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tv   The History of Comedy  CNN  March 16, 2019 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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>> sean: looking good, man. that was better than my last cast. ♪ making noise with the alligator boys 20 miles east of gauttier ♪ -- captions by vitac -- ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ [ yelling ] man: it's one of the more rugged and remote destinations in the united states. everything out here will bite, poke, or prick you. everything. [ bull bellows ] people live in cubicles and they're king of their domain. out here, you ain't king of shit. ♪ ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la,,
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♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la ♪ [ radio static ] ♪ [ radio static ] >> dave beebe: stick around, tell your friends, this is the radio for wide range -- from the border to the basin, out here in west texas, great to be here tonight. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: the dream of the american west was, you come out here, get your own little piece of paradise, you work hard, raise cattle.
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make enough money to look after your family. >> woman: sure, i'd love to cook you one. ♪ ♪ [ whistle ] ♪ ♪ >> gentleman: this land, it's really for one thing, and that's producing livestock. they've tried to farm it, it doesn't work. you know, except for beautiful views, that's what it can produce. >> anthony: west texas and big bend, this area, are you the platonic ideal of the texan? the american hero? lone rider on a horse. big empty spaces, mexican music, mexican food. >> ty: it's still where the punchiest cowboys in the
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united states are. it don't get no rougher. >> shelly: i mean, we're 120 miles from the nearest walmart, 40 miles to a tank of gas or a loaf of bread. >> evan: out here, pretty much everything is five hours away. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: and the property has been in the family how many generations now? >> shelly: this is the fourth generation. >> bodie: fifth. >> shelly: fifth generation. my granddad came here in the '30s. bodie's family came out here in 1880. >> anthony: not a lot of people left get to do this. >> bodie: there's still a lot of cowboys. they're just hard to see from the highway. ♪ >> shelly: the ranch is approximately 70,000 acres. we don't use anything other than a horse. no four wheelers, no helicopters. >> anthony: excuse me for saying
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so, it seems a little stubborn. i mean, as far as practicality. >> shelly: he is so opposed to change. [ laughter ] >> bodie: it's not all bad, is it? >> anthony: no. >> shelly: i mean, these guys, they love it. i mean, they get up every morning and this is their office. ♪ [ cows mooing ] >> shelly: bodie, he had his teeth kicked out. >> anthony: by? >> shelly: a cow. and then he got in that chute with a steer, knocked them all out again. {horses galloping ] >> men: hey, hey, hey. ♪ >> shelly: oh, there goes evan. she's about to rope. ♪
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>> anthony: how old were you when you learned to ride? >> evan: oh gosh, um -- i had a horse when i was like 3. >> anthony: 3! [ laughter ] >> shelly: evan shows horses all over. she is top five in the world right now. >> evan: in the cow wars, you have to show how well your horse can do different maneuvers. >> shelly: here comes levens. >> anthony: how old? >> shelly: he's 10. watch this. [ cheering ] >> anthony: damn. [ laughter ] >> shelly: is that hilarious? >> anthony: it's killing me. >> shelly: way to go, levens! ♪ [ gate opens ] {horses galloping ] ♪ ♪ >> evan: there we go. [ laughter ]
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♪ >> shelly: the cabrito that we're eating, yesterday was a live goat. ♪ >> shelly: we like it spicy -- jalapenos and onions and fresh tomatoes. >> man: if you've got a bunch of gringos, it's perfect. [ laughter ] >> anthony: how mexican is west texas? this is where it is. >> shelly: the other side of that mountain, 20 miles as a crow flies. >> anthony: those flavors, those sounds. that's yours also. right? >> bodie: oh, yeah. i learned to talk spanish nearly before i learned to talk english. >> evan: it's the good vanilla from mexico. >> levens: old mexico or new mexico? >> evan: old mexico. >> shelly: chuy's mother comes from mexico, south of ojinaga. >> chuy: yes. that's right. >> anthony: and how long have you guys been riding together? >> bodie: me and him? >> anthony: yeah, you and him. >> bodie: 35 years. >> chuy: it's an awesome way of
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life. ♪ >> shelly: jalapeno cheese grits. >> anthony: nice. >> shelly: of course they're buttermilk biscuits. >> anthony: this is an area of texas that is legendary for whatever you might've thought you were going to do here, nature wins. >> all: always. >> anthony: always? >> bodie: it'll not rain for 20 years, and you just stay as long as you can and it just starts raining. >> anthony: so, how do you make a living? >> bodie: basically, dig in. >> gentleman: work like hell and don't spend any money. [ laughter ] >> evan: this table, right here, is filled with people who truly care about the land and what happens to it. >> gentleman: you have to have the heart to stay, and want to stay, and make something of it while you're here. if you got a weak heart, you won't last. >> evan: i mean, i'm graduating next year, and i'm going to go to college. go through law school, finish, but i want to come back out here. there are kids that are my age that will never see this, never have this, never be able to know people like this. and that's, i mean -- >> anthony: priceless.
