.

All right. Let's get started.

Fortunately, Le Reve doesn't start for another 10 hours which gives me all kinds of time to enjoy that unlimited access and get to know this guy, the aforementioned necromancer, Dale Hurt.

How are you?


ROWE: Great. Mike.

HURT: Dale Hurt. Nice to meet you..

ROWE: Pleasure. Tell me about where I'm standing, what you do here exactly.

HURT: We're standing almost in the middle of Wynn Theater for the Le Reve show. And my responsibility here is the theater and the 150 something technicians that work here.

ROWE: Troy, is this really the posture you want to maintain and assume?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not ideal but...

ROWE: Is there anything I can do to lessen the odds if you destroying our brand new camera?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you guys can move that by the foot.

ROWE: Let's do that. Your business card says what?

HURT: Director of technical operations.

ROWE: How long you've been doing it?

HURT: Here at the Wynn?

ROWE: Yeah. HURT: For over nine years.

ROWE: And before that?

HURT: At Mirage.

ROWE: And before that?

HURT: At a company doing special effects, flying effects.

ROWE: Before that?

HURT: All over town and the world.

ROWE: You've been doing this all your life?

HURT: All my life.

ROWE: How come?

HURT: I enjoy it. I keep great pleasure out of making people forget about their lives for whatever the length of the show is.

ROWE: Yeah.

HURT: And putting on a great show and seeing people smile or people cry...

ROWE: You really don't care if they're smiling or crying?

HURT: I don't care.

ROWE: You just want to make them...

HURT: I want to make them...

ROWE: ... make them react.

HURT: Correct.

ROWE: All right. So I mean, are you the boss of the whole thing?

HURT: Yes. I am.

ROWE: So if somebody has a complaint or a question, I mean do you deal with personal issues as well?

HURT: Yeah.

ROWE: Really?

HURT: Yeah.

ROWE: So it's not just technical. You literally have your well muscled hands on the pulse of the dream (inaudible). To sum up, Dale is in charge of all thing technical at Le Reve, which is a lot of thing, from furniture to floats, to globes that spin, to land post that magically hover in midair, to a million gallons of water that from time to time really does burst into flames. The stakes are very, very high. And the buck stops with Dale.

HURT: We're really careful about how we do things. All the equipment that we use in the show, one of the pieces you are going to get on, we build it in house and we destroy them. We have them tested to see what they actually break at. We also -- then we have them engineered before we do that, so that the engineer will say, "Well, this is where it's going to break and it's going to break at this."

ROWE: Yeah. Remember all of that unlimited access I talked about? Well, here comes my PR baby sitter. Hey Richard (ph), come here real quick. Come on Richard (ph). I'm sorry but I just want to -- Richard (ph) is the reason we're allowed to be. I just want to say hello. You just keep an eye on this, and if he go off the rail, (inaudible), I don't mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why I'm here.

ROWE: That's -- I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), if I'm here.

ROWE: I'll be watching you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be watching you.

ROWE: And you'll be watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. And I'm going back behind the camera.

ROWE: OK. Go ahead.

That's really hot. That's really hot.

HURT: It's a radiator, so that performers can lean against it.

ROWE: No. This is the kind of thing that makes Richard (ph) very nervous, all right?


HURT: It's warm.

ROWE: It's like a freaking iron. It's not warm. And you could cook an egg on that thing.

So that's how the performers stay warm, interesting. What I really want to know just how they stay alive, underwater.

You're swimming underwater but also under infrastructure.

HURT: Correct. It's overhead environment. ROWE: This is cave diving.

HURT: Its cave diving.

ROWE: Forget about backstage. This is under stage, except it's more complicated than that because the stage is always changing elevations, sometimes its out of the water, sometimes its just below the surface and other times its way down towards the bottom. So yeah, it's like cave diving if the cage are constantly moving.

And guess who's going in the water?

HURT: This is Chris.

ROWE: Mike.


ROWE: Nice to meet you.

HURT: Head of aquatics department here.


ROWE: So then essentially that my life would be in your hands for the short-term.


ROWE: Will you be diving with me?

DRUMM-COOMBS: Right beside you.

