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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Dean Cain

Aired March 28, 2002 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a man without a face, a model with more than 200 metal plates in her head. Then, transforming tale of a self-made cat and much more. Astounding stories, amazing people. "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Every Wednesday night at 8:00 on our sister station, TBS, the program "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" airs. It's one of the hottest top-rated original series on basic cable TV. We did a show on it previously. And it did so well, we thought we'd do another one. And we invite back a whole host of people, including, of course, the host of the show, and he'll be without us throughout this entire program, Dean Cain.

Quickly, you got this job how, Dean, because we all know you as Superman?

DEAN CAIN, HOST, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT": Well, actually, my company produces the show as well. So I sort of hired myself.

KING: You're in business for -- you're an actor and a businessman?

CAIN: Yes, sir. Absolutely.

KING: And how did you get the idea to bring Ripley back?

CAIN: Well, they came to me actually and they discussed it with me first and said would you like to do this? And we had our own idea on how I would want to do the show and how I want it to feel and look and basically the tone of the show, I wanted to make it very different. And they agreed, and this is what we have now.

KING: The appeal of "Ripley's", which was originally a comic strip, right? And then there were even museums...

CAIN: Yes.

KING: ... which is what?

CAIN: Well, there still are. There's about 22 museums, I think, throughout the country, worldwide. The appeal is that everybody likes to look at someone who is different and ask the question, why? Why have you done this? Why do you have your hair long like that? Why do you look like this or why do you act this way? It's really the fascination with other people.

KING: It's a side-show circus, though, isn't it?

CAIN: Well, it started off -- Robert Ripley used to say -- high- class freaks is what he used to say. And then it's absolutely evolved into what we have today, which is a whole different ball of wax. What we do today is we certainly don't classify any of our guests as freaks. We say this person does this and this is why they do it and this is why it's important.

KING: And here they are.

CAIN: And here they are.

KING: We'll give you an example of this. We're going to show you a clip of -- might be a typical example of what might occur on a "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When this man hits the street, people can't help but stare, because though he was born and bred in Los Angeles, California, he's so obsessed with world cultures he's painfully transformed his own physical appearance. Believe it or not, even stretching his lower lip with a tribal lip plate.

DR. OL DOINYO LE BAABA, WEARS LIP PLATES: I am the only one who was born in America or of American ancestry that has a lip disc.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And by way of introducing our first guest of what will be many tonight, Dr. Ol Doinyo Le Baaba. He likes to be called Dr. Baaba. And you don't like to shake hands with people, right? Why is that?

BAABA: Well, you know, shaking the hand is OK, but I think that when you communicate with a person, that it's better to communicate with heart and sometimes the hand gets in the way of heart.

KING: Why did you extend your lip that way?

BAABA: The lip plate is something that's worn by very many indigenous people in Africa, South America as well as in Canada. It connects the mind, the body and the soul to this ancestral spirit.

KING: So you have the lip plate, the facial tattoos, the neck rings, like Burmese women, nose piercing similar to the highlanders in New Guinea, earlobes stretched like the Masai (ph) tribe. You do this to transform yourself into various cultures. Why? The age-old question. I like cultures, too, but I don't do this.

BAABA: I think it's very important in today's world that we understand more about ourselves and more about the differences between ourselves and others and the similarities. I think that a lot of the problem that people are having with communication and association is simply because we don't understand one another. This particular way that I've chosen is one of the most ancient ways of identifying with ourselves and with others.

KING: What do you do all day, though? How do you make a living?

BAABA: What I do is I try to understand more about myself and understand more about others. I'm studying cultural anthropology. I go to universities, colleges and schools and I teach this.

KING: You lecture?

BAABA: Yes.

KING: Do you ever take this thing off your lip?

BAABA: Sometimes.

KING: Does your lip ever go back to normal?

BAABA: No it does not. No.

KING: Doesn't it feel weird?

BAABA: You get used to it.

KING: I want to give you another example of the kind of things you see on "Ripley" every Wednesday night. Let's go to this skateboarder clip. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While the average 2-year-old spends the day learning to color, playing on swings or just trying get around, little Evan Wasser's day is quite different. Because, believe it or the not, Evan's amazing balance and coordination make him the world's youngest skateboarder. And Evan just keeps getting better. After only a year of practice, he never fails to amaze onlookers because this baby skates with the big boys. And he's always working on risky new moves.

