tv Lou Dobbs Tonight FOX Business July 26, 2017 4:00am-5:00am EDT
>> a homemade hatchet man. >> oh, my god, this is not for real! >> it is. >> what are these meant to do? >> those could dismember people. >> an attic of axes... >> i was in shock because it was floor to ceiling axes, knives... >> cannons, guns. >> ready for an off-the-wall inheritance? >> i heard that they thought he was the unabomber. >> one day my mother has a knock on the door, and it turns out to be two fbi agents. >> leave it to cleaver. >> how many really great knife makers can do what he did? >> probably about forty or fifty... >> that's it? >> ...in the world. >> in the world? >> in the world. >> last call, for $2,750. [ door creaks ]
[ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i am in berkeley, california, home to the famous university and once the epicenter of the hippie movement of the 1960s, hardly the place i'd expect to find this strange inheritance, which attracted the attention of the fbi. >> my name is tom marek. when my brother robert died in 2015, he left me an arsenal of weapons -- swords, knives, guns, hatchets, you name it. >> hi, tom. i'm jamie colby. >> hi, jamie. i'm tom marek. >> it's so great to meet you, but i have to be honest. from what i've heard, your inheritance is a little disturbing. >> it's quite unique. >> well, let's take a look. oh, my god, this is not for
real! i am totally creeped out right now. >> we have axes. we have knives. we have mallets. >> guns. >> there are a few guns in here. >> floor to ceiling, in every nook and niche -- big and small, sharp and blunt. intricate rows of knives, arrays of swords, hoards of hatchets. talk about "axes of evil"! >> you have to look at this more as an art display. i mean, my brother compiled this collection over his entire life. >> and he lived here? >> he lived here. >> in this room? >> his tv's in here, his bathroom is in here, and his bedroom is in here. >> where's his bed? i don't see a bed. >> up in the rafters. >> i know that our show is "strange inheritance," but this is truly weird. >> you had to know my brother.
he was a little strange, but he was my brother. >> robert marek is born near san francisco in 1958. he's the second of four boys. tom is the youngest. >> we had a great childhood. i mean, we were four male children, one year apart, and we egged each other on. >> was there anything about your brother that stood out early on? >> he was a little bit of a clown. my brother was into pyrotechnics. we had weapons, bb guns, .22s. >> nice arsenal. >> it just was a fun house for a young man growing up. >> as a teen, robert is fascinated by stories of war, gore, and weaponry. he and bruce horton become friends in high school. >> he could tell you about conquerors going back 4,000 years and and give dates and names. he loved to read this stuff. >> after high school, robert joins his buddy bruce at uc berkeley. he double-majors in art and art history, with a focus on the craft of ancient weaponry.
>> we kind of formed our own little clique. in the art department, pretty much everybody was weird. >> of course, there's weird, and then there's weird. while his classmates draw, paint and sculpt, robert fashions weapons from scratch. and so begins his collection. how on earth did your brother learn, not just to make a knife, but to make swords and hatchets? >> one, reading up on it, because he really enjoyed reading and the history of weaponry, and, second, from experimentation. he had bought knives and swords. he had seen how they were assembled, and he decided he can do it better. >> in his senior year at berkeley, robert channels his vision into edgy performance art. here he is blowing fire for the camera. >> we had a performance-art group called the architects of doom. bob was like the armorer for us. we basically beat the crap out of everything. [ all yelling ] >> after college robert does odd jobs -- masonry work,
medical data entry, even serving subpoenas. all the while, he dedicates more and more of his time to collecting weapons and making them. how accurate was the historical part of what he did when he would make them? >> his knives had to be able to fool an expert. the composition, the iron had to be correct. the way the handle was mounted with rivets had to be correct. >> how many really great knife makers are there out there that can do what he did? >> probably about forty or fifty... >> that's it? >> ...in the world. >> in the world? >> in the world. >> i'm here at klockar's blacksmith shop in san francisco, meeting with renowned swordsmith francis boyd. he knew robert and shows me how much effort goes into a single knife. i'm no robert, but i think i can do this. >> okay, so grab it. >> got it, got it. >> you got it. now slide it under there. >> okay. >> and push it all the way up
and then just hold it level. okay, hold it. go that way. okay, it's too cold. pull it out. >> it's really hard work, folks. after reheating our steel, francis teaches me how to hammer it into a blade. >> all along the edge. now flip it over. all right? now hammer along there. >> you're a very patient teacher. >> right, right, always move the work, always hammer in the same place. yes. >> yes, i got a yes! but i'm nowhere near done. it will take days of filing, polishing, and sharpening, so francis shows me what our crude weapon can eventually become. >> and there's the finished knife. if you turn this in the light, you'll see a pattern in the metal. where you see this thing along the edge, it's as hard as glass.
