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#1

walnutqueen

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Posted Nov 4, 2010 @ 9:59 PM

ODDITIES dives into the weird world of strange and extraordinary science artifacts through the eyes of the proprietors of Manhattan's Obscura Antiques & Oddities. With clients that include Ripley's Believe it or Not!, the Mutter Museum, Ralph Lauren, and even Danny Elfman, Obscura's co-owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson and buyer Ryan Matthew comb flea markets, auctions, antique shows, estate sales and garage sales for their wares, everything from bizarre medical instruments and turn-of-the-century masks to Victorian hair jewelry and amusement-park fortune-teller heads. Watch the sneak-peek premiere Thursday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 p.m. E/P, then every Thursday at 8 p.m. E/P.

on Discovery.

Well, I certainly found another show to marvel at. I watched tonight's sneak peek, and I can honestly say that the people are as bizarro as the stuff they collect. Not only did they buy a sailcat (Hoarders team, take note!), but the gentleman who ended up renting a straightjacket for his 'play' was ... how can I put this? ... unique. And who knew a two headed farm animal skull could fetch hundreds (of dollars)?

If you like the Cra Cra Crazy (and have a strong stomach), this might be up your alley. I just hope subsequent episodes live up to the hype.

ETA: Discovery Channel

Edited by walnutqueen, Nov 4, 2010 @ 10:02 PM.


#2

AGFH

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Posted Nov 4, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

Thanks for the heads up! I set tonight's replay to record. It sounds like it could be really neat.
There are so many new antique/artifact shows on now that it's getting hard to keep track of them all. I love it!

#3

sleekandchic

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Posted Nov 4, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

I was scrolling through channels tonight when I caught the closeup of the two-headed animal skull. It was too lifelike for me! Those huge eyes.

Between this show and The Walking Dead, it's been a very bad week for horseys and calves! :D

Edited by sleekandchic, Nov 5, 2010 @ 5:58 PM.


#4

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 11:31 AM

OK, I think I just found my new favorite show!
The owners of the store are a hoot and a half, and Cerd needs to come live in my spare bedroom.
The sellers and the the shoppers are a weird bunch! Edgar scared me, but in a good way. What an absolute lunatic!
When the "priest" came down the stairs with the sailcat I almost fell off the couch laughing. The hoarders are missing out on a goldmine! Sell the sailcats and save the house! (Vula could have bought a whole new bathroom) The look on the museum lady's face was priceless.
The two headed calf was creepy, but then again, all two headed things are pretty creepy.
Gall stones! EWWWWWW. "Look, I have grandpa's gall stones!" HA. I can totally understand him selling them.

If and when I ever make it to NYC Obscura will be a must see place!

#5

walnutqueen

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 12:07 PM

When the "priest" came down the stairs with the sailcat I almost fell off the couch laughing.

Thank you for this, AGFH. I was wracking my brains trying to figure out who he reminded me of; it's a debauched Father Guido Sarducci!

The staightjacket aficionado had the strangest voice and inflection I've ever heard - it is a priceless gift to listeners.

Finally a show where I can revel in the peculiarities of the participants without having to guiltily feel sorry for them at the same time - this is shaping up to be one of my faves, as well. You just can't make this shit up.

We MUST have a Hoarders crossover. Who knew that sailcats could avoid decomposition and greatly increase their resale value merely by remaining hot, dry and oxygen-deprived?! If only the mummy expert had been called in instead of Dr. Tonya - a whole new show!

#6

funkycatt

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 2:35 PM

Personally I can't believe they were touching the cat and the gall stones with bare hands. Blech! I wanted to puke! And the gallstones are made out of cholesterol. There just aren't words.

I wonder if they allow people to photograph in their shop. An artist could have a field day in there. I bet the guy who sold the cat is a regular customer.

Why does the navy need straight jackets?

#7

tonkacat

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 2:44 PM

Is there a regular day and time for this show?

#8

AGFH

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 4:08 PM

Is there a regular day and time for this show?

Look HERE on Discovery's site for scheduling. It's an odd one, which I guess for this show is appropriate.

#9

walnutqueen

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 4:13 PM

tonkacat:

Watch the sneak-peek premiere Thursday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 p.m. E/P, then every Thursday at 8 p.m. E/P.

funkycatt: I'd need gloves and a full body contamination suit to handle some of this stuff (and even then I'd respectfully decline)!

