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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Aired July 5, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, they were so desperate to change the way they looked, they underwent drastic plastic surgery all over their faces and bodies. And now, hear first-hand about the painful procedures they endured on their quest for beauty.
And go inside amazing transformations you have to see to believe with the stars of the hit show "Extreme Makeovers." The patients, and the doctors, and stylists of the Extreme Team, all taking your calls, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We'll look at six extraordinary cases tonight from the hit TV show "Extreme Makeovers."
First, let's talk with the doctors involved and also the man who helped dress them and style them. Dr. William Dorfman is the dentist specializing in cosmetic procedures. Dr. Anthony Griffin is the board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Garth Fisher is the board- certified plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills.
And Sam the Strawman Saboura, the celebrity stylist extraordinaire. He's dressed Sarah Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt. Got a new book out called "Sam Saboura's Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies."
How did you get involved in this show, Dr. Dorfman?
WILLIAM DORFMAN, DENTIST, "EXTREME MAKEOVER": Well, I got a phone call from Howard Schultz, the creator of the show. And the rest is history.
KING: Same for you, Dr. Griffin?
ANTHONY GRIFFIN, PLASTIC SURGEON, "EXTREME MAKEOVER": Actually, during the first season, I went to Dr. Dorfman's office for an appointment, a regular scheduled appointment. He turned to the producer and said, "You need to use this guy on the show."
KING: You went to him for your teeth?
DORFMAN: They all do.
GRIFFIN: That's where I went and got my breasts done.
(LAUGHTER) KING: Dr. Fisher, did you go to him for your nose and your...
GARTH FISHER, PLASTIC SURGEON, "EXTREME MAKEOVER": Actually, Bill's my nose and Anthony's done my teeth.
Howard Schultz came to my office with his original plan and his creation, and we sat there and talked about it. And he discussed his vision. It was great.
KING: You get paid for this?
FISHER: Yes, I do get paid for the show.
GRIFFIN: You did?
FISHER: I'm not an actor. I get paid as the surgeon. I'm not, you know...
DORFMAN: I'm the only one here that doesn't get paid.
KING: Why don't you get paid?
DORFMAN: Well, it was a long story, but, in the end, they didn't realize how expensive dentistry was going to be.
GRIFFIN: Actually, Bill has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars.
DORFMAN: Actually, millions.
GRIFFIN: For the show.
KING: The patients, the people get it free, right, Sam?
SAM SABOURA, FASHION STYLIST, "EXTREME MAKEOVER": They get me for free.
KING: They get this show -- they don't pay anything?
SABOURA: They don't pay anything. They come to "Extreme Makeover" kind of with the dream to change and have their life changed. And provide all the tools that they need to do that.
KING: Do they have to be in financial need?
SABOURA: They don't have to be in financial need. The people are chosen based on their story, based on their physical need. You know, it is a television show, at the end of the day, and it is to entertain people, but really they're chosen based on their need and their story.
KING: All right. We'll start with story one, Kim Rodriguez. She'll join us from New York. Kim is a health company employee from New Jersey. She's single, no children, with every reason not to smile. Here's a clip from the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kimberly Rodriguez, 31-years-old, the woman who never smiles.
KIM RODRIGUEZ, "EXTREME MAKEOVER" PATIENT: You know, people will say, "Oh, smile." And I honestly don't. I don't know how to smile.
I have an overbite that was not corrected. I also have temporary caps that need to be replaced, and I have no back teeth here and on the upper side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kim will get removal of her third nipple, a nose job, lower eyelid lift, breast implants, liposuction of stomach and upper thighs, keener eyesight, and, most importantly, her smile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything went fine. You look great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing?
RODRIGUEZ: I'm Macho Man Randy Savage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Macho Man Randy Savage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that what you feel like?
KING: OK, let's meet the new Kim Rodriguez joining us from New York. Are you there?
RODRIGUEZ: Hi, Larry. How are you? Yes, hi, how are you?
KING: Smile. Now, Dr. Dorfman did that dental work. And Dr. Griffin, you did the plastic surgery, right?
KING: Do you specialize in blacks?
GRIFFIN: No. I do a lot of blacks, just because I'm black, but I do everybody.
KING: I know, but is there a different...
GRIFFIN: There's definitely a difference in skin quality. And you certainly manage black skin differently.
KING: All right, Kim, what was it like for you to do this?
RODRIGUEZ: It was one of the most amazing things that I had done. It just changed my life completely. I went from someone with low self-esteem to probably one of the happiest people in the world.
KING: Were you a little hesitant?
RODRIGUEZ: Initially, I was. I was afraid they weren't going to be able to correct my smile. And, you know, I was afraid of going into surgery, because I've never had surgery before. But I had to place my, you know, my life in their hands. And they did a great job.
KING: What was the teeth problem, Dr. Dorfman?
DORFMAN: It was really challenging. When Kim first came into my office, her front teeth came out at about a 45-degree angle and I wasn't sure we could do her case.
We actually ended up taking out six teeth to start off with and then doing porcelain veneers. We did two bridges. We did upper and lower partial dentures. And honestly, if I had met Kim in dental school, I could have gotten all my dental school requirements done on one person. We did everything. But the end result was, she's got a killer smile.
KING: Yes, she sure does.
What problems did you face, Dr. Griffin?
GRIFFIN: Well, one of the things, that Kim wanted to be very natural looking. And I thought her nose was her biggest challenge. We also did -- we repositioned her gum so that when she smiled she didn't over-smile.