ROWE: Promise?

DRUMM-COOMBS: Yeah. Well, it depends if you behave yourself or not.

ROWE: You will be amaze at how excellent my behavior can be and I can find space where there's really nothing to breath but water.

DRUMM-COOMBS: Well wonderful. You'll be surprise to see how bad I can be in such as a situation.

ROWE: You were just killing me with confidence. Chris the confidence builder. All right, so can I slip into something...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More comfortable?

DRUMM-COOMBS: Wardrobe has you're speed already.

ROWE: Good. That's right. Here is Chris.

(Inaudible). Chris has just told that my wetsuit is on backwards and I might care when I go down to death.

DRUMM-COOMBS: You know, everything squeezes. You may want to go change it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does that fit now?

ROWE: It feels like a dream. It feels like a rest.

DRUMM-COOMBS: Excellent. Take two, nicely done.

ROWE: Yes. Thanks. How are you?

DRUMM-COOMBS: I'm good. How are you doing?

ROWE: I feel great. Thanks.

DRUMM-COOMBS: You'll feel even better in the deep pool now.

ROWE: I bet.

But getting in the water here and that's complicated. Just building the suspense, right?


ROWE: Awesome.


ROWE: So if you're just joining us we're in a pool at Le Reve, which is a show in Vegas about the -- it looks like 20 feet underwater and it's a trick.

Le Reve is the most popular show in Las Vegas.

I've already seen a lot of the moving parts above the surface.

But now I'm checking out the world below. I'm down here with Chris, she is the head of the Aquatics Department while Dale Hurt, the man in-charge of everything stays nice and dry up top.

HURT: They're going down to the deep pool now.

ROWE: These moving parts are everywhere. They're big and they're complicated and it takes a minute to get your hand around it.

HURT: We have pieces in here that we order in the neighborhood of about 1700 pounds.

ROWE: Man, if only I can do that on the surface.

HURT: What we do in the show all the work lights. Did you see on down there right now or all off?

ROWE It's completely black.

DRUMM-COOMBS: I talk to the divers to make sure that when this gets ready to get sent out, it doesn't get follow and then you just (inaudible). HURT: At the same time we're adding air effects to the pool, which makes it harder to swim in.

And assisting performers as they're jumping in the pool and we're watching out for the performers making sure that they're clear not in the way of a lift being moved.

ROWE: Wow.


ROWE: Somewhere between fun and a trip, you know.

Now that I've seen where they land, I finally get to meet the performers who fly into this tank every night.

So who does fly? You seem enormous fit and very strong, you must be throwing people for hundreds yards (inaudible).

SEBASTIAN ZARKOWSKI, PERFORMER: Not a hundreds. Maybe 10s of yard.

ROWE: Are you the kind of person who gets thrown by the kind of guy like this?

CHELSEA BAKKEN, PERFORMER: Yes, On the daily I get drop from all of the above.

ROWE: From what height do you get dropped typically?

BAKKEN: It's about 60 feet. I mean, you had a little bit of butterflies but ...

ROWE: Yeah. I don't see what can possibly go wrong.

BAKKEN: Right.


BAKKEN: Let's do it.

DRUMM COOMBS: What Chelsea is going to do now, well she's going to do a high dive.

She doesn't have to grab on to the bar. She trusts that in those two connections right there are going to keep her safe.

60 feet into 20 feet of water.

ROWE: Six freaking stories.

But Josh is the guy who does the 80 footer. In other words, he falls from the ceiling.

DRUMM-COOMBS: Really guys fly out it's usually two of them. One of them is hanging on the (inaudible) bar is other one is Josh is usually holding. So the one that is ...

ROWE: Hold on. Not now Chris.


ROWE: I'm starring at Josh. Awesome.

DRUMM-COOMBS: So you want to try that? Look how easy it is.

ROWE: May I ask you a personal question?


ROWE: What about the testicles?

FRIED: So you fall a little bit too far backward, it's going to hurt you back.

ROWE: Right.

FRIED: If you fall two far forwards, it might hurt the testicles, it might the face.

ROWE: Sure.

FRIED: So the best possible entry, it just hurts your feet.