ED WASSER, EVAN'S FATHER: People -- they are very blown away by this little tiny guy displaying this amazing amount of balance. They are in amazement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Amazing stuff. Amazing. What a -- Dr. Baaba, do you have any health problems with all you do to yourself?

BAABA: No. There's no health problems. You find that when you have an understanding and a commitment to anything, then your psychological, physiological and biological adjust to that understanding.

KING: Do people look at you kind of weird?

BAABA: Well, you always get people looking at you and wondering and questioning, but you get used to that.

KING: Last time when we did this, all these people are really, really, I mean, forget the freak concept. They're interesting people.

CAIN: And that's the element we try to make prevalent and up front and tell their story because it's not just -- if you see him, you don't have an idea of why he does that.

KING: Thank you, Dr. Baaba. Continue your studies.

When we come back, an extraordinary story. Louise Ashby, behind her beautiful face is a medical miracle. You're not going to believe this. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine trying to hit a baseball blindfolded, complete darkness. Not being able to see the ball coming at you. It's almost impossible. But for Ben Shoe (ph) and his teammates, this is just an average game. Because, believe it or the not, the players on Ben's team are blind. And they play with a ball that beeps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Continuing our discussion about "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" with its host and creator, literally, Dean Cain.

Joining us now is Louise Ashby. This is an extraordinary story. You see a beautiful girl who is also a medical miracle. Skull and facial bones held together with 200 metal plates. Watch this clip first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Henry Kowamoto will attempt to use a new, high-tech procedure to superimpose one of Louise's recent modeling photos over an x-ray of her skull, creating a road map to reconstruct her face. The doctor begins by identifying small bone fragments and returning them to their original positions. Then with bone from the back of Louise's skull, he begins to sculpt the look of her face, attaching the different pieces with titanium plates and screws. After four separate operations, Louise's face slowly begins to regain its shape. Now all she can do is wait, hope and heal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And boy did she. There she is, wonder woman, Louise Ashby, famed in Australia as the child spokesperson for Vegemite. had a film career in Britain before moving to Los Angeles. What happened to you? Was it a car crash?

LOUISE ASHBY, HAS 200 METAL PLATES IN HER HEAD: Yes. Three weeks after moving here, I was hit head-on by a 78-year-old retired physician who was driving on the wrong side of the road. I was in a convertible and just shot out of the chair into the corner of the windshield and bust a hole in the left of my head.

KING: And what kind of process -- you had surgeries that cost more than $1.5 million, 200 metal plates hold your face together.

ASHBY: Yes. The reason I'm wearing sunglasses is actually because my last surgery was last week. So I've had 12 surgeries and lots of...

KING: You still have surgeries?

ASHBY: I just had one last week.

KING: Do you feel the metal in you?

ASHBY: When it's cold, I do. The metal gets really cold and I get really bad headaches. But other than that, no, I don't. Oh, well, there is a screw here that I thought was bone that I found out a couple of weeks ago is a screw. So I can feel that.

KING: Are you back working now?

ASHBY: Yes, I am. I run a charity with my doctor to help kids who are born with birth defects or adults and children who are in, you know, disfiguring accidents and I working as a model and an actress.

KING: Did you see your face when it was all beat up?

ASHBY: Yes, I did. That was pretty scary. I wasn't allowed to see it for a very long time. No one would give me a mirror. And then one day, the doctor came to take the staples out of my head and I asked a friend to come into the bathroom with me. And, you know, when you see something like that, it's nothing you could ever be prepared for seeing, to actually see something that's not you. It's unrecognizable.

KING: You were in a four-day coma, right?

ASHBY: Yes.

KING: Memory damage as well. Someone compared to what happened to your skull, the doctor said it was like a light bulb being smashed on concrete.

ASHBY: Into a million pieces.

KING: Were you in a lot of pain or were you whacked out?

ASHBY: I think I was whacked out because the doctor said to me on a scale from one to 10, 10 being the worst the pain is, what is your pain? And I said a two. So, considering I had half my head missing, I must have been on quite a lot of medication.

KING: Do you date -- are you married?

ASHBY: No.

KING: Do you go on dates?

ASHBY: Yes.

KING: Do you tell people? Do you say, you know, by the way, I go off on metal detectors?

ASHBY: Listen, I'm the best date. I have got no smell, no taste, no vision in my left eye.

KING: What happens when you go through an airport?

ASHBY: I go off. I do.