FISHER: And lips. We did that together, actually.
GRIFFIN: And so we were moving things in opposite directions. The lips came down, and nose went up. And it was quite a challenge.
KING: It's difficult being ugly, isn't it, Dr. Fisher? I mean, when you think about it, there's no other way to phrase it. She was...
FISHER: I think there's different issues that you're confronted with. And I think that everybody wants to feel better about themselves. And some people go to the extent of having surgery and doing other things. And I think it really helps.
KING: Sam, did you work with Kim?
SABOURA: I did. I worked with all the candidates on the show.
KING: All right. Now, what did you have to do for her?
SABOURA: You know what? After they were done with her, I had a really good canvas to work with. Kim is very beautiful, and she's got a great smile and a great attitude. We gave her a very "Sex in the City" vibe, something very young and sexy. She lived in New York, so we wanted to kind of bring that energy to her.
KING: So you deal with how she dresses...
SABOURA: Yes, I did her -- dealt with her dress, and her hair color, and decided what her makeup would look like, as well.
KING: Were those teeth a thing of birth, Dr. Dorfman?
DORFMAN: Well, when Kim first came in, she had so many dental problems. And she just never had them corrected because of the finances.
KING: So she had them from the start?
DORFMAN: Yes. I mean, Kim was actually really beautiful to start off with. She just needed teeth and just a tiny bit of work from Dr. Griffin. And she just became amazingly beautiful.
KING: Kim, are you dating a lot?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, believe it or not, I'm not dating as much as I used to.
RODRIGUEZ: So I don't know what it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She scares them off. She's so beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a hottie now. She's a hottie now.
KING: Wait, a minute. You're kidding, right?
RODRIGUEZ: No, I'm very serious. I think they're intimidated now. I don't really get asked out that much. But I am dating someone now.
KING: Because I was going to say, "What a revolting development this is."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was going to ask her out, because I felt bad.
KING: Where did I go right?
Kim, thank you very much. And congratulations, Kim.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you very much.
KING: And congratulations to everybody involved.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.
KING: We'll meet Bill and Kim Furr in the next segment. Lots more to go on our "Extreme Makeover" salute tonight on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RODRIGUEZ: My mother was in complete shock. And my father was just speechless. He didn't know what to say. And I mean, that's weird for him to be quiet.
JORGE RODRIGUEZ, KIM'S FATHER: When I see her, almost get in tears but, you know, have to be strong for my daughter.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, daddy.
I was glad that those were the first two faces I saw. Because that's what I wanted. I wanted to see their reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never, ever seen Kimberly smile like that. I mean, she was the picture of self-confidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM FURR, "EXTREME MAKEOVER" PATIENT: When I look in the mirror, I see an old woman, and my face is sagging.
BILL FURR, "EXTREME MAKEOVER" PATIENT: I'm looking at a face that I'm not really comfortable looking at. And I just feel like I have a big, huge nose that I'm not real happy with.
K. FURR: Most women, they have beautiful, little noses. I have kind of like a bozo round one on the tip of my nose.
B. FURR: Losing all of my hair is almost debilitating for me.
K. FURR: I like to have a bigger breast size. I'm afraid to go out. I'm just afraid of the rejection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back on our "Extreme Makeover" show with our two board-certified plastic surgeons, our dentist, and our styles expert.
Now, the story of the Furrs. These two tight-knit siblings wanted to go under the knife together on "Extreme Makeover." ABC granted their wish. Watch the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Fisher begins with the most prominent feature on the face from Cro-Magnon times, then the fat from Bill's chin and flanks lipoed away. A lower eye lift lightens Bill's dark glare. Dr. Fisher must then grind and lift his caveman brow.
The brother half of our makeover is done. Next will be his sister. Dr. Fisher starts with an upper eyelid lift and lower eyelid tightening -- her many moles vanished -- resizes and refines her nose. Kim's brow is raised to an elegant arc, and her face and neck lifted. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's going to look 10, 15, 20 years younger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. And joining us from Austin, Texas, are Bill Furr and Kim Furr, the brother and sister act.
Bill, why did you do this to -- whoa. This is two different shows.
B. FURR: Little bit of a difference, isn't it?
K. FURR: Hi, Larry.
KING: Some mountain. Why did you choose to do it together, Bill?
B. FURR: Well, I think we both just had issues going on at the same time that we just needed to resolve. And it was just a coincidence that it worked out for both of us. And it was a good thing for us.
KING: Kim, what was it like the first time you saw the new you?
K. FURR: It actually took a little bit of time for me to adjust. And it kind of all hit home when I got home and saw my family. Then I was like -- I felt good then.
KING: You did the surgery, right, Dr. Fisher?
FISHER: Yes, I did, Larry.
KING: What problems did the Furrs present?
FISHER: Well, I think, mainly for Bill, he had a very strong frontal bone. And you know, it's kind of useful, if you're a sheriff or an attorney or something, but we needed to loosen him up and make him look a little softer. And I think that helped him a lot. Also, his eyes and his fat underneath his chin.
I think the main thing was his brow, his eyes. He just looks a lot less intimidating now, and more friendly and approachable.
KING: And Kim?
FISHER: Kim, you know, oddly enough -- I was so proud of taking the 30, 40 moles off her face. But I think the facelift that she had was really natural.
FISHER: And then also I think she feels better about her breasts.
KING: How long did this take?
