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Odd Gift for Coco

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, September 17, 2010, at 10:03AM
Dick Van Dyke & Flavio Courtesy Bolt Barbers / Chad Hill Photos [Flickr]

"Flavio" at Bolt Barbers with Dick Van Dyke, who visited the shop in July for a fundraiser.

Downtowners watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently may have thought they saw familiar looking red-haired man that loiters at 5th and Spring make an appearance.

They would be close. Talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres saw a statue of a cheerfully animated pointy red-haired barber clutching scissors at an antique store on La Brea. She thought it would be a good way to welcome fellow talk shot host Conan O’ Brien, whose will return to television with "Conan" on TBS in November.

“I realized, to me, it looks like Conan O’ Brien,” Ellen told her audience, who tapes her show from the same lot where Conan will be produced. “What a perfect housewarming gift.”

The welcome back gift is a duplicate of the statue Bolt Barbers found in Wilmington, California, and which now guards the front of the Spring Street retro barbershop.

Bolt Barbers' owner Matt Berman also came across the twin duplicate on La Brea. “He was in relatively poor condition, compared to his ‘brother,’ so I passed on purchasing the twin,” he says.

The statue was restored for O’ Brien and left on the doorstep of his production offices by DeGeneres' staff.

It is to be yet to determined if the house warming gift will be named Coco, the nickname given O’Brien by his fans during his high-profile exodus from NBC earlier this year.

As for the Spring Street sibling, it is known as Flavio, named after the man who sold Bolt Barbers the mascot and whom also reupholstered the vintage chairs now used by the barbershop. “We may reunite the two,” Berman says.

That is, if the grinning figure lasts the season. It may share a similar fate as the wax figures of Tom Cruise and Fonzie purchase by O'Brien just after he arrived to Los Angeles. The wax figures made the rounds, including a visit Downtown for a Laker Championship Parade. Later, Tom Cruise and Fonzie were shot out of a canon, then sold on eBay.

Video of Ellen's Gift

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