Joe and Brian visit the home of Paul Maher, who was Walter Lantz’s archivist. When Lantz died, he passed on most of his possessions to Paul Maher since he didn’t have any children of his own. Now, Maher is terminally ill and needs some money to help pay for his hospice care and medical bills. He has a house full of sagging shelves loaded down with incredible animation memorabilia, and has called Profiles in History to auction off his collection.
Joe and Brian search through the countless items, looking for an iconic item that could be an auction show piece. They find lots of items but nothing epic. Maher mentions that he has more stuff in his garage. At this point, the show looks like an episode of American Pickers, with Joe and Brian scrambling over boxes piled to the ceiling. They finally strike gold when they find a pair of Walt Disney’s head phones from the 1920’s.
Joe calls in the movers to haul away all the toys, and they clear out the entire house. It is really sad to see those empty shelves. As a collector, I can only think how heartbroken I would be to see my collection dismantled and carted away.
In previous recaps, I mentioned how surprising and refreshing it was to see how normal Hollywood actors were in “real” life. Well, that delusion came to a screeching halt when Jerry Maren walked into Joe’s office. Maren is one of the lollipop kids in the Wizard of Oz, and is the last living actor from the film. Maren arrives with an ascot around his neck, a giant lollipop under one arm, and a really scary looking dude at his side.
After talking with the lollipop kid, Joe goes to the soundstage where the Wizard of Oz was filmed, convinced that the yellow brick road still exists and might be hidden in a subfloor. No luck.
Next, we get our weekly dose of Tracey having trouble doing her job. Oh no, whatever will she do? Can she possibly track down a car to sell at auction? We can only hope.
Joe calls in Mike Van Eaton, an animation authority, to look at the Walter Lantz items. They decide to sell only a few items at this auction, to test the waters.
Tracey and Joe go to a car rental company that loans cars to the movie studios. Ray Claridge is the owner and has a pretty nice collection of Hollywood icons, including the Mercedes from The Hangover and the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee. Ray isn’t too interested in selling any of his cars, but Joe finally convinces him to auction off his KITT car from the recent Knight Rider TV series.
It’s auction day and the Woody Woodpecker cels and some Walter Lantz drawings sell but it doesn’t seem like they sell for much. KITT sells for a more impressive $32,500.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of the better episodes. When I fire up the DVR for this show, I expect to see cool things. I don’t want to see Joe go on a hunt for the yellow brick road, I want to see him find great sc-fi props. Play to your audience Syfy, or sell the show to the History Channel.