Special Report - A Shucking Disaster - Nightmare at the Mitchell Corn Palace

  • Aired:  10/18/12
  •  | Views: 82,071

People drive from presumably elsewhere to see the historic Mitchell Corn Palace, but this year Director Mark Schilling receives a call that every Corn Palace director dreads. (6:38)

CORN SIRRUP.

BUT SADLY, FOLKS THIS

DROUGHT AFFECTS MORE THAN

JUST MY FILLET MIN NOUGAT T

IS ALSO THREATENING A

NATIONAL PRESSURE-- TREASURE.

JIM?

>> CORN, IT'S AS AMERICAN AS

APPLE PIE.

AND THANKS TO HIGH FRUCTOSE

CORN SYRUP T IS APPLE PIE.

CORN IS SO AMERICAN, THAT

THERE IS A MONUMENT TO IT.

THE CORN PALACE IN MITCHELL,

SOUTH DAKOTA.

PALACE DIRECTOR MARK

SHELLING.

>> THE CORN PALACE ATTRACTS

A HALF A MILLION PEOPLE PER

YEAR.

THIS IS THE BIGGEST MONUMENT

TO CORN THAT WE HAVE IN THE

ENTIRE WORLD.

>> NOT ONLY IS THE BIGGEST,

IT'S ALSO THE ONLIEST.

PEOPLE DRIVE FROM PRESUMABLY

ELSEWHERE TO SEE THE MURR

ALLS MADE OF 12 DIFFERENT

COLORS OF CORN.

>> SINCE 1892 WE HAVE BEEN

REDECORATING THE CORN PALACE

WITH A NEW THEME EACH YEAR.

PEOPLE REALLY CANNOT BELIEVE

THAT THE MURR ALLS ARE MADE

OUT OF CORN UNTIL THEY

EXPERIENCE IT AND SEE IT FOR

THEMSELVES.

AND THEY START SAYING, THAT

IS AN EAR OF CORN, WOW, THIS

IS TRULY AMAZING.

>> BUT A DROUGHT IN THE

HEARTLAND HAS THREATENED

THIS ANNUAL TRADITION.

THE WORLD'S ONLY CORN PALACE

HAS BROUGHT IN TOURISTS TO

MITCHELL FOR A NUMBER OF

DECADES.

THE DROUGHT THIS YEAR MAY

TAKE ITS TOLL ON THE CORN

USED TO MAKE THOSE MURR

ALLS.

>> BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT,

FOUR OF THE COLORS THAT WE

WOULD TYPICALLY USE IN OUR

MURR ALL DESIGNS ARE NOT

GOING TO BE AVAILABLE FOR US

THIS YEAR.

>> WE'VE SEEN THE CRUSHED

FARMING COMMUNITIES.

WE'VE BEEN WARNED ABOUT

RISING FOOD AND FUEL PRICES.

BUT NO ONE PREPARED US FOR

LESS VIBRANT CORN MURR ALLS.

THIS IS "THE COLBERT REPORT,"

SPECIAL REPORT.

A SCHUKING DISASTER.

NICE MAYOR AT THE MITCHELL

CORN PALACE.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THE CORN PALACE WAS BUILT IN

1892.

THE COMMUNITY LEADERS WERE

LOOKING FOR A WAY TO MAKE

MITCHELL UNIQUE.

WHAT'S GOING TO PUT MITCHELL

ON THE MAP.

SO THEY SAID WE WANT A

PALACE MADE OF CORN.

>> AND IT WORKED.

AS ANYONE WOULD AGREE,

MITCHELL SOUTH DAKOTA IS

CERTAINLY ON A MAP.

TODAY THE CORN PALACE STANDS

AS A PROUD REMINDER OF JUST

HOW AMAZING CORN IS.

>> CORN IS AMAZING.

IF YOU GET THE PUN THERE.

>> WHAT?

>> THE CORN --

>> WHAT IS THE PUN?

>> MAZE.

>> YES.

>> MAZE IS THE ANCIENT WORD

FOR CORN.

>> I'M SORRY, I DON'T SPEAK

ANCIENT, SORRY.

WHAT IS THAT?

>> THE CORN-- CORN THAT WE

HAVE IN AMERICA WAS

CONSIDERED MAZE BY THE

NATIVE AMERICANS.

>> RIGHT.

>> SO THEN WE OFTEN USE THE

THEME IT'S A-MAZING.

OUR CORN PALACE IS AMAZING

BECAUSE IT'S DECORATED WITH

THE CORN AND THE MAZE.