Why does the navy need straight jackets?

You're kidding, right? OK, seriously, I can imagine all kinds of scenarios (submarines, anyone?), but I'll pull an example from another Discovery Reality TV show: Deadliest Catch. A greenhorn went apeshit on the Bering Sea, putting on his survival suit and insisting they leave him adrift for the Coast Guard to pick up... they managed to dissuade him and had to return him to port pronto. I'll wager the captain was wishing for a straightjacket just about then. :)

#10

Arynm

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 9:05 PM

Are you telling me I could have SOLD my gallstones? Man! I just threw them in the garbage after I grossed out all my neighbors. I will have to keep an eye out for this show, sounds like it is right up my alley. The grosser and stranger the better.

#11

Sleepwalker12

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 11:22 PM

The staightjacket aficionado had the strangest voice and inflection I've ever heard - it is a priceless gift to listeners.


The best description of Edgar: His manner of speech is like Renfield if he were played by Vincent Price.

#12

AGFH

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Posted Nov 5, 2010 @ 11:39 PM

The best description of Edgar: His manner of speech is like Renfield if he were played by Vincent Price.

That is a perfect description! And like the blogger said, I want an Edgar Show STAT! I would watch that with bells on.

#13

aptharsia

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Posted Nov 11, 2010 @ 11:52 PM

I agree, bring on the Edgar show! Or at least a mini-show. I think 10 minutes ought to do it, would seem like an hour as slow as he was talking. Should be fun though.

#14

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 @ 11:26 AM

Sigh. I thought I'd love this show, but I think the cast are laying on the weird a little too thick--playing up to give the rubes in flyover country a thrill. "Goodness, Marge, lookit them strange folks in Noo York City! My my." And Edgar? I thought of Vincent Price, too, but more like "Jesus, Vincent Price must be spinning in his grave!". If that's the way he really talks, I'll eat my hat.

#15

Crunchberry

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 @ 11:36 AM

This show is right up my alley... Caught it last night for the 1st time and liked it. I have several skulls around the house that I've found on my property. Never knew they could bring big bucks though.
I looked Obscura up online and friend them on Facebook, maybe they'd be interested in some of my *ahem* arts and crafts that I do...
Can't wait to catch more of this program!

#16

la llorona

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 @ 9:09 PM

Damn, I need to get into the Obscurity business, because these folks are making $$. Get a weird request, meet fascinating people, learn fascinating things-- then buy at rock bottom prices to turn around and sell it to the client for 2x the cost. It's like a dream job.

I love the show. I saw it for the first time last night and fell head over heels in girl-love with Laura the bugged out model/mortician. She's breathtakingly beautiful and creepy and makes awesome clothes and is otherwise everything I would want in a tv girlfriend-- but unfortunately she doesn't like to be touched. Dug the old school embalming toolbox.

Sigh. I thought I'd love this show, but I think the cast are laying on the weird a little too thick--playing up to give the rubes in flyover country a thrill. "Goodness, Marge, lookit them strange folks in Noo York City! My my."


I get what you're saying, but you have to admit-- those are some strange people. ;) Nevertheless, that's the beauty of NYC. It's a place where Weird Folk are allowed to be themselves and truly blossom. Having met some truly deranged people in art school, I seriously doubt they're playing it up at all.

#17

la llorona

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 4:56 PM

I'm bumping this thread to report that I'm still loving this show-- but I also thought you might be interested to know that Laura the Model Mortician did indeed end up using that antique table in a photoshoot:

Laura Flook is Strangely Beautiful

Did you guys see Toenail Girl? She was an artist who collected all these toenail clippings from random people in a jar (I almost hurled when they showed the jar full of nasty toenails), and then made them into little creepy sculptures. I thought I heard her say that she didn't sanitize them or anything first. She went on to explain that she had trouble selling the sculptures because people didn't want to touch them (well DUH!) so she started embedding them in resin to make jewelry. They rejected her collection but Ryan ended up buying a ring from her (which was actually kinda cute TBH; it looked like a little hand).

#18

wideright

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 5:49 PM

Our family went over there the other day and the woman with the grey hair and glasses was working. She was lovely and totally friendly and normal by the way. Very very solicitous to my kids even when it was obvious we weren't going to sell or buy anything except for a t shirt. My son's been wearing it for 2 days straight.