FISHER: Gosh, I can't remember, but probably about eight hours for her, and a little bit less for him.
KING: Sam, what were the style problems?
SABOURA: Well, there were no problems. They both looked so different and dramatic, especially Bill. He looked literally 20 years younger. So it was great to kind of give him a little personality.
He was hiding a lot, hiding behind his looks. And we wanted to bring him out of his shell a little bit. So we gave him some great looking clothes.
And Kim had a beautiful body. And we really dressed her up and made her very sensual. She's a single mom, so we wanted her to look very sexy.
KING: Did you do the teeth?
DORFMAN: Absolutely. You know, with Bill, it was just a matter of making his teeth look younger. They were kind of old-looking and yellow.
KING: Old teeth?
DORFMAN: Yes, they were worn down and yellow. We just gave them a little bit of length. It makes him look a little bit more youthful. Gave him a brighter shade. We used the zoom first, whitened him up, maxed the veneers.
And with Kim, she had a huge overbite. What we had to with Kim was basically bring her teeth back. And we brought her lip down a little bit, we repositioned her gums, and just kind of gave her a beautiful smile.
KING: What's it done for you, Bill?
B. FURR: For me, it's actually given me a whole lot of confidence that I didn't have before. Like Sam was saying, I used to hide a lot behind a beard. And now, I just -- you know, I beam when I go outside.
I'm not afraid to go out into company. I go to, you know, dinner parties and so forth. So it's been a great deal of meaning for me.
KING: Are you dating a lot?
B. FURR: Well, I have a partner. I've been together...
KING: Oh, you do?
B. FURR: ... with my partner -- yes, we've been together for 12 years.
KING: So that didn't effect the relationship? B. FURR: No. Actually, it probably made it better, because now I'm able to go out. And we go out together instead of him going out on his own.
KING: And, Kim, what about you? Are you single? You're single, right?
K. FURR: Yes. Yes, Larry. And I've have 19...
KING: Have you developed new relationships?
K. FURR: Yes, I have, absolutely. I had a little bit of adjustment when I got home, the empty nest syndrome. You know, my son is 19. And once I got over that hump, I, like, went wild. I'm going out, having a good time.
KING: People in the audience, Sam, who are they, relatives and the like, the people who sitting in the audience?
SABOURA: Yes. It's called the reveal. That's really the way the whole "Extreme Makeover" culminates at the end of the show. Family, friends, partners, lovers, it's an amazing kind of a celebration for the end of the "Extreme Makeover." Everyone gets to see them -- it's kind of a coming out party for them.
KING: You get extreme rewards out of this, don't you?
FISHER: Oh, sure. It's wonderful. You get a great feeling, you know, making people feel good about themselves and helping them. It's wonderful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always say that we get to go home at the end of the day, we have a job that we change someone's life. And I don't know how many people can say that.
KING: Bill, weren't you scared of just doing surgery?
B. FURR: Actually, I wasn't, no, because I was more afraid of when I would look in the mirror before I had this surgery. I just was not happy. And I just knew that after the surgery that things would change for me.
And it has. When I look in the mirror now, I'm very comfortable and very pleased. And I can't thank everybody enough that was involved.
KING: Well, the two of you are amazing.
When we come back, we'll meet Mary Maher in Detroit. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We're looking at the ABC program "Extreme Makeover." Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill's prehistoric look is history.
B. FURR: I think the changes that have gone through me are absolutely a part of a new Bill. It's like there's a new inside Bill that's been dying to come out and have never allowed myself to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She went from dull to doll.
B. FURR: I would say my sister is absolutely a knock out. She's beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill and Kim, a brother and sister makeover.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What she sees in the mirror frightens her.
MAHER: Since I was 12, I wanted a nose job. When some of the teasing started, calling me "Big Nose." And it's just still a reminder to me. Maybe it shouldn't be, my nose. I look in the mirror every day, and I see this thing on my face. And to me, it's a hurt I will never be that daddy's little girl. I'm not the woman that I want to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK. Let's take a look at the things that the doctors did to help Mary Maher with her makeover. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Fellman (ph) starts with breast implants. A chin implant rights Mary's wayward jaw. Dr. Pearlman then performs a mini-brow lift and removes the excess fat from her upper- and lower- eyelids. He lipos the fat from her thighs, abs and love handles. Next, that nose, a hook, presto, a slope.
Later in Mary's makeover, Dr. Maloney will restore her vision. Seven procedures, a spell broken, a spell-binding Mary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, let's go to Detroit and see Mary Maher. Mary? That is the same Mary, right? That is you? I can't hear Mary.
MARY MAHER, "EXTREME MAKEOVER" PATIENT: Yes, it's me.
KING: And that surgery was done by Dr. Jon Pearlman of Beverly Hills, who's not with us. Sam, did you work with Mary?
SABOURA: I did work with Mary. Mary was really a hair story, as you can see.
KING: My god.
SABOURA: She had a lot of hair to work with, but do you see the beautiful woman that was underneath all that hair? And Mary had a very natural beauty to her. We really brought that out.
KING: Mary, what was it like when you saw yourself?
MAHER: You know what, Larry? When I first saw myself, it was really unbelievable. It was just the best experience of my life. I was in shock.
KING: Were you a little frightened of the fact that people are going to do things to your face?
MAHER: You know what? I didn't feel -- of course, you're a little apprehensive. But I knew I was in the best hands, I had the best of the best doctors.
