• Season 4, Ep 2
  • 10/04/2016

Sam Patch jumps off waterfalls with his pet bear, Ella Fitzgerald gets a career assist from Marilyn Monroe, and Buster Keaton turns the silent film industry upside down.

- Hello.I'm Nick Rutherford,

and todaywe're gonna talk about...

[chuckles]Sam Patch.

The first daredevil.

It's the 1800s.

It's not even the 1900s yet,

and it's just past the 1700s.

So young Sam Patch was working in cotton mills

14, 16 hours a day.

So Sam Patch, like all of his older coworkers,

would spend their very little break time

next to the river, watching the falls

that powered these mills,

and so Sam Patchstarted jumping off

the top of the falls, avoiding the deadly rocks,

landing safely in the water,

and Sam Patch turned outto be very, very good at it.

He did it so well, crowds started to gather.

He would-- he would pass around a hat,

take, like, pennies to help supplement his income.

So Sam Patch wants to dothe biggest jump of his life,

and he goes to the Passaic Falls River.

Sam Patch goes to the falls,

screams out to the crowd,

some things can be done as well as others.

Takes a few steps back,

runs and takes a leap into the air,

and then plunges feetfirst

in his trademarkstraight-as-an-arrow dive.

Sam Patch emerges from the water.

Waves to everybody.

People lose their mind.

That was awesome.

That was awesome. That was sick.

All right, so Sam Patch--on top of the world.

On top of the world.

He's doing great.

So Sam Patch gets a bear.

That's--that's what you did back then.

If you got to a certain levelof success,

you got a bear.

- Well, what should we call the bear?

- There's no record of a namethat Sam gave his bear,

but I'm 100% sure

that his bear's name was...


- Bomzi?

- I feel like I can do betterthan Bomzi.

- Don't--just don't worryabout it. So--

- I still think I can do betterthan Bomzi.

- Don't worryabout Bomzi.

- I am. I am.

- All right, move on from Bomziand just talk about Patch.

- I mean,you can keep on telling me

what you want me to say,

but I'm gonna keep ongiving you gold.


My name is Tymberlee Hill,

and today we're gonnatalk about

Ella Fitzgeraldand Marilyn Monroe.


Ella Fitzgerald-- she's the Queen of Song.

Nobody sings better than Ella Fitzgerald.

So Ella's on the chitlin circuit.

She's killing it everywhere.

Chitlin circuit is for anybody who's black that performs.

Now, let's talk aboutthe Mocambo.

Can we really quickly?

The Mocambo is a place where

[bleep] Frank Sinatra debuted in the '40s.

This is a place where Lana Turner,

Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant--

this was the hot spot,and you couldn't do it bigger,

except, they do not want to let her in,

and they're like-- [mumbling] She's too black.

She's too chubby.

She's too ugly. [drink sloshes]

Ah, shit, and [bleep]and all kinds of shit and piss.

- You want to clean that--

- Oh, that's okay,I, um, Scotchgard.

I Scotchgard likea mother[bleep].

I can keep it going.I can keep it going.

What was the last thingthat she said?

Her--the last thing--oh, okay.

Oh, so, so, so, so.

Marilyn Monroe-- she's huge.

People didn't get it, and they were like,

can't you just be our hot thing with no clothes on

with the dress blowing up that we love so much?

And she was like, no, I can't.

I want to do some real acting.

So Marilyn Monroe goes into her voice teacher.

She says I want to be a triple threat.

I want to do everything.

I'm taking this class in acting,

I'm doing these dancing classes,

blah-de-blah-blah, you are my man for the voice.


Her voice coach says,

if you want to learn how to sing,

buy Ella Fitzgerald's album.

She gets this record.

She lays down on the floor

and listens to this record 100 times in a row.

She goes, this is the most astonishing voice

I've ever heard in my life.

She calls the Mocambo,and they're like,

oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God!

Marilyn Monroe, what the [bleep]?

And she's like, bring it all down.

If you let my favorite,my favorite baby girl

jump on stage and sing her songs,

I will show up, and I will sit in the fr--


And I will sit in the front row of the audience

every single night,

and you can take as many pictures of me as you want.

[chuckles] I'm sorry.

- You're very excited.

- I am, I love these two,

and I've known this storyforever.


Ella Fitzgerald-- she gets a phone call,

and they're saying,

we would love to have you at the Mocambo.

[stammering] But what?

Like, what the [bleep] are we talking about right now?

He's like, somebody made a phone call.

Somebody... named Marilyn Monroe.


So she's like, Marilyn-- I don't know Marilyn Monroe.

Like, what are we saying?

You know, like, she didn't--[gasps]

Know anything about that.- You okay?

- Yes,I just have weird hiccups

and a lot of catched breaths.

Ella shows up at the Mocambo,

and Marilyn takes a front-row center table.

The lights go down.

Ella walks out onto the stage, and then--boom!

It comes out of her voice.

[scatting dynamically]

♪ Dah-dah-dah,dah-dah-dah... ♪

♪ Ah-scooby-dooby-dooby-dah

[scatting dynamically]

And then people are a-going crazy.

And one person is like, I didn't even know music

could sound like that.

And then Marilyn was like, I've heard these songs before.

But I never heard them.

What is going on right now?

Like, I can't even understand my own mind.

That is a human voice singing to us.

And Marilyn, true to her word,

shows up every single night,

and she sits in the front row.

One night, after Ella performed,

Marilyn came backstage.

[uplifting orchestral music]

So, so, it's just two girls

talking aboutwhat real life is like.

Marilyn is like, ugh, you know, I'm a [bleep] orphan.

And, uh...what's her name?

Ella is like, I'm a [bleep] orphan too.

Then Marilyn's like, I had two marriages,

and Ella's like, oh, my God, I was married to somebody

when I was really young, and then I married another guy.

And then Marilyn was like, I cannot be accepted

in this business because of the way that I look.

And Ella's like, I cannot be accepted

in this business because of the way that I look!

And these two women, they literally meet each other.

Because Marilyn Maloa--Mon--Meh--

Marilyn Mon--

Marilyn Mano...



Marilyn... [sighs]

But anyway.

In this moment,that Marilyn helps Ella,

she frees them both.

The fact is, sometimes,

sisters have to hook each other up.

And when Marilyn passes away,

because they stayed friends,

Ella Fitzgerald said,

I owe Marilyn a great debt.

After she personally called

the managers of the Mocambo room

and allowed me to play there,

I was never, ever, ever, ever again in my life

relegated to a small club.

She says, Marilyn was extraordinary

and ahead of her time.

She loved that lady.