>> this doesn't just happen in an hour. >> no. >> you saw how many knives he had collected and made over the years. how many hours did he spend? >> his whole life. you know, like a painter's got to paint, sculptor's got to sculpt, a knife maker's got to make knives. there's no way out. >> where did he work on them? >> at my mother's house. we had a lathe and drill presses and all this equipment my brother could use. >> it's not long before her son's hobby attracts unwelcome attention. >> a mother does not want the fbi knocking on her door asking about her son. >> the fbi? >> the fbi. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the famous swiss army knife was not originally manufactured in switzerland. was it made in... the answer after the break. potsch: you each drive a ford pickup, right? (in unison) russ, leland, gary: yes. gary: i have a ford f-150. michael: i've always been a ford guy.
potsch: then i have a real treat for you today. michael: awesome. potsch: i'm going to show you a next generation pickup. michael: let's do this. potsch: this new truck now has a cornerstep built right into the bumper. gary: super cool. potsch: the bed is made of high-strength steel, which is less susceptible to punctures than aluminum. jim: aluminum is great for a lot of things, but maybe not the bed of a truck. potsch: and best of all, this new truck is actually- gary: (all laughing) oh my... potsch: the current chevy silverado. gary: i'm speechless. gary: this puts my ford truck to shame. james: i'll tell you, i might be a chevy guy now. (laughing)
>> so, where was the swiss army knife originally manufactured? in 1891, the swiss army needed a folding knife that could also open cans and disassemble a rifle. the fish scaler, ballpoint pen, and led light came later. >> a boy fascinated with battles of yore grows up to be an expert craftsman of deadly weapons. some he makes from scratch,
like this battle axe. others, he buys for their historical value, like these world war ii navy knives. in 1986, 28-year-old robert marek is still living at his mother's house near san francisco. he doesn't know it, but his eccentric hobby has landed him on the radar of federal law enforcement. what happened? >> my mother answered the door, and there were two fbi agents there. and they told her they wanted to interview my brother, and she asked why. and they explained to her that they had done a profile on the unabomber. >> at the time still unidentified, "unabomber" was the fbi's code name for a domestic terrorist who sent mail bombs to his victims. he killed 3 people and injured 23 others. >> the unabomber had an association with uc berkeley, apparently was thought to be intelligent, and also worked with wood. and my brother was an artist who went to uc berkeley.