ROWE: All right. So everybody OK with this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. I'm excited to see this.

ROWE: Richard (ph), are you all right with this? For as (inaudible) standpoint you feel like we're in comfortable area?


ROWE: Richard (ph) does not seem terribly concerned about my feet. Mr. Sebastian however, seems up to the test. He'll be holding on to me.

I figure if Josh can do 80, I would be able to handle 30 feet.


ROWE: Yeah that's awesome. How about 20? Only 20. Thank you. That's great. That's pretty high.


ROWE: I'm ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three, go.

ROWE: What a trip.

DRUMM-COOMBS: Yeah, awesome.

ROWE: Thank you for letting me do that.

DRUMM-COOMBS: You're welcome.

ROWE: All right, can I slip into something less moist.

DRUMM-COOMBS: Absolutely. While we walk this way.


Since somebody people spend so much time in this pool, Dale has created an exhaustive system that keeps the water very clean.

HURT: These are the sand filter is for the...

ROWE: Sand filter?

HURT: Sand. So all the water is coming in about 3,000 gallons a second in here, running through the sand, being pump back out of the pool. We can turn the water over four times a day.

ROWE: Yeah.

HURT: We can clean that water in a 24-hour period. We want to treat this water like drinking water.

ROWE: Which leads me to one very scientific query.

So the likelihood of any of the 92 performers urinate, probably never happen?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I'm not in the pool.

ROWE: No way Richard? There's no anybody is peeing in this pool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says it doesn't happen.

ROWE: He said that didn't happen.

Look, I'm here to ask the tough questions. Of course it doesn't happen.

HURT: Our next stop is going to be the wardrobe department.

And this is to say probably the most expensive department here to run. And it falls under technical. The customs here like anything can only live so long in the water.

If you took your bathing suit and you swim in it five times a week for a period of time within a few weeks...

ROWE: Yes.

HURT: ... there is an old color left in it and...

ROWE: They get funky. They started to smell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) is a shoe technician and she's pinning our tango shoes that are use in the show. There's a total of about 60 pairs of this active and they have to be touched of every single day.

HURT: This is the attention to detail that we do for all of the departments.

ROWE: How many shoes would you say you've touched up over the last eight years?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) you can't even go there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 132,000 over the past nine years.

ROWE: I was enjoying doing the math Richard. OK if I really needed to, you know, if you are a math savant to come in and fix it for me. I'm sorry, how many? A 132 what?

RICHARD: 132,000 times over the past nine years so.

ROWE: Wow. Wet shoes are one thing, wet wigs, that's a whole another matter.

SHENELLE KING: Do you have end up been the story?

ROWE: Right.

KING: What we do is just prolong their life a little bit. So we use a silicon on wigs. Same stuff you would do to (inaudible) your boat.

ROWE: What you say cock (ph) a boat?

KING: Cock your boat.

ROWE: Cock your what? Boat cock. Cock (ph).

KING: Yeah cock (ph). (inaudible).

ROWE: I don't care where been a country you come from cock is cock.

KING: Cock.

ROWE: It's true. This is the first time I've ever personally siliconed a wig. But look, when you're in Dale's world it's all about making your supplies last.

KING: It last honestly, four to six months.

ROWE: But once upon a time they were only lasting a couple of weeks.

KING: Six weeks.

ROWE: Six weeks.

KING: (Inaudible).

ROWE: You have to innovative. I mean this is an expensive show.

HURT: Yes.

KING: Yes.

ROWE: Right? From a technical standpoint, what's the packer factor for a guy in your position with a show with this much risk in every turn?

HURT: I don't have to worry about it. I can leave here at night or take a day off and don't have to worry about the show because the right people are in place to do that show.

ROWE: It's like (inaudible).

HURT: Yeah. A lot of employees that we have here from the beginning are still here.

ROWE: Yeah.

HURT: They must love their jobs and that's important, you got to love your job.

ROWE: Maybe they just love you. Under stage was fun. Backstage was illuminating. Over stage, I don't see what can possibly go wrong.


HURT: And then you picture this harnesses, the guys that do all like the movie and stuff. You know...