I mean, the whole team that is there are the best in the world. And I knew that. And I felt a total confidence and a trust. And obviously, it was for good reason, because the results are fabulous.
KING: Now, you had a boyfriend before the makeover, right?
MAHER: That's correct.
KING: So you were going to get married no matter what?
MAHER: Well, he actually proposed to me on the show.
KING: He did propose to you on the show?
Did you do the dental work, Doctor?
DORFMAN: Absolutely. You know, Mary is one of these things where you looked at her smile and it was like a C, but we decided to make it an A. And so we zoom whitened her teeth, matched the veneers to the new color, and, boom, it just popped.
KING: What does it do to your personality, Mary?
MAHER: You know what, Larry? This show, I feel, is so underestimated, because it has -- it's changed my entire life. I mean, I love the way I look in the mirror, but on the inside, I feel so much better about myself.
It's affected every part of my life in a positive way, from my relationships, to my friendships, to just who -- it's not changed who I am inside, but I just feel better about myself. And there's nothing better in the world.
KING: You went from a size 9-10 to a size 3-4?
MAHER: Yes, I did. KING: How did she lose the weight, Sam?
MAHER: Well, she was working with Michael Thurmond, who is the trainer on the show. All of the candidates have a nutrition program and a diet program, and they work out quite extensively after they've healed from the surgery. So she worked very hard. She has a beautiful body.
KING: What's the selection process, Dr. Fisher? How do you decide who you'll do?
FISHER: Well, I think, as a plastic surgeon, you look for somebody who is medically appropriate, that have realistic expectations, and things that you think you can accomplish. And it's a pretty stringent process.
KING: What do you make, Dr. Griffin, of what your fellow Dr. Pearlman did for Mary?
GRIFFIN: Fantastic job. Jon's an excellent surgeon. And she really had a remarkable makeover.
KING: Yes. Why are you getting married now?
MAHER: Well, Larry, you're welcome to come to the wedding. It's July 22nd. But the whole team, you're all invited. Come on down.
SABOURA: I got my invitation today in the mail.
MAHER: Oh, did you, Sam? Thanks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did, too. Thanks, Mary.
KING: Are there any dangers, Dr. Fisher?
FISHER: Oh, certainly, there's dangers. Definitely dangers with surgery. You know, death is one of them. And you know, that's incredibly uncommon, but it ranges from, you know, infection, bleeding, you know, poor healing, scarring, et cetera. But we try to minimize those and really evaluate the patient to make sure risks are minimized.
KING: Always go board-certified, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Always go board-certified. Well-trained plastic surgeons, absolutely.
KING: Where was the surgery done, Mary, out here in L.A.?
MAHER: It was in L.A., correct, at Dr. Pearlman's office.
KING: Now, when you wake up, did they take bandages -- is it like the kind of thing we see in movies? They take the bandages off, you look in a mirror, and you go, "Yowie"? MAHER: You know what? It is exactly that way. Because they don't allow you to look at yourself -- like when they revealed my nose to me, it was all done on camera. And it was exactly "Yowie."
I was in total shock. I was just -- honestly, it was a huge relief to me how wonderful everything turned out. And nothing but happy.
KING: And then you bring relatives, is it, to the audience, is that it?
SABOURA: They actually are in L.A. for about six to eight weeks, and then they goes home for the reveal. So the show actually travels to their hometown.
KING: Oh, the reveal is down like in Detroit?
SABOURA: Yes. We try to make it easy. Yes, we don't want to fly them out here. It's done in your hometown.
KING: Is the doctor there for the reveal?
SABOURA: In some cases -- usually, when it's a local reveal, the doctors are there. But I don't know if any of you have been to the reveals out of town.
KING: Have you ever had cases you couldn't do?
DORFMAN: Oh, yes.
DORFMAN: That's why we reject patients. I mean, there are times -- we have to all be able to do the patient. You know, it goes through a pretty stringent screening process.
And for instance, if I can't do their teeth, it doesn't matter what they can do with their plastic surgery. You don't have a makeover.
KING: I'm not a doctor, Mary, but I wouldn't have done you. They did an amazing job. You look fantastic.
MAHER: Oh, thank you so much.
KING: Best of luck to you. Happy wedding, too.
MAHER: Thank you so much.
KING: Mary's getting married July 22nd. You should have seen the boyfriend. He went bonkers. We'll be back with more right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE MITTLEMAN, STAND-UP COMIC: ... weak chin, but I have a very powerful nose. You know, that's what people recognize me, from that stunt. There's a risk to say, OK, "I'm going to give up what's working. I'm not going to do, you know, weak chin jokes."
VINCE LIBRETTI, STEVE'S FRIEND: You have plenty of material. You don't need that chin stuff anymore.
This is going to push him a lot to maybe transcend a type of comedy that maybe portrays looks and only his looks, because I don't think that's what his comedy is about at all.
MITTLEMAN: What would it mean to me to have an extreme makeover? It would change almost everything in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, that's stand-up comic Steve Mittleman. Before we see how he looks now, take a look at the procedures he's gone through just a few months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, he gets a leading man's chin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If his comedy career is going to be dependent on a bad chin, we're going to probably try to ruin it today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then lipo sculpts his jaw line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's always a challenge to get -- to make the contours really nice. But he looks great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then he gets lifts to his cheeks, neck, and upper eyelids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's going to make his eyes look more open and less tired. But working on his neck was no joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And finally, his nose is resculpted. Later, Lasik surgeon Dr. Maloney gives him eagle vision. Dr. Shamban smoothes his complexion. And Dr. Donia sparkles his smile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And he's here. With us in the studio, comedian Steve Mittleman.