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>> evan: yeah, how can you say no to that? >> bodie: if you get to eat three good meals a day and be happy. being happy is more important than anything. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> anthony: so how else is the area changing? i drove for three hours through ghost towns and dead gas stations, and nothing but nothing and, you know, suddenly
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i arrive in marfa. ♪ ♪ and it's like, "would you like some bruschetta, some salumi, some $900 ponchos?" >> shelly: that's right. [ laughter ] >> anthony: what's going on? >> shelly: clearly it's not the old, old family marfa. ♪ ♪ >> ty: marfa has become three distinct cultures -- tourist town, art town, cowboy town. it's got it all. you can get calamari in marfa. who would've thunk it 20 years ago? nobody knew what the word meant. ♪
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♪ [ cheering ] >> anthony: this is the first bar where i've ever been into where a person next to me is petting a goat. [ laughter ] >> ty: in here, sometime we get all types. dogs come in without their owners. >> ty: as long as everybody behaves, whether you got two legs or four, everything's good. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: you've seen a bit of the world. you've seen a lot of the world. >> ty: i ran away from home a
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lot as a kid. and by the time i was 16 i got real good at it. i went to alaska, but then i came back. joined the military, cowboyin', rough neckin'. >> anthony: running drugs and guns across the border? >> ty: i did run guns south, and the atf knows. they've got an open file. >> anthony: what motivated you to get into the bar business? >> ty: well, every cowboy has a dream of owning a saloon. >> anthony: i did not know that. it's been around for some time, under various -- >> ty: almost a hundred years. there's many different cultures that come through here. hipsters, blue-collar city workers. i wanted everybody to be able to have a good time, no matter who or what or where. there ain't going to be but one intimidating son of a bitch in my bar, and that's me. [ laughter ] ♪ >> anthony: you're seeing this town change in a lot of big ways. every single person i've talked to down here is telling me the same thing -- "that wall ain't never getting built around here." >> ty: my ranch is on the river, it's on the border. you can't survive without the
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river. and we can't survive without the people on that side of the river. they can't survive without us. >> anthony: right. >> ty: and they're our friends, for god's sake. loyalty is a big thing in texas, and you ain't going to build a fence between me and my loyal friend. >> anthony: every old school anglo rancher i've met here speaks spanish fluently. >> ty: it's a mutual respect to speak a little spanish. and it's respect for them to learn a little english. you know as well as i do, you go to europe, it's not hard to find somebody in france speaking english. >> anthony: everybody, yeah. >> ty: they don't mind, they're not offended. you know, americans have a tendency to want to be all butt hurt about it, and here we're just not, that's just being a good human being. >> anthony: why's it so god damn hard to be a good person these days? ♪ the third stair always creaked.