he worked with wood. >> did they bring him in for questioning? >> the following week, they came back to interview him, and my brother was never terribly open about how the interview went. he was a little embarrassed by this episode, but quickly they ruled him out as a suspect. >> the following year, in 1987, robert moves into this house in a quiet berkeley neighborhood, where he can live by himself, surrounded by all his weapons. >> did he have friends? >> well, you know, again, as an artist, you could call him a starving artist. a lot of his friends were on the edge, too, financially. they were just unique people, the type of people that make life interesting. >> his neighbors recall the first time robert has them over for dinner. what was your reaction? >> i was in shock because it was these beautiful wood walls, but floor to ceiling axes, knives. >> cannons. >> cannons. >> guns. >> oh, my. >> yeah, and so after we got in and the door closed, i kind of felt like we were never coming home. >> instead, robert serves them a delicious gourmet meal --
hold the fava beans and nice chianti. do you think he got a kick out of people's reaction. was that part of it? >> you know, probably. he was proud of his collection, but he wanted to overwhelm you. that was his goal. >> for the next 20 years, robert does what makes him happy. he fashions weapons -- lots of them -- and collects them, too. he covers the walls of his house row by row, layer by layer. while his weapons collection grows over the years, he and his brother tom, a straitlaced financial planner, grow apart. >> i moved up to washington state, and as a brother we just separated. >> then, in july 2015, tom receives some distressing news. >> i got a phone call from a female friend of his, who told me he was in the hospital. and at the time they thought he had a ruptured appendix, which he did have. and later on they found out it was cancer. >> robert is diagnosed with
stage-iv cancer throughout his body. how did he react to his diagnosis? >> he was a little scared. he wanted more time in life. the doctors thought he would have a couple more years. >> but just three months after that diagnosis, robert passes away. he's only 57. >> i don't believe he was ready to go. he had more work in life, more knives to make, more pieces to add to his collection. so, it was very sad. >> you had to be close to him to see the full person who he was. otherwise it's just a snapshot, and yeah, he's strange, but he's an incredibly unique person, and we won't see another one of him, maybe ever. >> robert names brother tom his principal heir, but he doesn't forget about his close friends. >> i thought he was very generous, to leave money to people he knew late in life, college friends, people he cared
about. >> after his brother's death, tom visits robert's house for the first time in more than a decade. >> i was just shocked, and i was overwhelmed. i had seen photographs, but they only show one wall or one segment of the collection. >> i would imagine that if he spent this much time collecting, he probably kept very detailed records? >> i wish he had, but no, he did not. >> so, do you have any idea what you have here? >> i really don't. >> but this guy will take a "stab" at it. >> there could easily be a hidden jewel buried somewhere. >> next. >> here's another quiz question for you. what's the name of these weapons built by robert marek? are they... the answer when we return. ♪
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>> so, what's the name of these weapons built by robert marek? the answer is... they were used in medieval times to attack enemies in body armor. >> forged by expert hands, a massive collection of more than five thousand weapons. it's tom marek's strange inheritance, hanging off the walls and rafters of his big brother robert's berkeley, california, house. >> just visually it was overwhelming. it was my brother's life, but i don't think i could have been prepared until i walked through that door. >> he'd like to honor his brother's wishes. >> we had a heart-to-heart talk in the hospital. he would have preferred it to go to a museum. he would have preferred it to go to a single collector. >> but it's clear that's a tall order. >> and he gave me permission
to auction off his collection. he realized that was the most likely outcome. it is sad to me. it's my brother. it's a collection of artwork that he created. >> tom's not sure how valuable the collection might be, or how to sell it, so he contacts michaan's auctions in alameda, california. they send in their sharpest mind -- world-renowned antique weapons expert greg martin. is this a once-in-a-lifetime collection? >> oh, i believe it is. you don't find collections like this, compiled by the maker and the collector rolled into one. >> greg tells me that's what makes this inheritance so unique. it's a combination -- some historical items robert purchased, but most he made himself. >> this axe, this is a handmade piece that he forged and pounded out. >> wow. >> this is really i think very interesting. these are all classic renditions of the bowie knife.
>> so, did he research these in order to get them so accurate? >> he would have had to. but i was going to point out, one of the characteristics of a bowie knife, one of them, is a clip-point blade. >> what does that do? >> and clip-point blade, sharpened, like this one, if you're having a knife fight or something, it becomes handy when you pull back. >> so, both parts of this blade are blade. >> that's right. this is sharp and this is sharp. >> and it's not just blades of every size and shape. robert also dabbled in gunsmithing. >> now, this is a serious piece of metal... >> no kidding. >> ...that robert was working on and evidently he was making himself a very big-bore gun of some sort. >> that's really heavy. >> i understand robert was a real big guy, and, i mean, i can barely get it up. >> greg also pulls some of the historical items that robert acquired. >> this is a very interesting gun. >> it's beautiful.