MITTLEMAN: Hi. Very nice to be here.
KING: Is that unbelievable? And you guys do all this in six weeks, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six weeks.
KING: That's quite a challenge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very much of a challenge.
KING: Were you nervous, Steve?
MITTLEMAN: Well, actually, what made it a lot easier was the fact that the top-notch doctors that are on the show. The reason I chose to do the show was watching the show and seeing how great everybody was.
KING: But didn't it ruin your act?
MITTLEMAN: I'm not funny anymore. But I'm so good-looking now, I'm dating Katie Holmes and I hate psychiatry.
KING: Did you have an eye problem?
MITTLEMAN: I had a tremendous -- I had -- if I was looking at one camera, the other camera would go, you're looking over here? I mean, I had strabismus surgery. The day I got there, the next morning, it was like a two-, three-hour surgery. And my eyes were straightened for the first time in my life. If you saw my baby pictures, one eye is going that way, one eye is going that way. And...
KING: That's different from cross-eyedness?
MITTLEMAN: Well, wandering eye. I'm a wandering Jew with a wandering eye.
KING: I know, Dr. Dorfman, you did not do his dentistry, but pioneered some of the things done for him, right?
DORFMAN: Right, well, Dr. Donia did his teeth. Again, he whitened his teeth. We got them as white as we could, and then we did nine veneers, four uppers and five lowers. Great smile.
MITTLEMAN: It's funny. As I left the doctor's office, Dr. Donia's with nine beautiful da Vinci veneers, they go, try not to chew with them.
DORFMAN: Just a joke. Just a joke.
KING: Who did the surgery?
MITTLEMAN: Oh, Dr. Fisher.
KING: What problems did he present?
FISHER: Well, he's such a comic, you know, I couldn't get him to be quiet and let me put him on the table. But I had to remove some of the muscles in his neck, and some really deep tissue contouring. And we did a lot of work underneath there. I tried to ruin his career.
MITTLEMAN: I had the upper chin handle, like the love handle went up, you know? It's all carbs.
KING: What's it like when you're working it? It's an artistry?
FISHER: You know, it's you in your own zone, your own world, probably like you're doing, and it's just fun. It's enjoyable to see the contours change. And you're in control of that, and knowing it's going to make a big difference.
KING: How did you work with him, Sam?
SABOURA: Well, I ended up trying to give Steve a new look for his act. Steve is a comedian, he's a funny guy, but now he looks so handsome, he looks like a newscaster. So we wanted to give him a great look. We gave him a suit that had some color and some playfulness to it, but was still sophisticated. So we took a little of the comedian, a little of the new dashing, handsome man he is now.
KING: What did that do for you, Steve, really?
MITTLEMAN: Absolutely nothing. Well, no, it's just funny, I'm watching the tape over here on the screen. Listen, I have a beautiful girlfriend now. That's wonderful.
KING: Didn't have that before?
MITTLEMAN: No, I didn't have that before. But the career is going well. I have a book I'm working on called -- it's a comedy diet book. I've been writing -- in fact, I wrote a lot of it during my "Extreme Makeover" time. It's called "1,000 Points of Lightness." Volume one is 200 points. And it's a comedic approach to losing weight. It's about lightening up to lighten up.
KING: How do they do it in six weeks, Dr. Griffin?
GRIFFIN: Well, it's really a team approach. We have to very carefully plan the surgery, we have to coordinate with other -- like the dentist, like Dr. Dorfman, and actually, Michael Thurmond is a big part of this, losing weight and getting fit.
KING: Have you ever started on anyone and said, we couldn't do it?
KING: That would have been a riot.
MITTLEMAN: The worst fear is that the show is canceled in the middle of your procedure. It's like, I'm sorry, but we did a nostril, and we got a dimple, and you've got a cleft.
KING: Someone would lean over and say, that's show biz.
MITTLEMAN: That's show biz, right.
KING: Were you worried at all about having them do that to your face? I mean, were you scared?
MITTLEMAN: Well, basically, I'm disconnected, so it's OK. Was I worried? Yeah, it was big for a comedian...
KING: You know you are going to get bruised, right, you're going to have some pain?
MITTLEMAN: Listen, I never took Vicodin in my life, but I'll tell you, you mention Vicodin to people that love Vicodin, it's like, you have leftovers? You have some Vicodin? Vicodin and sleeping pills the first week. You know, people say, did it hurt? There's a lot of anesthesia going on. I was probably in reality TV history the person closest to where the production took place. I lived three to four miles away from the makeover mansion. And...
KING: The makeover mansion?
MITTLEMAN: The makeover mansion, yeah. And had I -- it was nine and a half weeks, my process. And had I not been under anesthesia for nine of them, it would have been very tough.
MITTLEMAN: I appreciate it a lot.
KING: Steve Mittleman, what a story.
When we come back, three people in Phoenix -- three in Phoenix, one in -- two in Phoenix and one in Salt Lake. They -- watch. We'll be right back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennie's the oldest, Katie the middle, and Frannie the youngest. They may call themselves girls, but...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're all very tomboyish.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, we're all pretty masculine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their jobs as rugged as any on Earth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work in an underground gold mine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was born and raised in the wallpaper business. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baby sister Frannie, she's a metal grinder. Between them, Frannie, Jennie and Katie can fix just about anything, except their looks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very outgoing and we feel we're just beautiful, and then we look in the mirror and we're like, whoa!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, the sisters, two are in Phoenix and one is in Salt Lake. In Phoenix is Frannie Dodrill. In Phoenix is Katie Lent. Whoa. And in Salt Lake is Jennie Martinson.
