Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

The Local Music Scene presents: Jen Bluhm is Waltzing on Waves

Local music; improvised scenes.

Jen Bluhm (Waltzing on Waves) will perform local music.
The Local Music Scene will improvise scenes inspired by the lyrics.

About the musical guest:
Waltzing on Waves is the solo act of Jen Bluhm, a Twin Cities-based genre-fluid artist who carries a special appreciation for the bittersweet places, the preciously awkward paces, and the borderline absurd spaces that music can identify and elevate in the hearts and minds of humans. She knows her voice well, accessing techniques and devices from many different styles of music. She is a veteran songwriter of 25 years, a film composer, and multi-instrumentalist. A great passion of Jen’s is Neurodiversity/Mental Health Advocacy, as she highly values the beauty and depth that humans who are wired differently contribute to our world. Waltzing on Waves is currently at Side Town Studios recording her self-titled debut album to be released in the Fall of 2018.

Friday, May 11, 10pm-11:30pm
Byrant Lake Bowl Theater
$8 in advance, $10 at door.

 

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Back on the Beat: ‘Super Troopers 2’ director Jay Chandrasekhar talks crowdsourcing, cult status, and chugging

Rob Lowe (left) and director Jay Chandrasekhar (right) on the set of “Super Troopers 2” // Photo by Jon Pack. Courtesy 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Mac, Thorny, Foster, Rabbit, and Farva are back in action and find themselves smack dab in the middle of an international border dispute between the U.S. and Canada. When the town of St. Georges Du Laurent, Quebec, becomes a part of America due to a surveying error, the Super Troopers are called in to set up a new highway patrol station in the disputed area.

“Super Troopers 2” hits theaters nationwide on Friday, April 20 (4/20, get it?), but this sequel to the 2001 cult classic, “Super Troopers,” was never a sure thing. After pitching the movie to film studios, the Broken Lizard troupe found themselves in a predicament—the only way the movie would be greenlit was if they funded production themselves. Luckily, “Super Troopers” fans came to the rescue, donating the money necessary for film production through a crowdsourcing campaign.

Ahead of the movie’s nationwide release, we spoke with Broken Lizard member and “Super Troopers 2” director Jay Chandrasekhar about crowdsourcing the movie, the pros and cons of cult status, and the one thing he’ll never chug again.

(L to R): Kevin Heffernan as “Farva,” Jay Chandrasekhar as “Thorny,” Erik Stolhanske as “Rabbit,” Paul Soter as “Foster,” and Steve Lemme as “Mac” in the film “Super Troopers 2” // Photo by Jon Pack. Courtesy 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The Growler: It’s premiere week for “Super Troopers 2,” how are you feeling?  

Jay Chandrasekhar: I feel good. It’s a great time when only you’ve seen the movie and fans you’ve shown it to have seen the movie, so there’s no economic weight on it either way, which is a rare air until Friday. Then we’ll really know what the financial judgment was. Right now, it’s great.

G: Talking about financials, you guys needed $2 million to get the project off the ground. You raised it in 24 hours with crowdfunding on Indiegogo, and it sounds like in all you raised $4.6 million from fans. Were you surprised by that response?

JC: Look, we walk around all day and all our fans stop us everywhere we go, so it was just that sort of anecdotal evidence that there was a fanbase out there still ready for it. It was a risk, because if we pressed “go” on that crowdfunding campaign and it didn’t go, the studio would be like, “Well, nobody wants to see your movie,” and the investor people who we needed after that crowdfunding thing would’ve said, “No one wants to see your movie.” But, you know, 54,000 people put in money so it was like a bolt of energy to the whole film. I mean, we literally could never have made it without that.

G: My favorite reward you guys offered was letting seven fans name characters and towns in the movie. What was it like giving your fans a chance to be involved in that sort of way?

JC: We go over every single line in our film—we do 37 drafts of each movie, so they’re a very very specific document that we shoot. But suddenly we have to name this guy Shotty Fitznuggly and we’re like, “Okay, how are we gonna get that in?” We did, we did. Initially you’re like, “What is that…?” But then you quickly fall into it and it worked out great, it really did.

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G: So you said you guys went through 37 drafts of this movie. In your book, “Mustache Shenanigans,” it sounded like you guys went through 22 drafts of the first movie. What was different this time around? Was there more pressure on the writing process?