KING: Louise, you are amazing.

ASHBY: Thank you so much.

KING: Wow, you're a great -- this is a great story.

CAIN: It's really inspiring. Absolutely.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

ASHBY: You know, to be in front of the camera again is incredible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good, lean into me right there. Beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Louise not only got back her identity, but says that the experience taught her a valuable lesson.

ASHBY: It's given me a lot more depth and a lot more compassion and a lot more hope that anything is achievable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great, Louise. Right here on three. One, two, three.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Let's go to the clip of our next guest, John Evans. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED DOCTOR: Hi, John.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the procedure was complete, John spent the next three months trying to control his backward-facing, upside- down hand.

JOHN EVANS, HAD LEFT HAND ATTACHED TO RIGHT ARM: The hardest part was grabbing a hold of things. And I just couldn't grab a hold of things, whether it be a piece or paper or whether it be to take my medicine. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through rehabilitation and practice, John began mastering the skills he needed to live life on his own again. And despite the incredible hardship, he never gave up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: All right. Let's meet another very interesting person as we go to Springfield, Illinois and meet John Evans. John was hit by a train. John, how did you get hit by a train?

EVANS: I was walking down the street and my foot got stuck and then I was hit by a train. That's the only thing I remember.

KING: You remember seeing the train coming?

EVANS: Yes, I do. My foot got wedged and I couldn't get loose and the last thing I seen was lights and then, bam.

KING: Your left hand had to be attached to your right arm?

EVANS: Correct.

KING: Can you show us what that looks like?

EVANS: The doctor did amazing things. Just switched hand on my arm, and this can do anything anymore.

KING: Can you function OK with a hand reversed like that?

EVANS: Yes. It's awkward, but, yes, I can.

KING: John, you are an amazing story. Thank you very much. John Evans, hit by a train, undergoes rare cross-hand transfer surgery, left hand reattached to the right arm.

Another incredible "Ripley's" story. "Ripley's" is seen every Wednesday night on TBS. Here's just another example of the Ripley people at work. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While walking like this may look painful to most people, for Juana (ph), it's all she knows. She says the aches and pains are minimal and new medical advances may eventually even help Juana walk completely upright. But for now, this very courageous young woman will have to wait and hope that science takes a step in the right direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What was that?

CAIN: That young lady's knees actually grow backwards. Her leg grows backward at the knee. And she's forced to walk that way. We had a young man on last season who had the same sort of situation. He actually chose to have his legs amputated below the knee and prosthetics attached so he could walk upright. She has chosen not to do that at this point and time. And they told her she'd never be able to walk, but she's proven them wrong by walking as proud as she can.

KING: What an amazing story. When we come back, Ashley Cowen, the quadruple amputee who became the youngest athlete to complete a swim across Lake Erie. More on Ripley after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Franz Spon (ph) is obsessed with gumballs. But he never chews them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I know, my work with gumballs unique, not only in this world, but the universe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because, believe it or not, Franz turns gumballs into incredible, one of a kind masterpieces.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's mastered the art of the trick shot. The Evel Knievel jump, five rails, and into the cup, the deadly ricochet combo followed by a kiss off the eight. And while this pool shark is one of the best, he's not what you think. Because, believe it or not, he's only seven years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, what do you think about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm good at the lots of them, but I'm the best at pool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: By the way, we apologize if you find any of this difficult to watch. We understand that. And we do alert you to the fact that this is a show of not the norm, as they might say.

Joining us now on this tribute to "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", from Toronto, Canada is Ashley Cowen. Ashley is a quadruple amputee who became the youngest athlete to complete a swim across Lake Erie. Here's a clip to show you what we mean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Gathering the strength from her coach and the crowd cheering her from shore, Ashley summons up her last bit of courage and pushes forward, inch by grueling inch. Incredibly, at 11:00 p.m., Ashley Cowan at last touches land. But to make the record count, Ashley must crawl out of the water unassisted.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: There she is, the amazing Ashley Cowan who contracted meningitis at age 15 months. Her limbs had to be amputated below the knees and elbows, fitted with prosthetics at age 2. Why do you swim?

ASHLEY COWAN, QUADRUPLE AMPUTEE: Basically I don't know how to answer that. I swim because it makes me feel alive. It's something I can do and I'm good at it, and it's something I've gotten into and something I want to do.

KING: How did you even think of doing it in the first place?

