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August 30, 2015


Did 'The Doctors' Trick A Man Into Penis Surgery?

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 7th 2010 7:30PM
the_doctors_cbs_logo_2010If this story weren't so strange, you would swear it was a FunnyorDie.com sketch. It could be a 'Saturday Night Live' bit, but their stuff is rarely this hilarious. Tyler Bowling, a 21-year-old Minnesotan who had a condition that caused white pimples to appear on his penis, received a free laser treatment for removal of the penile papules when he consulted with Dr. William Groff in Los Angeles. The $4,500 procedure was done gratis in exchange for Tyler's story to be told on CBS's syndicated daytime show, 'The Doctors.'

However, Tyler Bowling is filing suit against the doctor, his practice, the producers of 'The Doctors' and even the company that created the laser that was used to fix his problems, claiming he was tricked into getting the work done and becoming the fodder for the TV show.

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Sneak Peek: ABC's Happy Town

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 15th 2009 8:03AM
We told you earlier this year about the new ABC mystery series Happy Town. It's from the people who did Life on Mars and is about weird happenings in a small town. OK, that doesn't describe much, but from the extended preview below, it looks like it has a lot of Twin Peaks and a little Harper's Island. It has a good cast, including Sam Neill, Steven Weber, Amy Acker, Geoff Stults, and Abraham Benrubi.

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Al Franken IS Mick Jagger, in this clip from ... Solid Gold!

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 2nd 2009 1:29PM
Well, they finally settled that Norm Coleman vs. Al Franken race in Minnesota. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to show Franken in another time, impersonating Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger on Solid Gold in the 80s. Partner Tom Davis is doing Keith Richards. I wonder if Franken would have won if Coleman had just run this video on a continuous loop on his web site for a year.

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From the network that gave you a show 20 years ago, here's Happy Town

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2009 9:14AM
I roll my eyes a bit when a network has to go back about 20 years for a reference that ties into a new show. From the network that gave you Twin Peaks, comes a new town: Haplin, Minnesota. Hey, this show's about a town too! This one is also a mystery, about someone called "The Magic Man," who kidnapped several children years earlier and now might be back and behind a murder and another kidnapping. This has Amy Acker and Dean Winters in it, so I'm definitely going to check it out.

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Apparently, Minnesota is too good for The Simpsons

by Anna Johns, posted May 31st 2007 7:05PM
springfieldSpringfield, Minnesota wants nothing to do with The Simpsons. Unlike 16 other American towns named Springfield, which are falling over themselves for the right to show The Simpsons movie premiere in their town this summer, Springfield, MN is very vocal about why it's not participating in the contest. According to this article in the West Central Tribune, the town's city manager asked around to see if anyone wanted to participate and the general consensus was 'no'. The city manager said no one wants to be associated with the fictitious Springfield, which boasts a nuclear plant, a pile of burning tires, and cops who shoot first and don't even bother to ask questions later.

There's a great quote in the article from some uptight woman who said she'd rather see an Andy Griffith movie come to town: "I don't think it's [The Simpsons] a wholesome show. I hate the show, and if I heard Springfield would support something like that, I would think it's a sign of what's wrong with America."

I'm sure there are a few of the 2,000 Springfield, MN residents who like The Simpsons. To the rest, I simply have two words: Jesse Ventura.

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It's official: Al Franken is running for Senate

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 14th 2007 3:16PM
Al FrankenOn his final Air America radio show today, comedian and political pundit Al Franken announced that he is going to run for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state of Minnesota. He'll be seeking the Democratic nomination for next year's election; whoever gets that nomination will run against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

This isn't exactly a surprise, since all the signs were there: he moved his family back to Minnesota last year and decided to end the Air America show. Both pointed to his intention to run. But his presence is going to lend national attention to that race, meaning we'll probably be hearing much more of the humorless pundit version of Franken than the witty comedian we actually came to like over the last twenty-five years. Oh, and don't put it past Minnesotans to vote him into office; he's a much more serious a candidate than Jesse Ventura was, and you remember what happened there.

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Short-Lived Shows: Let's Bowl!

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 25th 2006 10:40AM

let's bowlLet's Bowl! was the creation of Tim Scott, a Minneapolis native who earlier worked as a sound mixer on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Michael J. Nelson, who played "Mike" on MST3K, also worked on the show as a writer for one season.

The basic premise of the show, which began airing in Minneapolis and other local markets in 1998 before being brought to Comedy Central in 2001, was to invite real people with trivial grievances onto the show to settle their dispute on the lanes. The show was a mix of bowling footage, hilarious interviews, and bizarre skits. It featured two commentators, a husky all-American type named Steve "Chopper" Sedahl (Steve Sedahl), and a whiny manchild named Wally Hotvedt (Rich Kronfeld) who would often lament his place in this cruel world and reveal embarrassing things about himself when he was supposed to be providing color commentary. It was an odd mix of irreverent comedy and bowling, and it really shouldn't have worked, but somehow it did.

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MPR sues Current TV

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 23rd 2006 3:16PM

al goreMost people know that public radio is a huge thing here in Minnesota. We are the home of Lake Wobegon, after all. Recently, Minnesota Public Radio filed a lawsuit against Al Gore's Current TV, claiming that internet users would confuse Gore's independent network with "The Current" a popular MPR-owned music station here in the Twin Cities. The lawsuit claims the radio station had already applied for a trademark of the name "Current" four months before Gore's new venture was changed from "INdTV" to "Current TV." Representatives from Current TV issued a statement noting that over 300 businesses use the word "current" in their name.

It's easy to dismiss this as just a frivolous lawsuit. After all, who's going to confuse a radio station with an independent TV network? What bothers me even more, though, is that public radio should be championing a TV network that eschews corporate news for citizen journalism. I would have expected MPR to support Current TV, not try to bring it down.

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Wisteria Lane is not in Minnesota

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 15th 2006 9:37AM
wisteria lane minnesotaDuluth, Minnesota does not want to be known as the town with Desperate Housewives. The Duluth City Council voted against a couple's request to change their street name to Wisteria Lane. Yes, they wanted to do it in honor of Desperate Housewives. David and Jean Sackette said they like the show but they also asked for the change as a way of protesting local environmental restrictions and neighborhood opposition to developing ten empty lots. The city council told the Sackettes that re-naming their street Wisteria Lane was whimsical and unprofessional. Unlike their current street name, Denim Drive.

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Franken ponders politics

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 10th 2006 5:53PM

al frankenAl Franken recently moved his radio show to my humble little metropolis of Minneapolis, the city where he grew up. By sheer coincidence I know one of his producers and I asked them why he was back in his homestate of Minnesota. Turns out Franken is giving some serious consideration to making a senate run in 2008. He hasn't officially thrown his hat in the ring, according to an interview with AlterNet he did recently, but the fact that he moved the whole shebang to Minnesota pretty much makes one think it's going to happen. I think the "celebrity to politician" move is a crap shoot at best, but this is Minnesota, and Al is a hometown boy. I figure if Jesse Ventura could get his hulking frame into office Franken probably stands a pretty good chance.

In the interview, Franken talks about humor revealing a deeper truth (something I completely agree with), but even with his recent political affiliations, do people still think of him as just Al Franken the funny guy from Saturday Night Live? Put another way, can a person add a new dimension to their public persona after so many years of being seen only one way? It has happened, but that move is always a tenuous one.

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