Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum said he always knew how hard the 10,000 employees at Mohegan Sun’s casinos in Connecticut and Plains Township worked.
But now he truly gets it.
Just before his term as chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council ended this past fall, Bozsum, 53, went incognito for the CBS television show, “Undercover Boss.” He lost his hair, “grew” a long, gray goatee, got a neck tattoo and donned a pair of glasses.
It was, according to the commercial preview airing on CBS, “the most extreme makeover in Undercover Boss history.” So much so he even fooled his own son Jacob, a casino host at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
The show, which uses cameras to track how an executive does as he tries his hand at lower level jobs within his company, was filmed over a week’s span in September and airs this Friday night at 8 on WYOU-TV.
Bozsum, who made himself available Monday morning, said he was a huge fan of the show.
When the show’s producers contacted Mohegan Sun’s marketing folks last year to inquire about the possibility of basing an episode around the company’s two casinos, Bozsum was ecstatic.
He said he lacks any “worry genes,” so when he watches the episode for the first time with family members in his West Kingston, R.I., home Friday night, he doesn’t believe he’ll have anything to fear. He said seeing how the show is filmed gave him a greater appreciation for not only the bosses who have appeared in previous episodes and seasons, but also for his staff.
“It was so interesting to be there doing the jobs and witnessing how great our employees are and how good the business is run,” said Bozsum.
He said while he has a keen understanding of what each and every position entails, doing the tasks is another story.
He served as a valet attendant, slot attendant and beverage attendant on the gaming floor while at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Plains Township and served as an attendant at the arena inside the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., including serving as an usher, pre-show set up and more.
“I was unprepared to do a lot of those jobs,” Bozsum said with a chuckle.
At one point, while working as a valet, it wasn’t a vehicle that ran out of gas but Bozsum himself.
Using the name Sam Chefron, Mohegan Sun staff was told he was from Mason, Ohio, and was participating in a realty show to see if he can own his own restaurant.
He said the interactions with some of the staff members was just amazing, seeing how hard they work, hearing their personal life stories and being able to get a glimpse at the behind the scenes activities he may have never been privy to if he was Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum rather than Sam Chefron.
Praise for employees, from the slot attendant Bozsum likened to “an octopus” because their arms were going in all different directions with ease, to the valet attendants who are constantly on the run, something he wasn’t physically ready for.
“I don’t run much, but I was doing some jogging for that job,” he said with a laugh.
“Undercover Boss” Executive Producer Chris Carlson offered some insight into why Mohegan Sun was chosen as a setting.
“Not only is the gaming and hospitality world rich with unique and visually exciting jobs, but this boss and company’s connection to a Native American tribe was something new and interesting to us,” said Carlson.
In the end, after a week’s worth of footage was shot and edited into the final product, Carlson said, “the episode turned out very well. … Bruce met some outstanding employees who were excited to test his work ethic — and he was surprised to find himself getting emotional after working with a longtime employee.”
Carlson noted the hurdle of having Bozsum’s son working at a location and having to fool him.
“Those who have seen Bruce’s ‘after’ look know that it was a very convincing disguise – especially since he allowed us to shave off his very thick head of hair,” the executive producer said.
There are no viewing parties set for the local casino, though the show will likely be on many TV sets in the venue.