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[ radio static ] >> dave: right now in marfa, it's 75 degrees. low tonight, only 61 -- not that cool honestly. ♪ i'm david beebe until 1:00am. it's time to go outside and look up at the stars and enjoy the place that you live. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> roger: this part of the state was always called "el despoblado" -- the unpopulated zone. which it never really was. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: born and bred near here? >> roger: yeah, a couple hundred miles east, not far. >> anthony: that's considered close around here. >> roger: close. the forest still makes me uneasy. surrounded by trees, i get uneasy because i can't see. i can't see far enough. >> anthony: now, i guess unlike a lot of texans who take a rather romantic view of those early days, you seem to view it in a darker prism. >> roger: it is dark. the story of texas can get a little too polished. it was a conquest, and people forget that. there were people here.
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the spanish and the mexican authorities wanted to exterminate the apaches. they created "the society for the extermination of the barbarians." >> anthony: so, the classic cowboy and indian film of scalp-hungry indians -- was not really the case. >> roger: well, they took scalps too. but they kind of learned from the anglos, and when the texans came in it intensified. if you were a rancher coming out here in the 1870s, you'd better have a lot of guns, because you were an invader. and the people you were invading knew you were an invader. [ meat sizzling ] ♪ >> anthony: oh, damn. you know, if you look at the legend of this place, you know, was it the history of violence and the harshness of the landscape that preserved it for so long? >> roger: yeah. west texas stayed wild, and it's still wild.
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people have lived on this landscape for 14,000 years. through all these different nation-states and empires that have swept over them. they've just -- they persist. ♪ ♪ >> carolyn: we're going to catch the arch. the arch of light that is just going to envelope this motif right here that represents the place where the sun was born. ♪ >> carolyn: welcome to the white shaman site. this is one of the oldest pictorial creation narratives in all of north america. the mural tells the story about the death of the sun, the sacrifice that takes place so the sun can be reborn the next day. i had the honor of having a huichol shaman come up from
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mexico to this site, and he started weeping. and they said, "they're all here. all of our grandfathers-grandfathers- grandfathers, they're all here." ♪ ♪ >> anthony: so here we are at alpine, texas, talking about the beginning of civilization on the north american continent. the earliest evidence of human existence in this area goes back how far? >> elton: almost 15,000 years. the rock art in the lower pecos and along the rio grande encapsulates not only their
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religion, but the cosmos. why you had constellations at certain times of the year. and where were they in relation to each other. the seasons. >> carolyn: tony, sometimes i just want to scream because people will say, you know, well, "did these people speak with a grunt?" i look at these murals and i see sophistication that we'd be hard-pressed with today. >> anthony: i think sophistication is an overvalued term. i mean, what the hell do we mean by that anyway? i mean, we're still pretty much killing ourselves with spears and rocks in one sort or another. >> elton: one of the important things you have to realize is that these people have the same brain that put a man on the moon. they were in tune with their universe and their environment. >> carolyn: same brain. same brain. >> roger: i would not be surprised if the lower pecos art
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outlasts all of us. all of our monuments crumble to dust immediately. 4,000 years later, white shaman, still there. >> anthony: i think they're going to have a tough time interpreting what life was like on this planet. they'll be left with betamax copies of "three's company" and, you know, "who's the boss?" who lived on this planet? and what went horribly wrong? [ laughter ] ♪ ♪ [ cheering ] ♪ [ cheering ] ♪
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>> anthony: you know, if you talk about life-changing events in any neighborhood, it's when the artists show up. ♪ >> rainer: when my father, donald judd, came to marfa in the early '70s, it was a ranching community and an old railroad town. >> anthony: the legend is, of course, that he looked at a map and was looking for the least populated area of america, and came out here. is that true? >> rainer: yeah. it is. i mean, he did a lot of looking for places that had very few people and very few trees and lots of space. he had been working hard for so long, and i think coming out to marfa was this reward. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: your dad was -- a giant of the art world in new york with an enduring, huge legacy. what's that like?