COWAN: I was 8 years old and watching figure skating. I used to do figure skating before I swam. And figure skating had gotten interrupted and Vicki Keith Monroe, who swam all the great lakes was in Lake Ontario doing the double crossing. I looked at my mom and said, I want to do that. She's like, Ashley, you'll never do that. I'll prove you wrong. I was 15 and I did it.

KING: What was it like to swim Lake Erie?

COWAN: It was an emotional roller coaster. Happy at some points, exciting and really upsetting and tiring and I just wanted to get out and everything. So it was an emotional roller coaster.

KING: This occurred September 7th of last year and it took -- the 12-mile swim took 14 hours and 20 minutes. Did you ever think of giving up?

COWAN: Yes, there was a lot of times that I really just wanted to give up. Mainly during the nighttime swimming. I don't like dark water or seaweed or fish or anything slimy. At that point I was so tired, I had been swimming for 13 hours and I needed to get out of the water. I was crying. I swear I have hypothermia, and they wouldn't let me out.

KING: You are a courageous young lady and we salute you.

COWAN: Thank you.

KING: Ashley Cowan, what an amazing story that is. Now we have a return guest to Ripley's. Watch this clip of the Cat Man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAT MAN: You can go up as high as right here.

CAIN: Once Cat gives his OK on the placement, the piercing begin, creating 12 holes in his upper lip so whisker assemblies can be inserted. It's an agonizing procedure that lasts well over an hour.

Now each whisker is ready to be carefully screwed into place. The screws allow Cat to remove the whiskers before he goes to sleep.

With the last one in place, Cat smooths back his one-of-a-kind whiskers. What does he think of his new face? CAT MAN: Looks good. Came out quite well. We have some adjustment to do on it, like we figured from the very beginning, but it looks like it's going to work out real good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He's back, and here he is in the studio, Cat man, on our previous show. He's back now after more surgery. He's a native American who has transformed himself into the image of a cat. What was the last surgery you did?

CAT MAN: The implants for the piercing for the whiskers.

KING: On top of the lip?

CAT MAN: Yes, piercing to go all the way through and the whiskers thread into them.

KING: Why do you do this, Catman?

CAT MAN: It's a very old Huron tradition. It's part of my heritage. I'm just doing it today with a lot more modern technology, being able to go a lot further than my ancestors did.

KING: Are you tattooed all over your body?

CAT MAN: Just about.

KING: Your nails you let them grow out like a cat? Do you feel like a cat?

CAT MAN: As much as possible.

KING: Dean, don't you think this is -- it's weird.

CAIN: If you saw him walking on the street you'd certainly wonder why. And we try to tell the story. He has very, very passionate reasons for doing what he's doing. Again, we never judge.

KING: You are what you are. You are an electrical engineer?

CAT MAN: An electronics technician and computer technician.

KING: You go to work like that?

CAT MAN: Like this.

KING: How many people work with you?

CAT MAN: There's like four other people who work in the office, total at the plant that I work at.

KING: What do they say when you come in, how are you, Cat?

CAT MAN: Regular day.

KING: What about when you walk down the street?

CAT MAN: I get generally good responses from 95 percent of the people.

KING: Do you ever feel like giving this up?

CAT MAN: No, I'm going to take it as far as I can.

KING: What does it bring to you?

CAT MAN: It's one of the few goals I've had that I've been able to maintain for a period of time. And it keeps me going. It gives me something to work toward.

KING: Needing more surgery?

CAT MAN: I don't know about surgeries. I'm not sure I've actually reached the extent of what I can go. One of the things I've been looking for is finding somebody who can do anamatronics-style tail.

KING: A tail? That's what we need.

CAT MAN: It can be done with today's technology if I can find someone to do it.

KING: Thank you for coming back, Catman.

CAT MAN: Thank you.

KING: As we go to break, a video of a different kind of cat. She's a fancy feline named Tessa who likes to dine in style. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: It begins with a quick cleanup.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): This is the way we wash our paw, wash our paw...

ANNOUNCER: The first course -- gourmet cat food. And then this refined feline does her thing. Shoveling it in with a fork.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I taught her to eat the most expensive food on the market.

ANNOUNCER: And she's not only good with a fork.

Now when Tessa has an urge for noodles, she chows down using chop sticks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Our next story, Dean Cain is with us as we are looking at "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." It airs every Wednesday night on TBS, our sister station. Our next story is a testament to the strength of human spirit. It includes some visual material that people may find tough to look at because it's strong, real-life stuff. Let's begin by showing you a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until you see it, I don't think you can imagine it. They had me stand at the end of the bed and put a chair behind me so if I passed out I couldn't fall on the floor.