ROWE: Yeah.

HURT: ... same guys.

ROWE: Well I know at home when I'm performing all of my stands. This is the only thing I trust.


ROWE: Yes. So you're going to move me up and then you're going to swing me out and then you're going to lower me down.

HURT: Correct.

ROWE: People actually drop from here.

HURT: From this site right here.

ROWE: Yeah. That seems crazy. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWE: Earlier at Le Reve, Sebastian hoisted me 30 feet out of the water and dropped me.

Now, Sebastian is out, I've assumed his position and apparently Chelsea is willing to let me to the same thing with her. She did remain me though that if I'm not very careful, I could get kill her. I don't want to be delicate, but I mean, you know, obviously it all hurts if you do it wrong.

BAKKEN: Yeah, if you enter wrong it's not going to feel the best. (inaudible), yes.

ROWE: Yeah.

BAKKEN: But then be relaxed up in the air.

ROWE: You understand the incredible mix message and the (inaudible) of language you've just raised.

BAKKEN: Yes exactly.

ROWE: Right.

BAKKEN: You kind of spear with your arms and we follow the (inaudible), the upper body loss in the steer.

ROWE: Yeah.

BAKKEN: And then as soon as we enter, you just squeeze every inch of your body.

ROWE: Chelsea sounds like she knows exactly what she's doing.

All right.

I do not.

Hurt: Going in Mike .

ROWE: That moves pretty brisk. That's good.

HURT: All right. So, you're ready?

ROWE: I feel ready. Chelsea, how do you feel?

BAKKEN: I'm ready if you're ready.

ROWE: All right. Are we oriented? There we go.

HURT: You want to see how you look with some show lightning on you?

ROWE: That would be great.

BAKKEN: Here we go. ROWE: Ready?

BAKKEN: Ready.

ROWE: Ready? One. Two. Three.

BAKKEN: You're a pro.

ROWE: Listen, I'd lift, I released. I hoped for the best. I'm just flattered by the level of trust.

HURT: You want to Josh.

FRIED: Sure.

ROWE: Yeah.

FRIED: You think you can hold me?

ROWE: Sure.

Actually, that's what I sound like when I'm not sure, at all. What I can tell you is that Josh is heavier then he looks. Absolutely, hairless and very slippery.

Ready Josh?


ROWE: One. Two. Three. So much trust.


ROWE: It's heavy man. I mean not you heavy, heavy but the whole thing is -- it's heavy. This is heavy. Guys, thank you. Awesome

At the risk of beating of dead horse, I'll say it one more time, this whole show, comes down to one thing, trust. Trust in your fellow performer. Trust in the people waiting to save your life below the surface. Trust in the wires that keep you safe 80 feet in the air. And of course, everybody trust Dale. You know why I trust him? Just listen to him. He leaves and breaths the stuff.

HURT: To make it rain in here, it takes 45 seconds from the time we hit the pump start, you pump the water out the pool through a hundred force of power pump, through a 12 inch line get it up here, and then come out of these heads. This whole (inaudible) moves out of the way and then we dump 17,000 gallons of water through the center of this hall. The carousel which is above us, which is 50 foot in diameter, it was 84,000 pounds and we'll do four revolutions a minute.

ROWE: You seriously loved it?

HURT: I love it.

ROWE: Walking around with Dale, it's really obvious that all of this makes him really happy. But, if you want to make my pal Richard happy, understand that Le Reve is not one of the (inaudible) shows.

Could I be honestly you about something?

HURT: Sure.

ROWE: I thought it was (inaudible). It's not.

HURT: It's not.

ROWE: It's not been a little bit.

HURT: It's not.

ROWE: But, I think its important people should know, right? How long you been here Richard?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than a year actually.

ROWE: So less than a year. So you're lifting up a mantle of serious -- I mean this is heavy...


ROWE: Right? No, I mean, I've been kidding with you all day long, but the truth is, you know, a lot of people say, it just like PR. But PR is -- what the show without PR?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it was -- yeah.

ROWE: Richard, I don't want to put words in your...


ROWE: Imagine that, me, bonding with a PR guy. Truth is Richard is just another regular guy from Sin City, who's just trying to do his job.