>> it looks like a small gun, but it is a big-bore gun. this carries a very big, powerful cartridge, and this is known as a howdah gun. >> what year do you think? >> 1880s, most likely. >> so, greg, what do you think this one's worth? >> between $1,500 and $2,500. >> do you have an idea in your mind of what this collection might bring? >> piece by piece, if you, i think it would probably bring a quarter of a million or more. >> a quarter of a million? >> yeah. >> really? that much? tom's ready to find out. so, it's off the walls for more than 5,000 weapons, headed to auction. >> $2,500, go $2,750. $2,750 is now the bid. go $3,000. >> that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com.
a small slice of his strange inheritance -- a 5,000-piece weapon collection amassed by his brother robert -- is up for sale at michaan's auctions. >> they did a very good job setting up my brother's display. beautiful bowie knives i think people will appreciate and a number of rifles and pistols. >> we will begin today's auction. >> first up, three of robert's handmade weapons modeled after the medieval mace and horseman's hammer. >> we'll start the bidding on this lot at $100. $100 is bid. thank you. $100 is on the telephone. $190 is now the bid. go $200. $190, go $200. $200 is bid there. last call, $200. [ cash register dings ] >> on down the line, this early plains tomahawk -- one of robert's historical pieces -- goes for $250. next, a rare civil war collins hospital knife sells for $550. this japanese gunto sword cuts in at $700. >> lot number 23 is a
rigby english double rifle. $1,000 is there. $1,000, now the bid goes. $1,100 i have. $1,200 is bid. $1,200 is now bid... >> now, this one could go somewhere. rigby is a sought-after manufacturer founded in ireland, and this rifle, circa 1900, is in excellent condition. >> $1,300 is there first. $1,400 is seated. $1,900 is here, $1,900. $2,000 will be next. $1,900 is the bid on the telephone. $2,000, new bidder. now the bid goes $2,250. $2,250 is bid. $2,750 is there. go $3,000. last call -- $2,750. [ cash register dings ] >> remember that big-bore english howdah pistol greg showed me? when it comes on the block, tom switches from seller to bidder. >> yeah, i got it. >> that's because he's his brother robert's principal -- but not sole -- heir. so, if he wants to keep any of the weapons, he'll have to buy them himself at auction. >> ...will get you there. $1,000, $1,100's your bid. $1,100. $1,200 is bid here.
>> yeah. >> it's too rich for tom's blood, as the pistol squarely hits its appraisal target. >> last call. [ cash register dings ] >> tom will be more tenacious when bidding starts on some of robert's expertly crafted bowie knives that greg showed me back at the house. >> ...the bid there. is there any advance on $130? $140. $140 is up front. new bidder. $140 now the bid. no advance on $140. up front at $140. last call, $140. [ gavel bangs ] [ cash register dings ] >> i didn't get one of the pistols i wanted. it went for too much money, but i got a couple of beautiful bowie knives that my brother made. i'll bring them home, put them in my cabinet, put them on the wall. i'll remember my brother. >> in total, the sale of just 30 items nets 11,400 bucks. considering there are about 5,000 more still set to go to auction, it seems like that estimate of a quarter-million dollars is well within reach.