CAIN: This is Mark today, almost a year and 11 surgeries later. Although this was the face his wife Nancy fell in love with, this is the Mark she loves today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's been through heck. She has had it hard too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Mark Tatum. There you see him. He is in Louisville, Kentucky. He is as they say, the man with no face. Much of his facial tissue had to be surgically removed after he contracted a deadly bacteria. What happened, Mark?

MARK TATUM, MAN WITHOUT FACE: I don't really know. I was outside looking at my yard. I developed a headache. I told my wife I had a headache. I took a nap. Woke up the next morning with a worser headache. We decided to go to the emergency room. Went to the emergency room and there was a deputy sheriff there that was a friend of mine. He said, Mark, what is going on? And I said, I don't know. And then I passed out.

KING: And what it turned out to be was a deadly bacteria, was literally eating away Mark's face. The surgeons had to remove his eyes and his nose, as well as his sinus cavity. He was left blind with an open cavity from ear to ear and eyebrows to lipline. Did they tell you all this was going to happen to you, Mark?

TATUM: I knew some, but they made sure that they didn't tell me what they had done to me. A nurse accidentally told me.

KING: And you would have died had you not done this, right?

TATUM: Yes, sir, I would have died. I died three times on the table, and they brought me back. And I spoke to the Lord.

KING: Dean, these stories are unbelievable.

What do they have on you now to hide the open face?

TATUM: They have a whole face. I would be -- I'm more than glad to show you my real face. Would you care to see it?

KING: Yes.

TATUM: All right. Those of you who have weak children, you might want to turn them away. KING: All right.

TATUM: These are my real eyelashes cut from my hair, and glued on right there. And there it is.

KING: Mark, you are a gutsy man, and thank you very much. What a story. Mark Tatum. Much of the facial tissue surgically removed after contracting deadly bacteria. Another incredible feature of what is "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." Now let's meet a young man with a unique health problem and no cure in sight. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Seth Dowell seems like your average 23-year-old. He has a good job. He's active in sports. And loves the outdoors. But Seth has a rare and unusual medical condition. Believe it or not, he's had a case of the hick ups for well over a year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: OK, tell me, Dean, about Seth.

CAIN: Well, Seth, it's pretty simple. He's had the hiccups for over a year and cannot get rid of them. He's in no real danger of dying from this. It's not going to kill him.

KING: He can eat?

CAIN: Eat and do everything, but he hiccups hundreds of times a day. He lost a girlfriend over it.

KING: I bet. What do the doctors say?

CAIN: They can't explain it. He's tried every hiccup remedy in the book, out of the book, up side down water drinking. I'm sure he's been scared a million times. Something seems to stop the situation for him. It's sort of an ongoing story. We're going to wait to see what happens to him. He's in no physical danger at this point in time of losing his life or his medical condition.

KING: We had a girl in Miami who couldn't stop sneezing.

CAIN: I would imagine that's more dangerous.

KING: These are terrible things. My old bit used to be nine sips of water and you stopped hiccupping. It worked.

CAIN: Let's bring it to Seth.

KING: Seth must be going nuts.

CAIN: It has to be an exercise in mental -- I could not imagine that. It would drive me insane.

KING: You mentioned when the cat guy was on that I'm kind of used to him. I am kind of used to him. You get kind of used to all these people, don't you?

CAIN: Absolutely. It's funny, you have someone like Cat that chooses to do things like that to express himself and then you have a gentleman like Mark who does that because he has no choice. It's incredible to see the differences. But you find everybody completely committed to what they are doing and you have to be in these situations.

KING: Dean Cain is the host of "Ripley's Believe It Or Not," one of the top-rated original series on basic cable. It's on TBS every Wednesday night at 8 Eastern. And when we come back, you are going to like this, I haven't seen it yet, but they tell me -- John Shied (ph) and his dog Brandy. , the dog with a really long tongue. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: This artist is known for creating the most amazing visual illusions. Because believe it or not, what looks like a basketball is actually a belly. Finally able to take a good look at her new bedazzling belly, this future mom is amazed of the results.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be good for a family portrait. If you have other children they can participate in it too along with mom. And if dad has a gut too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go, Brandy.