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>> rainer: the thing with my dad is that he was like a buddy my whole life. he was literally like my tether to understanding the world. ♪ >> anthony: oh, wow, look at this. >> rainer: there are people who make great food in marfa that didn't open a restaurant, so this is the behind the scenes of yummy food that people make in their homes. carmen's menudo. and her blue corn tortillas. >> anthony: nice. >> rainer: johnny sufficool's mesquite bean flour empanadas. melinda's queso fresco. >> anthony: with chilies. i love this. >> rainer: and ophelia's tamales over here. >> anthony: wow. when your dad came to town with nothing but love in his heart and a desire to make beautiful things, he ushered in this
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entire new world. with the invasion of, you know, gourmet coffee or you know, trained baristas. how did he feel about that? >> rainer: i mean, my dad made his own coffee every morning, so he wouldn't be that in to the fancy coffee available now, but the people who come here now, as long as they're contributing to being a good citizen, it's actually a good thing that people are here. ♪ ♪ [ spanish radio ] >> dave: dos carne asada.
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tambien chili verde. >> chef: chili verde? >> dave: si. ♪ >> chef: digame. >> anthony: i'll have a barbacoa. >> dave: barbacoa tacos. ♪ >> dave: most of the better restaurant chefs, you can find them at least once a week getting their food here, even if they're making food down at their place. >> anthony: unbelievable. at a gas station. [ laughter ] >> dave: in the morning, everybody is here. it's all the border patrol guys, like all of them. >> chef: there you go. you have a great day. >> dave: all the laborers in town. kids, the people that work at the radio station. it's like going to, yeah, like your abuela's house. >> anthony: so, you're both multitaskers. you're a state employee? >> dave: a county employee. elected official, yeah. >> anthony: justice of the peace?
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>> dave: yes, sir. >> anthony: what does that mean? >> dave: i'm like the small judge that reads you your rights when you go to jail. >> anthony: right, also a musician? >> dave: yeah, musician with primo here. >> anthony: you work at the radio station? >> dave: i've been on the radio now for ten years. ten years every week, and he's been on the radio for what now, three? >> primo: three or four years. >> anthony: restaurant business? >> dave: i have a burger and taco joint that's open on weekends. >> dave: burger time. >> anthony: a lot of multitasking around here. people tend to -- >> dave: you have to. >> anthony: you have to? >> dave: yeah, every job here pays $10 an hour, whether you're the attorney or the barista or the janitor. so you're going to have to work a lot of different jobs to make it because it's expensive to live here. >> anthony: right. it's a small town. >> dave: 1,800 people. >> anthony: it seems an unlikely place to put in a spanking new public radio station that's heard all over texas, yes? >> dave: well, that's exactly right. i mean, your expenses for running a 100,000 watt transmitter on top of a mountain that gets struck by lightning every three weeks is pretty tough. but the station has support from pretty much everybody here. everybody listens to their radio in their pickup truck. the only other news source we have around here is the local newspaper. >> anthony: what are the big issues? what do people want to talk about? >> dave: the issue is border trade. and there's a lot of fear right now because the idea of changing
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nafta. >> anthony: american parts assembled in mexico come back here. >> dave: right. that's part of the nafta thing. you can take it, have it here, take it over there, assemble it, bring it back. there's no tax. >> anthony: right. >> dave: it's definitely been good for our community. there's a mobile home factory called solitaire. you see them all over here, people buy them. they take the stuff down there, they assemble the homes down there, and then they bring them up the road. you'll see two or three come up the highway today. >> anthony: and who's buying those things? >> dave: everybody who's working-class. the manufactured housing is the craftsmen home of the 21st century. >> anthony: it appears that marfa in particular is going to be a tourist and service economy. there's money flooding in here. it is an irresistible tide -- is there money trickling down, is it spreading down into the community? >> dave: we have jobs here. you can get a job here. as i said, everybody makes $10 an hour here, but 25 years ago we had nobody here and it was a dying town. so, you got the cowboys, border patrol. you got hipsters coming in from out of town. new york artists wearing weird glasses and white pants. maybe we don't understand each other, but we can all be in the same place at any time.