>> i'm happy. i think this will do him honor. >> and for the heir in this strange inheritance story, honoring his brother has always been the point. the money, ultimately, is beside it. >> this was a lifelong passion. not many people can do what they want in life, and he did. i mean, he made it work, without much money, but he put together an amazing collection, and he was proud of what he did. >> i bet you're all wondering, did robert ever actually use any of those weapons in his collection? turns out he did. back in his college days, he took care of the landscaping around his mother's house. he mowed the grass, weeded the flower beds, and when it was time to trim the hedges, he did that, too. his tool of choice for that job? you guessed it, a sword like this one from his collection. i'm jamie colby for
"strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching. and remember -- you can't take it with you. >> i am hoop. >> i'm baird jones. >> two eccentrics from new york's disco days. >> if you were on baird's list, your social life was assured. >> two oddball art collections. >> all right. >> mel brooks, david bowie, art carney, muhammad ali. >> but the weirdest thing about this story... >> and it's really solid. nothing's going to fall off. >> ...is how the square from the burbs ends up with both. >> i can only imagine this driving around the streets of new york. >> will this two-for-one strange inheritance -- >> i've got $150, can get a $175? once, twice. first piece sold. >> ...ultimately add up? [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ]
[ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today and i'm in the pocono mountains of pennsylvania on my way to meet an heir with a head-spinning story that will take us back to 1970s manhattan, the era of punk rock, disco and wild parties at studio 54. >> my name is hugh hooper. back in 2008, my brother hoop received a very strange inheritance. when he died three years later, he left one twice as strange to me. >> hugh, hi. i'm jamie. >> how are you doing, jamie? nice to meet you. >> so great to meet you. you know, i don't come out of manhattan for just anything, but i heard your inheritance is way cool. >> it is. it's crazy. but you can keep manhattan. i'll take the country. >> all right. let's see it. >> you wanna see it? go ahead. >> absolutely. hugh's strange inheritance is actually two separate art collections
that belonged to two separate people. here's some of the first, parked on the pathway outside his home. what is this? >> well, this is hoop's cars. they call this the musicmobile. >> christmas albums, paul simon. [ playing notes ] it still works. and this is just a fraction of the far-out fleet he inherited. >> everything you could imagine, trucks, cars, little bmw isettas where you had to get in between the headlights. >> they do need a little bit of repair. >> well, i don't have the heart to touch it. >> that's because the creator of the auto art is his dearly departed brother, steven douglas hooper. >> this is me and my brother. >> steven is born in 1946 and raised in clifton,
new jersey. according to big brother hugh, he's a cutup from an early age. >> my brother was normal until he was about 8, and then he changed. >> uh-oh. what happened? >> he started acting like stan laurel and mugging and dancing around. and he always had this crazy sense of humor. >> the brothers are drawn down two very different paths. hugh joins the army. little steven idolizes pop-art sensation andy warhol and the psychedelic painters of the 1960s. he wants to be part of that scene. >> as he got into high school, he just got totally into art. >> steven takes a few classes at a small art college. big brother hugh gets married and starts a family. >> where did he get the money to pursue a passion and not have to get a real job like the rest of us? >> well, steven had a job. he worked in a book binder. he operated a forklift. >> but when their mother has a serious health setback, the brothers must figure out a plan.
>> we decided not to put her in a nursing home, so my brother gave up his job at the book binder, and i just paid the bills. my brother was like my hero. he took care of my mother. it's my obligation. we're blood of blood. >> in the early 1980s, with their mom in stable health, steven rents a studio in the edgy east village neighborhood of manhattan. and there, in his mid-30s, he begins to shine. hugh's now the guy with the wife and daughter in jersey, running a trucking company. so, it's not his scene, but he loves steven's stories. >> he showed up at a party one night in greenwich village. he was wearing a bright blue tux with black fleur-de-lis. he looked across the room. somebody else had the same tux. it was tiny tim. they became best friends. >> the goofy falsetto-voiced tiny tim is just one of hoop's famous, near famous, or used-to-be-famous acquaintances, and he's driven to achieve fame, too.