#19

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 7:45 PM

I totally dig this show, and I'm happy to see a forum for it. Is it just me, or is Ryan (the guy that reconstructs skulls, among other duties for the shop) totally adorable (and yes, creepy too!)

#20

queasy

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Posted Jan 2, 2011 @ 8:58 PM

Do you think Ryan, Mike, and Evan normally wear the same thing to work every single day, or did the producers request it so they could snip scenes from different days together? Either way, it's ... well, not the weirdest thing on this show by any means, but still odd.

#21

patroo

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Posted Jan 3, 2011 @ 3:19 PM

A few clarifications:
it's straitjacket, not straightjacket.
If the basis of calling it a Navy straitjacket was strictly the anchors on the buckles, and not labeling (and all I saw were the buckles), Anchor Brand hardware is marked with anchors, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Navy. They may well sell product to the Navy, but you will see many anchor-marked products in farm and horse equipment as well as general hardware. I am not sure they're still in business, as I haven't noticed that trademark on anything new for a while. It's quite likely that the Navy does have straitjackets for people who need to be restrained.

I do like this show, though I seem to have missed the sailcat portion of the episode. It's amazing just how weird people can be - and this is more than a little scary.

#22

queasy

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 7:46 AM

Dang, there are some weird people in the world. The customers, the collectors, the artists and sideshow freaks. The stuff Obscura sells is almost the least of it.

It was interesting to see how the "hiraffe" turned out, especially since I've been introduced to taxidermy recently through Mounted in Alaska. I figured putting it together was going to be really spendy, but $15K? *Cough, cough*

Not sure how it will help market a jewelry store, either.

I hope they follow up with Ryan's awkward courtship of the bone articulating girl, even if it is all faked.

#23

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 5:50 AM

I just recently got into this show after seeing Mike and Evan on Conan the other week. I've caught up on a bunch of episodes and am really enjoying it.

I have a question, because something is really bothering me. In the shrunken head episode, we see their lawyer. Where have I seen him before?!? I know I have, I just have no idea where.

#24

LittleOat

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 5:46 AM

Boo to double posts.

Edited by LittleOat, Jun 5, 2011 @ 5:56 AM.


#25

Rammchick

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Posted Jun 8, 2011 @ 11:01 AM

Their lawyer (whose name escapes me now -- something with a "K") is well-known in NYC. I think he was the lawyer in the Joel Steinberg/Hedda Nussbaum case.

Does anyone know what Mike and Evan's relationship is outside the store? Are they a couple? This has me very curious, and I haven't been able to find out.

#26

AngelaHunter44

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Posted Jun 8, 2011 @ 11:52 AM

(I almost hurled when they showed the jar full of nasty toenails),


I second that, never mind the stuff made of bellybutton lint. I could barely stand looking at it, never mind wanting to buy it. Ditto for the jar full of teeth, cavities and all. I guess there really is a market for anything!

Are they a couple?


Apparently not.

#27

Rammchick

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Posted Jun 9, 2011 @ 9:13 AM

Thanks for finding that, AngelaHunter44. Now -- how did she meet Mike and open the store?

#28

Rula Lenzka

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Posted Jun 11, 2011 @ 9:55 PM

Can I just say wow! and Eww! I love this show, love the little shop and all the oddities. However I am shocked at how much this stuff sells for! I know this is sort of an odd antique shop and it is NY, but wow. I am going to NY this summer, I may try to work this into our trip.

I felt kinda bad for the cat skeleton guy. He brought in the skeletons of his pets Zsa Zsa and Ava and I think he was disturbed by the exploding skull of his beloved pet. I'm sure it was all a set up, but how did he not ask up front how much that was going to cost?

Let me add that I wish I would have also kept my gallstones if I would have known I could sell them.

#29

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Posted Jun 11, 2011 @ 11:11 PM

I like this show but since it has moved to the science channel it is 3 minutes of show, 1 minute of previews and 3 minutes of commercials. Annoying. There really are some seriously disturbed people in this world. The model/mortician Laura is one of them. For someone to be so obsessed with death that she names her dog Tocar-it just boggles the mind.

Also, if someone gave me a gallbladder filled with gallstones for a gift, I would probably first throw up and then file for divorce. His wife seems oddly normal though.

#30

Ghandisflipflop

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Posted Jun 12, 2011 @ 12:58 PM

The lawyer is Ron Kuby, very well known in NYC.