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people here are nice. >> primo: aqui en el -- everybody is waving at each other. todos. ♪ [ whistling ] no worries boss, i'm one of the tattoo artists in the city. you mean one of the best tattoo artists in the city? right? something like that... ya. uh, aren't you supposed to draw it first? stay in your lane, bro. just ok is not ok. especially when it comes to your network. at&t is america's best wireless network, according to america's biggest test. buy a new samsung galaxy s10 and get one free. ♪ i feel most times we're high and low ♪ ♪ high and low ♪ if i had my way enhance your moments. san pellegrino. tastefully italian.
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>> dave: thanks for tuning in, everyone. you're listening to 93.5 krts, marfa public radio. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> sandro: this is where the mexican people end up living once they leave their adobes. the projects. the low-income housing. ♪ hola, ramona. como estas? dos burritos, por favor. de asado. por favor.
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♪ >> sandro: que rico. gracias, ramona. [ anthony groans] you've been riding horses? >> anthony: yes, you've noticed? the groan as i sit down. mmm, that is a serious burrito. no rice and all that. this is the real deal, man. i love it. were you born here? you were born in mexico city? >> sandro: i was a fisherman in alaska for 19 years of my life. >> anthony: oh, yeah? >> sandro: in the bering sea. >> anthony: now, is it adobe or adobe? >> sandro: adobe. >> anthony: adobe. and you were quoted as saying "adobe" is political. >> sandro: yes, you're going to start with that question? >> anthony: yeah. i'm interested. ♪ >> sandro: straw, clay, water, and manure -- that's what makes the adobe. we make a flat surface here where we're going to put the water and the manure on top. adobe building has happened all over the world for thousands of
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years. ♪ ♪ >> sandro: here, historically, the adobe has been kept alive by the mexican and mexican-american populations. ♪ ♪ >> sandro: the traditional adobe, it's barely alive because of what's happening with gentrification in marfa. the mexican-american minorities are being displaced. the people who have lived in adobes for generations have to sell their homes because of the new taxes. taxes that are only in adobes. a lot of us, we also find it discriminating.
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♪ >> sandro: we are at a critical point. ♪ >> sandro: when i think about adobe, it's probably the oldest tangible representation of the local and regional culture that we have. ♪ [ singing in spanish ] ♪
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>> sandro: everybody, for generations, they have crossed the river, the rio grande back and forth just by walking.
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the river was low and they would just cross, go buy some groceries, and then go back. [ radio static ] ♪ >> dave: all right, y'all, this next song is by molly ferguson of the resonators of presidio, texas. this is marfa public radio. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> anthony: very low crime here. >> john: i mean ojinaga defies so many of the things people say about the border. you know my daughter spends a lot of time in ojinaga. my daughter. and you know some people are like, "what?" but, i mean, i don't go to sleep at night wondering if she's okay because i know she's okay. >> molly: she's at home. ♪ >> john: the interesting thing about this restaurant is they don't just serve your typical mexican enchilada plate so -- a lot of kind of traditional recipes.
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>> anthony: i know they do meat here in a big way. ♪ ♪ >> john: so welcome to good old presidio and ojinaga. >> anthony: other side of the river, you are currently the mayor of presidio. >> john: yes, sir. >> anthony: and you are former mayor of -- >> john: ojinaga. how long were you the mayor? >> victor: from '98 to 2001. >> anthony: you know when we talk about sister cities, that's serious. >> john: oh yeah, yeah. >> anthony: it's almost like an arbitrary line through them. >> john: on the weekends presidio just kind of empties out. you say, where is everybody? it's because they're here. so, i mean, that's kind of why when there's talk about the border wall, i was like, whoa, wait a minute, we're basically one town here. >> victor: we always work together, and we never fight. we've been friends for over 300 years. inseparables. >> anthony: now, you could come over here, your boyfriend can't come over there? >> molly: no. >> anthony: that's not too friendly. what's up with that? and how come? why not?