when he gets his hands on an old bmw isetta, he covers it in psychedelic fur. the first hoop mobile is born. >> i am hoop, the self-proclaimed king of art. >> my brother loved to introduce us as twins, and then everybody would go, "hmm." we didn't even look like we knew each other. i was military. he was hippie. >> it's not easy to become a well-known artist. you have to do one more outrageous thing after another. >> that means turning more and more cars into zany sculptures. he's the canvertible and the voodoo volkswagen. >> he actually had a van. he cut the front end off of another van. he bolted it on the back of his. he had two front ends. he said, "i don't know if i'm coming or going. it's the time machine." he covered it in clocks, and he drove all over the place. >> around this time, hoop meets a new york preppie name baird jones, who also likes hanging
with the glitterati and who has his own unique artistic vision. you're about to hear about the other half of hugh hooper's strange inheritance. >> this is a picture that james dean drew. this is tony bennett. >> signed "bennett." >> they're all signed. >> signed by muhammad ali, adolf hitler, charles manson, buddy hackett, paul mccartney and more. that's great. >> vincent price. >> after the break... >> but first our "strange inheritance" quiz question. which '70s hard rock band switched gears to cut the solid-gold disco hit "i was made for loving you"? kiss, iron maiden or the ramones? the answer when we return.
♪but i'm not the only one ♪i hope some day you'll join us♪ ♪and the world will live as one♪ >> so, which '70s hard rock band switched gears to cut the disco gold record "i was made for loving you"? it's a, kiss. the song's cowriter, paul stanley, said he wanted to prove it was easy to make a disco hit. >> so, where were we? oh, right. in the middle of a story about how hugh hooper came into inherit not one but two strange art collections. one was a fleet of car sculptures created by his younger brother,
steven, also known as hoop or the king of art, if you please. the second collection, as you're about to see, was curated apparently at significant cost by a classic new york character named baird jones. >> baird had a standard preppy uniform. khaki pants, baseball hat, and would send out these little invitation cards. >> author marianne macy met baird in the early '80s, when he's known as the columbia university grad student who throws the best parties in town. >> he was from a "social register" family. he had numerous graduate degrees. >> baird starts collecting art created by pop-culture celebrities, like these scribbled drawings by miles davis and jimmy stewart. others are by stars who are also artists, like anthony quinn and david bowie.
baird works for clubs and discos like the famed studio 54, where he's a doorman and party promoter. >> he was extraordinary at getting together really unlikely combinations of people from preppy to downtown grunge. >> the young nightlife impresario rubbed shoulders with hundreds of new york celebs. he leverages those connections to moonlight as a gossip-column tipster. >> besides inviting me to all of his events, he used to provide gossip-column items for me. >> richard johnson is a longtime editor for the ultimate big apple gossip column, the new york post's page six. why did people love him? was it his personality or his connections, his ability to throw a good party? >> i imagine that there's a lot of couples out there now with children, who met at one of baird's party.
>> no one knows when and where baird and hoop meet but by the early '80s, they're best buds. they love andy warhol and discover synergy in merging the psychedelic stars with the disco ball. baird and hoop join forces prompting east village artists at in clubs such as max's kansas city, palladium, and webster hall. >> they were big parties. you know, i mean, they were sort of cheesy. he would say on the invites, "copious hors d'oeuvres." so, they'd be 10 people deep. you'd be lucky if you could get one drink before they closed the open bar. >> some events feature baird's growing celebrity art collection. by baird's counting, he spends over a million dollars to add works by bob dylan, dee dee ramone, vincent price, and buddy hackett. he also snatches up works by simply notorious figures -- john gotti,
adolf hitler, charles manson, and john wayne gacy. his art shows attract even more bold-face names. >> he kept a database, and so he could mail out, you know, 5,000 invitations at a time. if you were on baird's list, you know you're going to run into a 100 people you know. you're bound to see hoop. he sort of had the same crew always there. >> but every great party comes to an end. and in 2007, concern is spreading among baird's closest friends, like marianne macy. >> you know, the 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. lifestyle had to change. he didn't look healthy. people's lifestyles changed, and baird was still out there doing a lot of the same stuff. >> do you want to do it afterwards? >> no, right now is cool. >> i think it was more like work for him later. >> on february 21, 2008, baird jones, life of the party circuit, is found dead in his apartment. he's 53 years old.
