Reality isn’t always reality on reality TV, which explains why Spike TV’s Auction Hunters keeps referring to Dallas even though the most recent show is partly filmed in Fort Worth and features Stockyards fixture Dale “Hoot” Scott.
In the episode, titled “The Dallas Mavericks,” the Los Angeles-based hosts Allen and Ton find a couple of saddles inside a storage unit and seek an appraisal from a saddle expert.
“An expert is anybody who’s more than 50 miles away from home and has a business card,” said Hoot, a longtime Western collectibles dealer who’s usually hanging out at the Cross-Eyed Moose or the Adobe Western Art Gallery in the Stockyards.
The episode features Hoot giving a $2,500 appraisal, and then negotiating with Allen and Ton to buy the saddle. The segment got about eight minutes of air time, which surprised Hoot since the crew spent more than two hours filming.
“That’s starting and stopping, the wind was blowing 90 miles an hour that day, a jet would go overhead… ,” he said. “They had this big film crew, good Lord, 10 or 12 people and cameras and wires and gadgets.”
The producers contacted Hoot beforehand to check out his X factor, and they liked what they saw. Hoot is a tall, bearded Texan who’s always dressed in boots, denim, and cowboy hat. The show’s producer asked him to bring along a few extra shirts for filming just in case one might look better than the other on camera. He didn’t know Hoot’s closet is filled with nothing but denim.
” Picking my wardrobe is easy — I don’t even have to turn the light on,” Hoot said. “I told him I had some denim shirts that were more faded than others, but that was it.”
When filming began, the producer asked Hoot to cover up the Wrangler tag on his denim shirt. Cameras typically blur out brand names that aren’t show sponsors. But Hoot said that was a problem — he has an endorsement deal and is paid $500 every time he appears on TV wearing Wrangler products. The producer’s jaw dropped a foot before Hoot admitted he was just kidding.
After the show aired, Hoot felt like a big time celebrity.
“It was a kick to get my 31/2-year-old granddaughter to see her grandad on TV,” he said. “I wish I could have looked like Tom Selleck a little more, but I didn’t.”
As for the show failing to mention Fort Worth, Hoot put it in perspective: “I was a little surprised. I thought they were going to play up Fort Worth but I guesss because of the national audience they think Dallas is more recognizable. But Cowtown has a lot more character than Dallas.”