Such true, you've been a little nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have then because we're giving you a lot of access.

ROWE: You are. Unlimited access.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where we put you in one of our train things.

ROWE: I remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We put you in a face mask.

ROWE: You didn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we don't do that.

ROWE: No, you just ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only just for you.

ROWE: You have inserted me into a number of (inaudible) situations, you really have.


ROWE: Well, how would you evaluate your performance over the last two minutes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My performance?

ROWE: Just now. What we've to see?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've gone from nervous to a little more casual.

ROWE: You seemed very laid back now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to be.

ROWE: You've assumed the kind of almost a squatting posture. Or you're just trying to get in...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm trying to be eye level with you.

ROWE: I understand, I appreciate that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to intimidate you.

ROWE: So, it's good, it's good. I just wanted to make a point that in the world where Somebody's Gotta Do It, you know, a guy like Dale, without the help of a guy like you, he's going to have a problem. And of course a guy like you with nobody like Dale...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gives me a really good story to tell.

ROWE: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he's really a manufactured. He's a really organic story that makes my job very easy.

ROWE: My impression exactly. Dale is the real deal. But with only an hour before the show, I'd still like to know what makes him tick.

How long you've been here?

HURT: I started 9.5 years ago and I'm the director of technical operations but I don't mind, you know, helping. I don't mind, you know, getting in there, getting dirty.

ROWE: You're in the center of the hottest show on a script and you still strike me as a guy that was pretty much the same as you were maybe 30 or 40 years.

HURT: Yeah. I'm little heavier but ...

ROWE: I don't want to (inaudible). HURT: No, I am but ...

ROWE: OK, so take me back 35 years or so, what do working on?

HURT: Probably at that time the original MGM Hollywood Show. Sinatra was in there, and I would go in there and do show changes. I also run spotlights over there, worked a lot of hours, a lot of hours.

ROWE: Do you still see yourself fundamentally as a stage hand?

HURT: Yeah. I think all in all, yes, I do.

ROWE: I love that.

HURT: I've been all over the world. I've had people pay me to go all over the world to be a stage hand. What could -- and to entertain people. What work can you ask for?

ROWE: Champagne, strawberry, maybe a little chocolate.

HURT: We have that here too.

ROWE: So right now, in real time, it is quarter to six in the afternoon. Do you guys are about to start prepping for show, starts at 7:00?

HURT: 7:00.

ROWE: OK, if we stick around and get a sense of some of that.

HURT: Your sure can.

ROWE: Why would we leave? I mean, where will we go?


ROWE: It's show time at Le Reve. The performers are dazzling the audience with their gravity-defying fits. My cameraman is underwater, enjoying a unique view of Le Reve's complexity.

And Dale has even let me take part of the show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right here we go. Are you ready...

ROWE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... to go? All right. First of all, the most important thing is to get the closest, go in the machine, so we can close up. This is a tree custom. Tree.

ROWE: Tree. Tree, that's self deployment. Is this no tree?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trees in the (inaudible). I mean, (inaudible) in the bag right here.

ROWE: Yeah. So these be in the bag? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

ROWE: What is this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Swim cap, and that can go in the yellow basket in the bag. All right, I got more trees for you here. Trees.

ROWE: Tree.


ROWE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where these go?

ROWE: I do. This go in the red -- I think this is -- would this go here, Ronnie (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dancers tango and those are (inaudible) red dress.

ROWE: (Inaudible) red and dancers tango.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I have to tell you, the (inaudible) -- is a little slut.

ROWE: Is a little slut. OK. What do you call these old things, these plastic things?

HELEN VELVER, WARDROBE: No, they don't have a name.

ROWE: I make one off.

VELVER: All right. A little plastic things.

ROWE: How about a tabula (ph).

VELVER: A what?

ROWE: A tabula (ph).

VELVER: Tabula.

ROWE: Part tab (ph), part bula (ph). Are those leather? What's happening there? I think I get. The laundry comes in, people scramble, the laundry becomes clean.

HURT: Endless until the end of the night.

ROWE: You got it. Upstairs, the spectacle continues. Sets, lights and human beings fly through the air without crashing into each other.