Now, those are the same three -- you call them what, the Gobble Sisters?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's what they call themselves.
KING: Frannie, did you think you were not good-looking?
FRANCES DODRILL, EXTREME MAKEOVER: Yes. I really -- well, actually, I kind of had the Barbie doll effect. I was the worst. I didn't really -- I had -- I felt like I looked all right, and then I looked in the mirror, just like Katie said. I just didn't look in the mirror.
KING: What brought you to come to the show?
KATHRYN LENT, EXTREME MAKEOVER: Our gobble necks, of course.
DODRILL: And our kids.
LENT: Actually, our kids had us go, because they thought, well, do it, mom, do it, because there was an audition. So they pushed us to go.
KING: Jennie, why did you go?
JENNIE MARTINSON, EXTREME MAKEOVER: Because my sisters made me.
LENT: She's right.
KING: Are you glad you did it, Jennie?
MARTINSON: Yes, I am glad, though, that I did it. I thought it was superficial when I first went, though. I didn't even believe in plastic surgery.
KING: What do you mean? Oh, really?
MARTINSON: No. I told my sisters, you know, accept your age. You know, I just really didn't believe in it. But I did want my teeth done.
KING: Dr. Fisher, you did them side by side?
FISHER: Side by side. One...
KING: Three tables?
FISHER: Three tables, went from the one to the other, and the lucky one was the one that went last.
KING: What problems did they present? Other than their personalities?
FISHER: Well, they were so much fun. These girls were -- well, you know, we did face-lifts, brow-lifts. Their necks were unbelievable. I told them, I said, you know, "Thankfully there's not four of you." Then we did tummy-tucks and breast reductions and they really did -- responded well to that.
KING: They were very overweight, too, weren't they?
FISHER: Very overweight.
FISHER: Oh, no. Not now.
KING: What was their teeth problems, Dr. Dorfman?
DORFMAN: Well, just about every problem you could have with teeth, they had. Frannie came in, she had a big fang, she had bone loss. She actually, halfway through, Larry, she called me up and said, Dr. Dorfman, just take them all out. I want dentures."
And I literally had to argue with her on the phone and I refused. I said, "no, were going to save them," and we did.
You know, with Katie, her biggest problem was that she had a gummy smile. Her sisters called her Gumby when she smiled.
KING: Gum meaning her gums showed?
DORFMAN: Yes. So, Dr. Fisher lowered her lip and we go rid of the Gumby thing and then I did veneers on her.
And Jennie was just scared to death. I mean she had, had so many bad experiences with dentists, that she just -- she sat down in my chair and cried. So, we had to get past that. But once we did that, we did 15 veneers, 16 veneers, and 17 da Vinci veneers. It was like 48 veneers. When they smiled, it was veneers from wall to wall. They looked amazing.
KING: What style problems did they present, Sam?
SABOURA: Have you heard of the phrase: Girls gone wild?
OK. These are the girls gone wild and they're laughing, because they know. These women, you cannot keep them in a chair. You can not keep them still for five minutes. They were the most fun I ever had and they were probably the biggest handfuls. They had very glass- ceiling jobs, all of them, and I wanted to make them as feminine as possible. We gave them long hair extensions. We showed them how to do their makeup We gave them beautiful dresses that were very feminine and really softened all the edges. So, they looked phenomenal.
KING: Frannie, why do you choose to be a metal worker?
DODRILL: I'm a buyer now. I'm not grinding metal anymore. I'm not doing the man thing. I just...
KING: Katie, why are you a wallpaper hanger?
LENT: I've been born and raised in this business. I still like it. I like to do it. I make homes beautiful.
KING: And Jennie, you're a coal miner?
KING: Gold Miner.
MARTINSON: I work in a gold mine.
KING: How far down do you go?
MARTINSON: Oh, about a mile.
DORFMAN: But when she's down there, the only thing you see when she smiles is her teeth. I mean, it's all dark and then you...
KING: How deep is the cave?
MARTINSON: It's about a mile.
KING: Is that in Salt Lake?
MARTINSON: No. It's in Elko, Nevada.
KING: There's gold in them there hills, right?
MARTINSON: There is.
KING: Garth, did you enjoy working with them?
FISHER: I had a blast. Now they're ready to get in trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
DORFMAN: I love these girls. You know what, a lot of the patients go through this show and they're really difficult. I mean, you know, we deal with it. We deal with it with our real patients. These women were so much fun. The whole production team, we all sat around saying: We deserve these girls. They were so funny. I mean, I remember Jennie came in and was so proud to show me what Dr. Fisher had done for her breasts, that she forgot that there were other people standing in the waiting room. She just flashed them.
SABOURA: I think the entire production had seen their breasts at one point or another during the show. They were very proud of their breasts and their work.
KING: Frannie, how's your life changed?
DODRILL: It's great. I've got a new boyfriend. I dated a lot and then I found a great guy.
LENT: What's his name?
DODRILL: Bill, like Dr. Bill Dorfman.
DORFMAN: But it's not me.
DODRILL: It's not him. No, it's Bill.
KING: Katie, how have you changed?