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>> miguel: it's very complicated because you want to go, to know her house. to know where she's studied, where she teaches. but me, i cannot cross. why not? like what is -- i'm a person, you know? i'm a person. >> anthony: you need a visa? i mean, what's the problem that you can't go back and forth for the day? or for two days? >> molly: no. we did the process and everything for him to at least get a visitor's visa. he went in a bus that took him to juarez, which is four hours away? >> miguel: yeah, no. ten hours in total. >> molly: ten hours on a bus. okay, so then he had to wait in a line for hours like waiting. and then the interview took like two minutes, and they just put denied, they didn't even -- >> anthony: denied? meanwhile, you live right within a mile from each other. >> molly: he has no bad record, nothing. we're best friends, you know, and i wish he could come over to my house and just see it. you know. >> john: the state of texas is so much more diverse than it used to be. and i think it makes it much -- >> anthony: better.
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♪ ♪ >> charlie: this is santa elena canyon. big bend national park, the largest national park in texas, and it's named after the big bend in the rio grande. we are surrounded by 1,500-foot limestone cliffs. this slowly rose up and the river just cut through it for millions of years. [ horn blows ]
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♪ [ splash ] [ laughter ] >> girl: ready? [ splash ] ♪ >> man: it looks good. good job on the food.
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>> all: cheers! thank you, guys. >> man: salud. >> anthony: so you're looking at texas, and i'm looking at mexico. >> man: that's 100% correct, yeah. the cliffs on our left are mexico, and the ones on our right are the united states. i've been on several overnights where you're clients almost that forget, yeah, that's mexico right there. and they say, "wait, is that mexico?" and it's like, "yeah, it is. it looks exactly the same as that." >> woman: we get people from all over the country, all over the world and some of them come in hesitant or scared of the border. >> man: when they book the trip, they say, "should i bring my guns?" >> anthony: right. >> woman: but the neat thing is that everyone i've taken out you get to see this transformation from being, like, terrified to thinking it's beautiful, to thinking they don't need a wall, to thinking i'm actually going to write a letter saying that we don't need a wall. >> anthony: has anyone ever bothered -- i mean, are there like security gun boats coming up and down this river? [ light laughter ] >> charlie: i think the border patrol technically does have a hovercraft that they've used once and it's just horrible. >> woman: the park service does too. >> charlie: yeah. >> woman: they have helicopters. >> charlie: for the record, i don't understand why mexico is made to be such an issue.
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i mean, it's the second biggest trade partner outside from china. >> anthony: yeah. what about the canadians? they're actually pouring across our borders and stealing our jobs. >> charlie: they are taking our jobs. >> anthony: find a non-canadian comedian. >> charlie: how many canadians play hockey in the united states for u.s. teams? >> anthony: those are high-paying jobs that americans -- they're stealing our jobs. >> man 2: i mean, there are so many avenues that that conversation can go to where violence comes from, where dangers come from. >> woman 2: well, even our small towns here. i mean, crazy stuff happens everywhere. >> charlie: the world is made a better place by little bits at a time. you can't just jam through a wall one year and say it's fixed. >> anthony: you know, i've been to a few places where they do have a wall. few things are uglier in the entire world of all of the places that i've seen -- few things have been more of an indication than an utter failure of otherwise smart people to figure shit out. thank you for showing me this amazing, amazing -- i mean, just
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ludicrously amazing place. ♪ ♪ [ cheering ] ♪ [ water trickling ] ♪ >> anthony: there's a certain type of people who connect immediately to the empty spaces. ♪
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>> anthony: i can't spend much time by myself. if i'm alone in my apartment in new york or on a beach with a hammock, i'd like to think i'd be able to relax. and i can't. there's that enforced sense of humility, because you really know how utterly powerless you are. you're just tiny. ♪ ♪ ♪
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it's a life-and-death experience. you go up there. >> about eight or ten coal mines shut down at one time. >> it is the same speech every single week. >> there's so much negativity surrounding this place no


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