Performers exit through the liquid stage floor without drowning. And when this show is done, they're do it all again at 9:30. It's a credit to Dale Hurt, the undisputed King of the Techies, a guy lucky enough to really love what he does. But downstairs and even more amazing phenomena is taking place, I am happily shooting the debris but my new best friend, Richard, the PR guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you 13 unopened text messages? (Inaudible).

ROWE: Here, let me share you this, 4,441.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventy-four missed calls.

ROWE: Seventy-four missed calls, 4,400 unread e-mails. I posted this picture of this ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, hold on. Do you know liked your own photo?

ROWE: Well why would I. You thought it was pretty?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of ...

ROWE: You should see the stuff I do with myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way you go laundry?

ROWE: Plenty of laundry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you do your own laundry?

ROWE: No, I thought to close up. I have been -- I'm in a disposable world and I ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) one pair of shoes and throw them out. (Inaudible) hashtag this one.

ROWE: So we're in Kansas City and before we came here I have humped on Facebook and I ask people if they had any suggestions for what we can do here.

One of my favorites was this one from Gwen Carver (ph). Gwen has suggested that the crew and I go visit the Hair Museum.

There's only one Hair Museum on planet earth and it belongs to a woman named Leila.

Leila is inside along with hair. Hair from all over the place apparently. So here we are and there it is.

I'm here. You must be Leila.


ROWE: Leila, I'm saying it right.


ROWE: Leila. COHOON: Yes, sir. Welcome to my Hair Museum.

ROWE: Thank you. You're Hair Museum.

COHOON: Yes, sir.

ROWE: And am I correct in assuming and believing as I was told that it's the only one of its kind.

COHOON: In the whole world.

ROWE: No other museums on planet earth dedicated to hair.


ROWE: You got the only one.

COHOON: I'll start with this one right here. There's 150 names on it and each one of the pieces (inaudible) a little black and white, that tells whose hair corresponds to the 150 names. The little bird up there at the very top is number one and you start down the left side. Before the camera was invented...

ROWE: Yes.

COHOON: ... this is how they did genealogy.

ROWE: Wait a minute. You're telling me that in this frame, are pieces of hair from 150 different heads?

COHOON: Yes sir.

ROWE: And the heads to which those hairs were previously affixed are all named.


ROWE: And tell me again why?

COHOON: Genealogy, done with human hair before the camera was invented.

ROWE: Before photo albums, we remembered friends and family with collections of their hair, hair albums basically.

The reason people still in 2014 are cutting pieces of their baby's hair is because this is what we're doing what, 100, 200, 300 years ago?

COHOON: I've traced it to the 15th century, a lady in Norway wrote a book and she traced it to the 12th century, it could be older.

ROWE: Twelve century, that -- what is that? It's like 1,000 years ago or something. And who does it?

COHOON: Neighbors, relatives, friends. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWE: I'm at the only hair museum in the world, the Leila Cohoon's Hair Museum in Independence Missouri. Leila has been a hair dresses and cosmetology instructor for over 60 years but I didn't come here for hair cut, I came for history lesson.

COHOON: We did research on this one and those names, we came up with New Zealand, is the country where more of those names are from.

ROWE: How in the world did you -- DNA, I guess, right? You took strands of hair and...

COHOON: No. We just Googled the names.

ROWE: That's much simpler.


ROWE: All right. So for instance, this is a family?


ROWE: No, not a family?

COHOON: Before, women were allowed to go to college, they went to finishing school. That lady is singing. This one is reading. This one is music. This one is painting. This one is either cutting hair or maybe she's a hair dresser and this one has her fancy work.

ROWE: Fancy work?

COHOON: Yes. Her color...

ROWE: That's (inaudible).

COHOON: ... and there's three pieces in front of her...

ROWE: She's very good.

COHOON: That's what my grandma would have called that fancy work. The things you do with your hands...

ROWE: That's fancy work? I've done some fancy work in my time Leila.

What was your grandma's name?

COHOON: Georgian (ph).

ROWE: The name of Leila, I don't...