LENT: I'm just a lot more confident and I date an awful lot now and I'm having a lot of fun.
KING: And Jennie?
MARTINSON: Well, I'm going to get married tomorrow. By the way, while I'm on the air, can I have three days off?
I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding, Rick.
DODRILL: You really are, huh?
MARTINSON: Yes, I am.
KING: You must have had a riot with these three, right? I mean...
MARTINSON: He thinks I'm kidding.
KING: Well, I salute you all. Frannie Dodrill, Katie Lent, and Jennie Martinson: The gobble sisters.
That no longer applies. Turkey isn't the big day anymore. Thank you all very much.
We'll be back with another great story right after this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As friends and family bid good bye, the girls' final fantasy comes true: A romantic cruise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know my sisters feel beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's way more than cosmetic. I have a lot more confidence.
DODRILL: Yes. That's great. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're going to fight over men.
LENT: It's going to be like: You better watch out, we're coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was born with a cleft palate, marring his looks, life and his speech.
JEFFREY OLIPHANT, RECENT MAKEOVER: I look in the mirror and it's like: I hate the fact I have a cleft, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A gifted composer and poet, Jeff struggles to sing the songs inside him.
DAHLIA OLIPHANT, JEFF'S SISTER: No one knows what he has been through. The pain that he goes through. You know and this would mean so much to him if he's able to get this, so he can move forward with his life.
KING: Before we show you this clip, Jeff was born with a deformation of a cleft palate. His mother and her eight children struggled, were left homeless, slept under bridges in Miami. Mom eventually got a nursing job and despite the adversity, his mother got a job nursing and taught all the kids self-sufficiency, not self pity.
Saving money for Jeff's surgeries. His problems were there at birth: A cleft palate caused dental problems and problems with speech, but Dr. Griffin was optimistic about how he could make things better for Jeffrey.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN (voice-over): For Jeffrey, today, our plan is twofold. One is to lengthen his lip to get rid of his gummy smile.
And you kind of move things around and you see where they fit and if you get a good fit, it's great. But if you don't, you have to move some other things around and it can be very tense.
One of the problems with the cleft lip deformity is that the nose doesn't have enough tissue to support itself and so, we're going to replace what was -- what nature didn't give him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's take a look. He's right here in our studios, Jeffrey Oliphant, right now.
Holy moley. That is the same guy?
What problems did he present, Dr. Griffin, as if I had to ask?
GRIFFIN: Don't bring it up, Larry.
Jeff had a devastating cleft bilateral, meaning both sides of his lip and palate were deformed.
KING: And he couldn't talk right?
GRIFFIN: And he couldn't speak. His nose was brought down. There was a lot of missing tissue and of course, his teeth was a mess.
And, honestly, I hate to say this, but I originally -- when I saw his tape, I had turned him down, because I thought it was impossible to do what we needed to do in such a short period of time.
KING: So, what changed?
GRIFFIN: Well, you know, I -- well, actually, the producer called me and I didn't want to be pressured to do things just for show business reasons and so, I thought about it. They asked me to reconsider and I thought about it and I had two conditions. I said Dr. Dorfman would have to assure that he could do the teeth, and I would have to be able to have Jeff in the operating room all day if necessary.
KING: Jeff, what was it like?
OLIPHANT: Actually, it was pretty good. You know, I had a good time being out here. You know, I knew I was in safe hands with these doctors, you know, they're the best in the country, best in the world, really. So, I felt really comfortable with it. And plus, I had had surgeries before.
KING: You had surgery in Miami?
OLIPHANT: Yeah, I had over 10 surgeries in my whole life.
KING: And they hadn't corrected it fully?
OLIPHANT: And they hadn't corrected it. The last one, that falls under cosmetology, and it's not -- even though it should be considered corrective surgery, you know, they won't cover it under insurance and stuff like that. KING: Really? They wouldn't cover it under insurance?
OLIPHANT: Won't cover it.
KING: What was the dental situation, Dr. Dorfman?
DORFMAN: Well, the biggest challenge was that because of the bilateral cleft, his two front teeth kind of floated. They were strong enough to stay in on their own, but if I was going to use them to put a bridge in, they would have fallen out. So it would have been really easy just to take out Jeff's front teeth and make him a bridge. Problem is, his whole front of his upper mouth would have just collapsed. And so Dr. Griffin and I sat there and really planned it out. And we figured out a way where we could keep his two upper front teeth, and make him bridges to fill in the sides. We did veneers on the lower, whitened his teeth. And he has not only a beautiful smile, but they're all in. It's not removable. He doesn't have to take his teeth out.
And that would have been the easy thing. The easy thing would have been to just take out all the front teeth and make him a removal appliance. And it would have looked great, but he's a young guy. You don't want to take his teeth out.
OLIPHANT: Don't want dentures.
KING: What's it done for you personally?
OLIPHANT: The best thing I can say is the effect it's had on my family, you know. It's like them looking at me, you can see it's kind of a give and take. Everybody is glowing, like we did it, we made it, you know.
KING: Sure. You ought to be very proud, Dr. Griffin. You ought to be.
GRIFFIN: Well, thank you. Well, I mean, I think we got away with one, actually, to be honest with you. I'd rather be lucky than good.
KING: Do you see the problems that were presented, Dr. Fisher?
FISHER: Oh, I do, and I think tony did a great job. So did Bill, obviously. Just wonderful. It looks great.
KING: What style did you have to do with Jeff?