do you remember when you heard he had passed? >> i was shocked. i mean, he was way too young to die, and i didn't know that he had ever had any health problems. >> an autopsy reveals it was a heart attack. in his will, baird gives all his property to his good friend hoop, an estate said to be worth $2 million, not including his celebrity art collection. how surprised was he that he had gotten this inheritance? >> he was pretty surprised. he, he didn't expect it, really. >> i think it would just like baird to take care of his buddy, and that's what he did. >> do you want to see a bunch of the celebrity art downstairs? zero mostel. here's a, a jack kevorkian. >> the inheritance doesn't change hoop much. he busies himself with his cars, which are written up in the new york times. he's even interviewed by geraldo and featured in indie films. >> this is my matchbox mobile.
i was commissioned by the toy company mattel. they gave me 500 cars. you can play with it, too. >> but as fate would have it, hoop's wild ride is coming to an end as well. >> tell me what happened. >> he had a rash. he just thought it was psoriasis. and then he got this one rash that didn't disappear, and it continued to get worse. >> the diagnosis -- cancer. >> my artwork gives me inspiration to keep going. i get up, and i look out the window, and i said, "i got to do a little more to that car today." [ barking ] >> hoop keeps up his life as an artist and new york character with help from his older brother. >> i gave him all kinds of nutritional stuff. he had no side effects from the chemo at all right until the very end. >> in september 2011, hoop dies at the age of 64.
>> it's a hole in your life when you lose part of your family. nothing can fill it. >> hoop leaves everything to his big brother, hugh. >> we were opposites but totally bonded. what was mine was his, and what was his was mine. >> and now, what's hugh's are two strange inheritances in one, and as you're about to see, a big dilemma. what to do with it all? >> here's another quiz question for you. these three pictures are from the baird jones celebrity art collection. can you guess which was painted by leonardo dicaprio? "a," "b," or "c"? the answer after the break. potsch: you each drive a ford pickup, right? (in unison) russ, leland, gary: yes. gary: i have a ford f-150.
michael: i've always been a ford guy. potsch: then i have a real treat for you today. michael: awesome. potsch: i'm going to show you a next generation pickup. michael: let's do this. potsch: this new truck now has a cornerstep built right into the bumper. gary: super cool. potsch: the bed is made of high-strength steel, which is less susceptible to punctures than aluminum. jim: aluminum is great for a lot of things, but maybe not the bed of a truck. potsch: and best of all, this new truck is actually- gary: (all laughing) oh my... potsch: the current chevy silverado. gary: i'm speechless. gary: this puts my ford truck to shame. james: i'll tell you, i might be a chevy guy now. (laughing)
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>> so, which of these pictures from the baird jones collection was painted by leonardo dicaprio? it's "c." for the record, "a" was painted by jonathan winters, and "b" by dinah shore. >> in 2011, hugh hooper comes into his strange inheritance, two bizarre art collections created and curated by a couple of quintessential new york city characters. the first was his eccentric brother, hoop, who produced dozens of wacky sculptures from various automobiles. the second came from hoop's preppy party-planner pal, baird jones -- a large collection of artworks by a vast array of famous and notorious figures. he focuses first on his brother's car sculptures. two things are immediately clear. he has no place for them,
and there's no place to sell them. >> all the fun in these cars had been had because he isn't here. >> so, hugh lets his brother's friends cart away any hoop mobiles they fancy. but, hugh, aren't you a little concerned that you'll lose that connection to him? >> no. no, the connection isn't in things. the connection's in your heart. >> hugh is less emotionally attached to the second weird art collection. the hundreds of celebrity paintings and drawings that he inherited through his brother from baird jones. who's that? >> okay. that's the queen of monaco. >> ooh. >> grace kelly. >> so, there's royalty. >> yes. >> jimmy stewart. >> jimmy stewart. >> yeah. >> harvey. that was the character. >> john gotti, "bikini," nice. you know what he was thinking about. >> that's one of my favorites. >> remember, baird jones spoke about spending a million dollars to acquire all this artwork. hugh decides