COHOON: My dad's old girlfriend. He went with twins, Leila and Leola. He like Leila the best.

ROWE: He went with both under the same time?

COHOON: No. He went with Leila.

ROWE: All right.

COHOON: And I was named after his old girlfriend and my mother knew both of the twins. So it's OK with her.

ROWE: That's a very understanding set of parents.

COHOON: I thought so.

This is the first white child born in Wisconsin. This one was 95...

ROWE: What? The first white child born in Wisconsin?

COHOON: This is Leone (ph), her death (inaudible) and these are her rings.

ROWE: Rings, hair rings?

COHOON: Yes sir.

ROWE: So you got to call them funeral rings because you can't call them hair rings because people you send them a fish (ph)..

COHOON: That's right.

ROWE: You see what I did there? (Inaudible), that if it came from a red head you can have yourself a red hair ring.

COHOON: That's right. You are right.

ROWE: I can't be stop.


ROWE: I notice you charge admission.


ROWE: What is it like? Was it like six bucks or something?


ROWE: It was cheaper than a haircut.

COHOON: Yeah. I hadn't asked for your hair.

How many crew members?

ROWE: Common men but I'll tell you what, I got five, we'll leave a little early.

COHOON: Wait a minute. Are you military by any chance?

ROWE: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, she gets a discount to military.

ROWE: How much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. So it's three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since when this boy scout become military?

ROWE: Don't ever do it to me on camera, OK? I was under a lot of pressure for a lot of years. The scout law is very difficult to memorize.

COHOON: Yeah. That's right.

And all of these are what's changed with (inaudible). I have down here that have family history.

ROWE: Right.

COHOON: This one up here, I don't know -- I know that one person made that. This is my 65 years to dress hair, so I can look at it and tell, that's one person's work.

ROWE: That's years of work.

COHOON: Yes. That's right.

ROWE: I mean maybe decades.


ROWE: Do you worked everyday on something in here?

COHOON: Yes, yes. I was writing four books. The first one is going to be the directions of how they made these and that took me 36 years but I've got plenty of time.

ROWE: Do you have anything made of your hair yet?

COHOON: No. I started (inaudible) but someone asked me if was going to put it in the museum, and I said, "Heaven's know it'll be 100 years before it can go in there."

These are true antiques.

ROWE: I like the way you think.

COHOON: This is my wall of famous people and the first one up there is Elvis Presley. I have classes from his barber.

ROWE: Is that Elvis' hair? Is there a piece of hair there?


ROWE: That's it?

COHOON: Yes. George Washington. ROWE: You got George Washington's hair?

COHOON: Daniel Webster, Ronald Reagan, his manicures, who was a friend of mine.

ROWE: And you got JFK right underneath Marilyn.


ROWE: Well, that touch you back (ph)?

COHOON: No, I never discussed. My husband might be listening to this. I don't discuss prices.

ROWE: You got Abraham Lincoln's hair?


ROWE: How'd you come by that?

COHOON: I bought it.

ROWE: You bought it.

COHOON: I bought it.

ROWE: Irene Bird (ph), Hamilton (ph), you got both?

COHOON: Yes. And a piece of a gun. See that little metal piece?

ROWE: Piece of the gun -- oh the gun. You got a piece of the gun. That famous duel on the banks of the (inaudible). Wow.

COHOON: Don't you love history?

ROWE: I do know.

COHOON: This little frame here was my very first piece. And if you notice the sign, 1956 was the year that I found it. I bought that instead of a pair of Easter Shoes. And the sign here says the most expensive piece in the whole place because look what it started. That's my husband's word.

ROWE: So, if we were to take care from everybody here, a little bit of hair, we can make a thing, right?


ROWE: I'd be rude I think to visit the only hair a museum in the world and that leave a little bit of yourself behind.

COHOON: OK. Have a sit here.

ROWE: Over there?

COHOON: First, before you sit down, I want to look at this flower. ROWE: But, wait there's more.


COHOON: That's flat work and this one is pulverized hair. So that's what you're going to do.

ROWE: We're making a hair of flower, right?

COHOON: Not we, you.

ROWE: So this is basically what we're going to try and make with the crew's hair. Making a hair flower.

