Props to the Arizona Science Center – Thanks for the Bed of Nails


You don’t just go to someone and say, “Hey, can I borrow your $45,000 Bed of Nail exhibit. No, seriously, I promise to bring it back.” But that’s exactly what happened…

The closing stunt on my last appearance on the Ellen Show was the Bed of Nails. Up to this point, I’ve never really been that excited about the traditional Bed of Nails demo because of the way you have to get the person on the nails. Normally, the volunteer gently sits down on the end and the lays their head on the pillow. As soon as the audience sees that the nails didn’t impale the volunteer’s bottom, the rest is boring.

azsciencecenterWe thought about various ways of making the Bed of Nails more exciting, but nothing hit home… until we found the ultimate Bed of Nails at the Arizona Science Center. The manufacturer is a company called Hands-On! out of Florida and these guys produce some of the best science exhibits you’ve ever seen. If you’ve ever visited a science center, you’ve probably experienced their work. In preparation for this stunt, the inventor of this motorized bed sent me a video, personally demonstrating how it works and shared some of the finer points of how the mechanism works. The last thing I needed was to impale Ellen DeGeneres with a few thousand nails. There’s so much paperwork when these little accidents happen.

A stunt like this doesn’t just “happen” without an incredible team of people working behind the scenes. After I pitched the Bed of Nails idea to the Ellen producers (just last week), Carly Reed and Jeff Brooks from my team went into action to make it happen. Carly and Jeff worked with Chevy Humphrey at the Arizona Science Center to come up with a creative way to remove the exhibit, load it on our transport vehicle and get it to the Ellen studios on the Warner Bros. lot. After a bunch of signatures and the blessing of everyone at the Arizona Science Center, Greg Williams personally escorted the prop to Burbank. Joshua Sheehan and Richard Higgins both work at the Arizona Science Center and flew out to Burbank to make sure that everything worked perfectly on the set of the show. Just reverse the process, log another thousand or so miles on the truck and the Bed of Nails is back safe and sound at the science center.

And that’s how it happened. Now it’s time to start working on the return visit to the Ellen Show in May.

4 replies
  1. Mindy Gough
    Mindy Gough says:

    Just a note for your Canadian friends – there is a “Bed of Nails” at the very wonderful Science North in Sudbury, Ontario. It’s the best science centre we’ve ever been to – if you love science, you MUST go to Science North. P.S. We’re not affiliated with Science North; it’s a hidden gem we discovered recently.

    Reply
  2. Steve Spangler
    Steve Spangler says:

    This sounds like a great find. Is the Bed of Nails at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario the same kind that we used on the Ellen Show? I’ll be sure to find the centre the next time I’m up that way.

    Reply
  3. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    You can also see this awesome style bed of nails currently in Tulsa as part of the Eureka! exhibit traveling around the Oklahoma Museum Network!

    Reply

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