SABOURA: Jeff and I had a great time. We really bonded. He's a hip-hop artist. He wants to be a musical artist. So that may not be my style genre, but Jeff was able to work with me. We worked together, really, on his looks, on his clothes. And the hair was a huge thing, because none of us wanted to cut his hair. But a decision was made on the show that we were going to cut his hair. It was so cool. And we ended up giving him a cool look. He's actually looking great now. But Jeff is awesome. We had such a great bonding experience. KING: One of my notes here says that you're recognized in public a lot now?
OLIPHANT: Yeah. Airports, restaurants. People -- they don't even want to shake my hand, they're just like, can I hug you? Cry, you know. I love your family.
KING: Wasn't there a time, doc, when cleft palates weren't fixable?
GRIFFIN: Yes, there was. And I do a lot of operation -- or volunteer work overseas in Operation Smile, and we do this type of work overseas, but Jeff's case was a little bit different, because we wouldn't have -- again, he wouldn't have gotten done in that environment. Luckily, here in the United States, once a child is born, within about three, four months, they actually get repaired.
KING: Congratulations, Jeffrey.
OLIPHANT: Thank you.
KING: Very proud of you.
OLIPHANT: Love you guys.
KING: We'll be back with some remaining moments with our doctors. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then, a special surprise. Jeff's brother, Eddie, from L.A. Eddie, again, always there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking at him and it's like you just feel this immediate relief, like the weight is lifted. My little man is perfect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, suddenly, the realization that his brother's cleft palate is finally repaired overwhelms Eddie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was completely losing it. It was going to be one of those cries that come from, you know, from the soul, from the toes, where every fiber in your body is crying.
Come here. It's over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We got a couple of minutes left. What extraordinary rewards you must get out of your work. Right?
DORFMAN: Yeah, it's unbelievable. It's the kind of thing that money doesn't even come close to rewarding for it. It's a feeling that you get at the end of the day where you say, look how I changed this person's life, you know?
KING: And you do a lot, Dr. Griffin, of people who are in accidents, right? This is not all just beauty.
GRIFFIN: Right, no, we do a lot of people who have been deformed in accidents, and again, try to help them get their self-esteem back.
KING: Plastic surgeons do get calls in the middle of the night, right?
FISHER: Oh, certainly.
KING: To come to the accident scene?
FISHER: Yes, we do get calls for those kind of things, and some that you'd expect around noon instead of midnight.
KING: When you see a guy, Sam, like our last young gentleman, what a feeling that must be?
SABOURA: It's awesome, because his family was so amazing. I feel like we become part of their family at the end of the show. We spend a lot of time with them. So it's like one big family, and these are all our distant relatives all over the country. And it's an amazing job, an amazing opportunity.
KING: I understand he's quite a musician, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's great.
KING: He does a show, a hip-hop show?
GRIFFIN: Well, I think he said, his own show.
SABOURA: He's awesome. He's very talented. You're going to see big things from him, I think.
DORFMAN: And we also worked on his speech quite a bit, you know, with the new lip position, the new teeth, and all that changed the way he spoke. So we worked with a speech therapist and got him speaking a lot better.
SABOURA: There are so many other elements to the show I think than just the surgery, and I think when people are watching who are critical of the show, they don't realize the show is changing people in so many other facets.
KING: What's the number one critique? Taking...
SABOURA: The number one critique? I feel like I have got to defend the show constantly about the surgery, because people who -- don't watch the show are ignorant of the fact that it's not just about the surgery. I think that I have to defend the show a lot.
GRIFFIN: The surgery is a big part of it, but I think people don't understand -- you know, people are afraid of this drastic change by surgery. So -- but if it didn't take surgery, they don't mind the change. But it's the idea of surgery.
DORFMAN: And you know, I don't think there's a single person who went through "Extreme Makeover" that regrets it. They're all happy. They're all better off than they were before. I mean, honestly, I don't -- do you guys know of a single person that said I wish I didn't do this?
FISHER: No, it all boils down, everybody has a -- they have a choice. They can make choices. And if they choose to do something like this, it can be rewarding.
KING: I don't understand the rap. Thank you all very much. And congratulations.
FISHER: Thank you.
DORFMAN: Thanks, Larry.
KING: By the way, our good friends at the legendary group of artists will perform at the seventh annual Vocal Group Hall of Fame. It's going on right now in Wildwood, New Jersey. Vocal groups don't get enough attention. I salute them. And the Lettermen are entertainment tomorrow night, my favorite group. Salute to the vocal groups.
And a sad note before we go. The Department of the Navy announced today the death of retired Admiral James B. Stockdale. Most of you probably know him best as Ross Perot's running mate during the wild 1992 presidential campaign. Admiral Stockdale, who was 81, was also a Medal of Honor recipient, a Vietnam prisoner of war, a Navy pilot, a professor at Stanford, an American hero. A great American. Our condolences to his family.
The July 4th holiday is over. Things are back to normal at the Brown household, and Aaron Brown is about to take -- oh, you'll love tomorrow night. UFOs tomorrow night, Aaron.
AARON BROWN, HOST, NEWSNIGHT: Really?
KING: They may take you up.
BROWN: Oh, there are moments where I'm begging them to take me up.
KING: Aaron has got a young daughter who is now driving a vehicle.
BROWN: Yes. She proceeded from just driving me crazy to driving a car, that's where we are now.
Thank you, Mr. King.
KING: Go get'em.
BROWN: Thank you, sir.
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