COHOON: Now, who's hair do I cut first? Yours?

ROWE: Yeah.

COHOON: Beautiful.

ROWE: Just don't go crazy. Don't take any off the top.

COHOON: I don't have a comb in here Linda (ph).

ROWE: You don't have a comb, you're at hair museum.


ROWE: Look at that gray in there. That a disaster.

COHOON: There's no such thing as grey hair. Black, brown, red, blond, and white, absence to pigmentation. Grey doesn't exist.

ROWE: Again, you're hitting us with the kind of information that we crave on this show, but all to rarely get. So when you see those products called, you know, a touch of gray...

COHOON: You know...

ROWE: ... that's in touch a bull crap, is what that is. It doesn't exist.

COHOON: Green eyes is also beautiful.

ROWE: You're very kind. Thank you.

When you say start cutting...

COHOON: Go ahead an pulverize it, put it on your hand and start cutting. Make a little bit of pieces of it, just cut and cut and cut. Because working with the hair is not easy.

ROWE: You know I never thought I get hair in my palm. You know what it feels with hair in your palms, right? Yeah, you do. Here we go.

COHOON: Keep your mind that's what you're doing. There's five petals to make that flower, so you would have to cut enough hair to put on all of these petals.

ROWE: Good, because I want to use some of Taylor's (ph) hair. Look at his hair man. Am I right?

COHOON: He's got beautiful hair. It's gorgeous.

ROWE: It's almost creepy. It's like there's an imaginary fan in front of this face all the time.

COHOON: Now, I want to put some Elmer's glue that, cover it.

ROWE: Cover it. Like you can use hair from any part of the body?

COHOON: Yes. I'm sorry, the head.

ROWE: Sure it just got a little weird. Yeah, well whatever (inaudible).

COHOON: You sprinkle about that. Add it there.

ROWE: Too much? To (inaudible) glue?

COHOON: You've done a good job there.

ROWE: Well, thank you. Give me a favor. Cut some of his hair, would you?

Take all your need to cover some romance novel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any bald spots back there?



COHOON: (Inaudible).

ROWE: Wow, beautiful.

COHOON: Then hurry up and cut because I've got another project here for you.

ROWE: I was fast as I can but Taylor's (ph) is like thick rope.

COHOON: (inaudible) going to take this flower with you or do I get a (inaudible)?

ROWE: That's tough call. Maybe we -- There's the matter of my six dollars. Perhaps, we can strike some sort of bargain. Man, tell me the truth, she's loaded. She sitting on a freaking gold mine, isn't she. There's whole another room in the back full of gold coins.

I have to see my gold coin museum?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go and tell my grandfather.

COHOON: He gave up along time ago.

I didn't know I was going to have the museum, I just had too many in the closet and under the bed and I couldn't keep them from him anymore. So I had open up a museum.

ROWE: You're right. And do you any idea what he's missing here?

COHOON: I think he probably knows.

ROWE: We'd call this flower alopecia. Look what we did. I made a hair flower. I think we need to trim though, don't we?

COHOON: He things he's a hair dresser now.

ROWE: It's very, very important to trim. Is it true that your hair keeps growing after you've...



ROWE: Another lie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your body shrivels, makes it look like your hair grows.

ROWE: Same thing with the finger nails?



COHOON: How could you live this long and not know all this stuff?

ROWE: This another happy (inaudible) life affirming tips coming your way from the hair museum, right here in Independence Missouri.

Tell me again why you have to do this?

COHOON: Because you like it.

ROWE: No, no. I know why I have to do it. Why do you have to do it?

COHOON: Because I love it.

ROWE: But we've really have a great time here.


ROWE: It's one of the weirder, weird times we've had. I'll be honest with you. But it was instructive.

COHOON: You have a good flower there. You're get pictures of this?

ROWE: Well, if we're not then I'm afraid we just spend one of the most feudal days (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This could be on the closing credits.

ROWE: Just whole things it's going to be on the closing credits. It will be the last show I ever do. Whatever to happen to Mike? He went to a hair museum, things got weird. Then we never saw him again. He's on the wall in a museum.