ANNOUNCER: John's dog Brandy is truly one of a kind. She can't catch a football or fetch a frisbee...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brandy, come here.

ANNOUNCER: But she can do this. Believe it or not, this boxer has the world's longest tongue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She gets a tan line in the summertime because it hangs out so long.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: OK, we are back with John and his dog Brandy. Brandy is the dog that has a really long tongue, and a spritzer to go with it. John, you just bought this dog normal -- as a dog?

JOHN SCHEID, DOG OWNER: Yes, I did.

KING: As a puppy?

SCHEID: Yes. She had a big tongue even then.

KING: Where do you live, John? SCHEID: We live in St. Claire Shores, Michigan.

KING: You brought the dog home, and when did you notice this dog was a little unusual?

SCHEID: The very first time the vet asked me what the heck was wrong with her tongue.

KING: What is the explanation of this tongue?

SCHEID: It's a muscle control thing with her tongue. It just seems to hang out really long.

KING: Maybe all your tongues are that long. They just don't come out that way, right?

KING: Is she an oddity in the neighborhood, John?

SCHEID: She's famous in her own right.

KING: I bet local TV has done a lot with her?

SCHEID: We've done some local TV. We're going to be doing a few more national spots. We're going to be on Rosie and Jay Leno.

KING: You are. John, a question, does she ever get full?

SCHEID: No. Brandy never gets full.

KING: Because she is perpetually drinking water.

SCHEID: She is always thirsty, which means she always has to go to the bathroom, too.

KING: John, do you have children?

SCHEID: I have a 4 1/2-month-old son.

KING: Oh, he doesn't know Brandy very well yet.

SCHEID: He's had his head with the tongue on top of it a couple of times.

KING: How old is Brandy?

SCHEID: Seven years old.

KING: Now, there's no explanation for this?

SCHEID: She's just the tongue dog.

KING: She's the tongue dog. But they haven't been able to tell you why she has this?

SCHEID: No. She just never stops drinking.

KING: Does she every lick -- dogs like to lick humans. Does she lick you?

SCHEID: Yes, she likes to lick me, pudding, pop, anything that's near. She'll eat the cat food, the dog food, anything.

KING: She can lick from the bottom of a glass?

SCHEID: Yes. She can eat pudding from about 15 inches away. But she's kind of busy on this water right here.

KING: Did we put something in the water? Do you think Brandy thinks she is strange. Is this like a bit? This is a bit, right? This is an animated thing. No, this is Disney. Come on, tell me.

SCHEID: I wish it was. No, Brandy thinks she's normal. We have two boxers and one is half the size.

KING: These are the people who made "Toy Story". This is Pixar, right? This is Shrek. You could make money on this dog.

SCHEID: You know, I would love to have her on a commercial.

KING: How did you find her, Dean?

CAIN: Actually, I don't know. I don't know how we came across Brandy.

SCHEID: I know how you found her. There was a dog -- we were in an ugly-dog contest...

KING: Ugly? She's beautiful. You were in an ugly-dog contest.

SCHEID: And the AP guy took a picture and it ended up out in California and they -- somebody sent it to you guys.

CAIN: Our long tentacles got out there.

KING: Have we measured the tongue?

SCHEID: Her tongue is almost 17 inches long. Not at this rate. If you get her outside and run her around for a little while, it will come out a good 17 inches.

KING: Does it ever -- do you ever say to yourself -- now you even have -- John, Brandy's dad?

SCHEID: Yes, I'm Brandy's dad.

KING: Get licked.

SCHEID: Get licked at tonguedog.com.

KING: Are you able to make money with Brandy.

SCHEID: Yes. We're selling t-shirts and mugs and cups. And like I said, we're hoping to get her in a dog food commercial.

KING: This dog is going to -- no problem. Guaranteed dog food commercial or at least a dog drink commercial.

By the way, now let's go to another clip before we complete this segment and wash our way back to shore. And we're going to do that with a one of a kind martial arts expert who would make Chuck Norris and Charles Darwin proud. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has the strength of three grown men, a black belt in karate and capable of moves no human can manage. And believe it or not, this martial arts master is a chimp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good kick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of his karate moves, especially his jump spinning heel kick, he can actually throw it better than any human.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Whew! That was something here. We have got a little flood. That dog is amazing.

SCHEID: Yes. Absolutely.

KING: What's with the chimp?