to auction it all off. >> this is muhammad ali. >> in the ring. >> in the ring. >> hugh, you're going to sell this? >> yes, i am because who's going to enjoy it? nobody's getting any chance to look at it. that's what art is for, it's for people to appreciate. >> you think it's worth anything? >> i would imagine it is. what, i don't know. >> he's about to find out. let's open up at $1,500. $1,600, $1,700, $1,800. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, srangeinheritance.com. ♪livin in this crazy world ♪so caught up in the confusion♪ ♪nothin' is makin' sense ♪for me and you ♪maybe we can find a way ♪there's got to be solutions ♪how to make a brighter day ♪what do we do? ♪we've got to give a little love♪
into the collection before he died and willed it to hugh's brother, hoop. hugh chooses robert rogal of rogallery in long island city to handle the sale. mel brooks, peter falk, jimi hendrix, adolf hitler. >> quite a weird collection but a lot of name-brand material. >> it's the steven hooper, a.k.a. "hoop," celebrity art collection. >> and off we go. internet and phone bidders are standing by. >> opening price on this one is $100. >> it starts quietly with a work entitled "self-portrait with butterfly" by the famous french mime, marcel marceau. >> at $100, $100 and quarter now. got a bid of, go $125. at $125 now, at $125, last call. sold at $100. mel brooks. >> this cartoon scribble by a famous funny man fares
somewhat better. >> $400. peter falk. >> detective columbo beats that easily. >> $600. this john gotti. >> crime pays a little more. >> "bikini on mars," sold for $1,100. we continue. "horror hospital," ink and marker drawing, dee dee ramone. we're at $1,300 right now, looking for $1,400, $1,400. give me $1,500. sold at $1,500. >> and remember that muhammad ali painting called "sting like a bee"? >> $1,500, $1,600, $1,700, >> it packs a bit more punch. >> all done -- $2,800. >> alas, that's the biggest celebrity hit of the night. >> buddy hackett, sold, $250. rudy giuliani, $800. >> at this rate... >> david bowie, sold at $550. jimi hendrix. >> ...baird jones' million-dollar investment in celebrity art... >> sold at $300.
henry fonda. >> ...is looking like a big bust. >> pass it. pass, and we'll pass. moving along. >> this color-pencil doodle by actor ed asner starts with an minimum bid of 400 bucks. >> any bids, $400? and we'll pass. [ buzzer sounds ] >> will matthew broderick do any better? >> any bids at $100? >> $100 only. >> nope. >> and we're passing. [ buzzer sounds ] and we have now "courtyard of the old residency in munich." the artist is adolf hitler. we'll start at $50 and now $75. we're looking for $75 on this. last call, we're at $100. sold at $100 and glad to have it pass me. >> out of the 300 works put up for auction, about a third of them sell. the grand total, 43k. hugh expresses surprise if not disappointment. >> it was some things that didn't sell that really i thought would sell
very easily. but i think it was a good sale, and it also honors my brother, and that's very important to me. >> the unsold items include works by james dean, fred astaire, phyllis diller, and kurt vonnegut, which, come to think of it, is a pretty good start to a invite list for yet another cosmic-art happening baird and hoop are surely planning wherever they are. >> it will be a long time before we see anything like them. they were both really unusual people. together they were fantastic. >> so much that's hip in one generation is totally uncool to the next. old uncle hoop once drove his niece, hugh's daughter, to school in one of his hoop mobiles. the teen was mortified. after that, all hugh had to say to keep her in line was, "watch out, young lady, or uncle hoop will be driving you again tomorrow."
i'm jamie colby. thanks for watching "strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. lauren: breaking news this morning. the senate takes up health care, but suffer a late-night setback when the plane to appeal major parts of obama can go to get the vote. trying to president trump rallying the faithful in ohio. turning his focus now to tax reform. lauren: today we hear from facebook stock up 40% this year. trying to figure from other stocks to watch. coca-cola and go in ahead of all the u.s. stock markets as you can see in the