AND THEN WE SPELL IT WITH

THE MAIZ, RATHER THAN MAZE.

>> I'M SORRY, I'M NOT

EXACTLY FOLLOWING.

>> IT'S A PUN.

>> ANYWAY, CORN IS AMAZING.

>> AND THIS YEAR'S MURR ALLS

WERE DESIGNED BY LOCAL

AVANT-COULD BE ARTIST SHERRY

RAMSDALE.

>> CORN ART IS A RATHER

COMPLEX PROCESS.

SOME OF THE ARTISTS I DRAW

INSPIRATION FROM ARE A

COUPLE OF THE MASTER,

OBVIOUSLY LEONARDO DA VINCI,

MICHELANGELO.

>> HER VISION IS THEN

BROUGHT TO LIFE BY

PROFESSIONAL CORN HANGER DAN

McLEOD.

>> I HAVE BEEN HANGING CORN

ON THE CORN PALACE FOR OVER

TEN YEARS.

>> AND CORN HANGING ISN'T

JUST AN ART, IT'S A SCIENCE.

>> WHEN I'M GOING TO TRY TO

EXPLAIN IS I THINK IT'S THE

SCIENCE PART OF IT.

YOU'VE GOT TO TAKE, AND IT'S

A PART OF THE ART TOO.

I MEAN IT'S ALL MIXED

TOGETHER IN ONE BUNCH.

>> IF YOU DON'T DO IT RIGHT

IT WOULDN'T LOOK LIKE MUCH.

YEAH, THE IMPRINT WOULD BE

THERE BUT IT WOULDN'T STAND

OUT IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO

SAY, AND COME ALIVE.

>> BUT THIS YEAR MARK

RECEIVED THE PHONE CALL THAT

EVERY CORN PALACE DIRECTOR

DREADS.

>> THE FOUR COLORS THAT WE

WILL NOT HAVE THIS YEAR ARE

ORANGE VAR GATED, BLUE, CALL

I COAND LIGHT BROWN --

>> MOST DEVASTATING COLOR

THAT I LOST WAS BLUE.

BECAUSE IT DOMINATED A LOT

OF THE SKY, A LOT OF THE

AREA OF THE MURR ALLS.

>> AFTER A CENTURY OF

TRADITION, MITCHELL WAS IN A

CORN HOLE.

>> I KIND OF HAD A PIT IN MY

STOMACH AND THOUGHT NOW

WHAT.

>> SO WHAT?

>> WELL, THEY HAVE THE

CHOICE EITHER TO LEAVE THE

OLD MURR ALLS UP FOR ANOTHER

YEAR OR FOR ME TO REDESIGN

THE MURR ALLS WITH THE

COLORS THAT THEY THOUGHT

WOULD BE AVAILABLE.

>> WHAT CAN WE DO?

WE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING.

>> WITHOUT A COLONEL OF HOPE

MARK MADE A GAME CHANGING

DECISION.

>> WE DECIDED TO MOVE

FORWARD WAY CORN MURR ALLS

BUT INSTEAD OF USING THE

NORMAL 12 COLORS THAT WE

HAVE, WE WILL BE USING

EIGHT.

>> A BOLD BUT NECESSARY

MOVE.

BECAUSE THIS ISN'T JUST

MITCHELL'S CORN PALACE, THIS

IS AMERICA'S CORN PALACE.

>> IT'S HARD TO ENVISION THE

UNITED STATES WITHOUT A CORN

PALACE.

BUT IF IT WERE TO GO AWAY I

THINK WE WOULD LOSE ONE OF

AMERICA'S GREAT ICONS,

LANDMARKS.

AND EVERY TIME YOU LOSE ONE

OF THOSE AMERICAN TRADITIONS,

IT JUST HURTS MORE AND MORE.

>> THE BIGGEST THING THAT I

HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHEN I TALK

TO THEM IS THEY'LL GO I

NEVER KNEW ANYTHING LIKE

THIS EXISTED.

YOU KNOW, IT'S AWESOME.

>> OR IN OTHER WORDS,

IRRESISTABLE.

GET IT?

>> YEAH.

>> IT'S LIKE YOUR PUN.

>> A-MAIZE.

>> BUT AS IN EAR OF CORN.

>> WE'VE HEARD THAT BEFORE.

>> YOU HAVE.

>> A LOT OF TIMES.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

YOU KNOW, IF YOU ARE'S JUST

GOING THROW AWAY THE OLD

CORN WHEN THEY TAKE IT DOWN

AT THE END OF THE SEASON, I

KNOW SOME DIABETIC COWS THAT

COULD REALLY USE THE

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