CAIN: The chimp -- I don't want to get in a street fight with the chimp. That's for sure.

KING: No. How do you explain these things?

CAIN: We let the owners explain it. Literally, it's as amazing to us as it is to everyone else out there. So that's why we love -- like stories like that about the dog and the chimp are so much fun and we end up laughing and having a good time with it, because not everything on the show is so serious. It's just -- it's just good fun.

KING: Do you ever think, we're going to run out of stories?

CAIN: Actually, we talked about it early on. And we are positive that we will never, ever, ever run out of stories because people are just incredible. And the things they do are unbelievable. So, we're going to be able to do this for a long, long time.

KING: Are you always taping well ahead?

CAIN: Yes. We are far ahead now. We are midway through our third season as far as taping goes. We have the show set up for the rest of the third season. We're ready to go on season four, season five, and we can literally do this for many years to come.

KING: People write you and you find them, both occurrences happen? CAIN: Absolutely. It's such a well known name and so many people are aware of "Ripley's", that they'll come to us because it has cachet. And we try and treat, again, our guests with dignity and respect as much as possible and certainly try not to judge them. So, people are interested in having their stories told by us.

KING: And when we come back in our last segment, we're going to meet your assistant, someone who works with you.

CAIN: Kelly Packard, the field correspondent.

KING: Kelly Packard, our field correspondent, and we're going to have some clips that Kelly will be talking about. This is our -- that dog is driving me nuts. We'll be back right after this. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indian farmer Sreepat Hegey (ph) is a hard- working man. He grows food to support his family, and he also gathers honey. Using a method thousands of years old, Sreepat takes the honeycomb from swarming, bee-infested hives, and believe it or not, he does it with just his bare hands.

Sreepat plunges his naked hand into the tree, his skin immediately covered with bees. He must move slowly to avoid being stung. Reaching for the honeycomb, Sreepat comes up empty-handed. But he is ready to try again. Reaching in, he removes the honeycomb. Hundreds of bees crawling over his skin, he doesn't even flinch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with our remaining portions of our salute, if it can be called that, our look the at "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", certainly one of the most unusual television shows on the air. It's based, of course, on the famed Robert Ripley who founded all this. There are museums and there was a famous comic strip. And it's hosted by Dean Cain, who also put the whole package together. It airs every Wednesday night on TBS.

And joining us now in this segment is Kelly Packard. Did I say PBS? It's TBS. Trust me, this is not PBS. Kelly Packard joins us. She is the field correspondent for "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." That means what?

KELLY PACKARD, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT": That means that I get the fun job. I get to go out and meet the interesting people and talk to them and ask them what the audience at home would want to know.

KING: So in other words, Dean the chicken.

PACKARD: Yep.

KING: He supervises, you go out.

PACKARD: He stays in the studio. I go out and have the fun.

KING: How did you get this job?

PACKARD: You know, I'm asking myself that same question. No, it was an audition process actually, but one of the easiest audition processes I've ever had. But, you know, they asked me if I'd be interested. And I'm a fan of the show, so it was a no-brainer. And I was actually told by Dean that I got the part. And it was such a great day.

KING: Did you replace a previous field correspondent...

PACKARD: No, no.

KING: ... who maybe was killed or possibly got nervous?

PACKARD: Not that I know of. This is a new element for season three.

KING: Are you a broadcaster or an actress?

PACKARD: I'm not. I'm an actress. And this whole hosting thing has taken on its own life form. And I'm thrilled.

KING: So, her role is to go out. Do you have other field correspondents?

CAIN: No. She's our only field correspondent, and she's phenomenal. We have segment producers who are sometimes out in the field in India and places like that. But Kelly's our only field correspondent. And she...

KING: We're going to show a couple of things you did. Your job is to meet outrageous people, right? What's your approach?

KELLY PACKARD, "RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT": You know, it's inquisitive, and this same question is asked to every person I interview. It's, now, what made you think you could do this or how did you decide you could do this. That's generally the question that starts my interview, if you will. It's really talking to them, getting to know them.

KING: Ever wonder if kids would imitate that?

PACKARD: Yes, I've said that in probably every episode, don't try this at home. That's part of my spiel.

KING: Let's give an example of Kelly Packard at work. We are going to watch a clip from, this is titled -- I don't know what it is. I see these things for the first time -- He'll eat anything. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PACKARD: Now we're onto -- oh, this is the rooster's things?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the rooster.

PACKARD: OK, all right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's disgusting.

PACKARD: It was great!

KING: What was he eating there?

PACKARD: That was cow pizzel. It's the thing that men have.

CAIN: Male reproductive organs.

KING: Where was this?

PACKARD: That was actually on the corner of Hollywood and Highland where the Ripley's...

KING: Why did I think that would be L.A.?

PACKARD: Yes, of course.

KING: How did you find him?

PACKARD: I think in this case he kind of called us and said he could do this. We were instantly fascinated.

KING: You set him up with the audience and everything.

PACKARD: Yes.

KING: He laid out all the things to eat.

PACKARD: He did have the choice of some entres and he chose those.

KING: What was that like for you?

PACKARD: I was nervous about that one. That was my first shoot out of the block. And I was scared because I am a very picky eater. And I have a hard time with smells. They wanted me to be this close to this man. I was thinking, OK, I can do this, and I proved I could do it and I was genuinely...

KING: Does that make the rest easier?

PACKARD: The rest have been totally easy from there.

KING: Of course if you don't eat a lot of foods like -- could you take that, Dean?

CAIN: No, you couldn't pay me to eat that. KING: What does this guy do?

PACKARD: I think he's a construction worker. Something very ordinary. Of course his girlfriend was in the audience. So I had to ask her. I said you kiss him. She's like, yes, he doesn't do this all the time. Well, that's good.

KING: Does he ever go out and go to mcDonald's or does he eat the billboard?

PACKARD: No, he only does it on special occasions, as he says.

KING: We'll see another clip of Kelly at work. You do terrific work.

PACKARD: Thank you.

KING: Here's kelly. We'll call this one and then we will ask about it, the leg archer. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PACKARD: You are nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am nervous.

PACKARD: That's a good reason. Try it again.

OK, Claudia. Can I get them to count down? Are we ready?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four, three, two, one!

PACKARD: You did it! whoo! that was wonderful. How did you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great.

PACKARD: Good job. That was the first time a the foot archer has made it and you saw it only on "Ripley's."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Where was that?

PACKARD: Lsu in Louisiana. Interesting place.

KING: I grew up with a the lot of people. Knew a lot of boys and girls. Did you know anybody that said, you know what I want to do I want to go upside down and with my leg shoot a bow and arrow.

CAIN: Not until I got this job.

KING: Why does she do this? And what is her point?

PACKARD: She's so fascinating to talk to.

KING: Acrobatic.

PACKARD: I'm personally intrigued by it because I would love to be half that flexible. She loves to test herself and see what she can do and this thing she's been working on for a long time. To accomplish it that night in front of 25,000 people.

KING: Was it as an LSU game?

PACKARD: Yes, the biggest game they've ever had.

KING: How did you know your schedule? How does it work? Do they tell you on Monday you're going here?

PACKARD: They are giving me pretty good notice, like a week or so. That one I had about a week to know I was going to go to LSU and do this performance. They the let me know with good time.

KING: They fly around with the crew.

PACKARD: Yes.

KING: How much do you have in the can we haven't seen yet?

CAIN: Probably about eight episodes that haven't come out yet and about nine segments per episode. So about 72 pieces that haven't been seen.

KING: Do you ever say to yourself there's nothing going to top this.

PACKARD: I have said it and I quote, this is the greatest job I'll ever have. It's so much fun.

KING: You're not acting now?

CAIN: PACKARD: No, this is so much fun. It's such an easy schedule. I can do other things.

KING: Do you still get to act, Dean?

CAIN: Absolutely. I did five films last year and plenty of time to do more films this year. I spend most of my time, really with my kids. It's a phenomenal job in that respect for that too. We aren't the ones doing these incredible things. We just talk about them and watch people do them. Fortunately we don't have to work like you do on a one-hour drama.

KING: Are you married?

PACKARD: I am.

KING: Does your husband like your doing this?

PACKARD: Yes, he's fascinated. He likes to go to the shoots and definitely says he wouldn't do.

KING: What does he do?

PACKARD: He's actually in medical school. So he's seen worse things than I have.

KING: Thank you. Great meeting you, Kelly. Dean Cain and Kelly Packard. Dean is the host and Kelly Packard the field correspondent. It airs every Wednesday night on TBS. We hope you found this interesting, entertaining, enjoyable, enlightening and enjoyable.

Let's all go have some water. Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for NEWS NIGHT WITH AARON BROWN. Good night.

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