JC: No, the reality is that with every film we’ve done has ranged in the number of drafts. The first film we did was probably 24 drafts. I think the original “Super Troopers” was somewhere between 28 and 32. You know, it’s just our process. Part of it is that our budgets are not massive so we have to arrive on set with the joke that we love—we’re not just gonna figure it out on set and count on being great there. So that’s a lot of it. But another part is the money takes a lot of time [to raise]. You end up waiting for money, and you end up rewriting, and then you rewrite again, and then you rewrite again. It ends up being a good thing, having the money be so difficult to find.

G: In your book, you laid out a couple rules that Broken Lizard follows when you’re writing a script. One: Everyone gets credit for the jokes. And two: No one gets cast into their roles until late in the writing process. But with everybody already having their roles determined for “Super Troopers 2,” did you guys find that it was tough not to just write for your character, or was that not an issue?

JC: It is tough, because you’re sort of your character’s advocate in some weird way. The movie only succeeds if it’s all good, and if everybody has a fair share of jokes. So inevitably there are these conversations of balancing that happens, starting with Draft 5 and ending with Draft 37, just conversations that there’s too much of this character and not enough of this. We’ll remove jokes from one mouth, and put them in another.

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G: When did you guys come up with the plot for “Super Troopers 2?”

JC: We read in the New York Times that the U.S. and Canada were reassessing their border, and that in fact some of the markers were in the wrong place. So we kind of imagined what that would be like if that encapsulated a whole town. I think we might’ve even had it in the outline. That’s kind of how we work, we write an outline that has a plot. Then, once the outline is really well-organized, that’s when we start writing. So this plot came three years ago.

G: “Super Troopers” and other films of yours, like “Beerfest,” achieved cult status. How do you feel about that label? Is it a double-edged sword in some ways?

JC: The great thing about being cult status is that you’re like that dirty joke that people keep passing around to their friends and fathers and uncles and whatever, and it’s like a private joke in a weird way. Like you’re a fan of this band that nobody else knows about. That’s the great part about it. The bad part about it is the cult needs to be big enough to support a major studio putting money behind it and taking that financial gamble. Cult status is fun, but it makes making movies a bit harder. This cult of “Super Troopers,” what the gamble is is that the cult has grown big enough to merit this 2,500-screen release. So that’s what we’ll find out on Friday. It’s high stakes gambling, and it’s exciting.

G: You guys all met at college, and have been performing together essentially ever since. What is it about the Broken Lizard troupe that has kept you guys together for this long? How do you guys keep things fresh?

JC: We travel a fair bit, and we go out in bars, and when you go out in bars, fun stuff happens. We end up meeting people who are interesting characters, and writing jokes that have happened in the bars, or on the road trip, or in the airport, or wherever. In order for friendships to generate jokes, you need downtime. That’s really where your mind relaxes and the funny stuff happens. Taking those jokes from our real life and putting them into the film is what we do when we’re in official meetings. Once you make five movies with a group of people, it’s kind of how people know you. In some way, that’s what they want. They want the band. Sure, we can do solo things, but at some point you want the band.

Related Post: We made a Super Troopers 2 beer with Erik Stolhankse

G: You guys have a reputation for partying pretty hard. You say you travel a lot, and are in bars. Is it a hard reputation to carry around, being the party guys?

JC: Yeah, it is. People used to constantly bring me shots of whiskey because of “Beerfest,” and it would be everywhere, in bars, everywhere. And it was ruining my life [laughs], so I started my new stand-up routine by telling them to stop sending me these damn shots of whiskey, and amazingly it stopped. It used to be for every stand-up show, two or three groups would be holding whiskey shots and now it’s completely stopped. But still, people want to chug against you, they want to see if they can beat you. They don’t want to hear the story of how you were afraid to chug against them. So we do it. The one thing I truly try to avoid is chugging maple syrup.

G: I was just about to ask, there are so many iconic scenes from the first movie, but I’ve got to say the syrup chugging scene is probably the one that people refer to most. But it left you and Erik Stolhanske with a pretty hefty sugar overdose. Did any of you guys end up sacrificing your bodies for the sake of comedy for the second movie?

JC: We learned a hard lesson from that maple syrup chug—that when you write it, someone’s gonna have to do it. It isn’t that we avoided that, it’s just that we luckily didn’t have anything like that in the second movie.

G: Any other thoughts as you race toward 4/20? I heard you guys were hanging out with Willie Nelson—did he have any advice for you?

JC: I mean, Willie’s a good friend of mine and we’ve hung out quite a bit. He recorded a very funny ransom video that we’ll release soon about “Super Troopers 2.” His advice is always, and he does this, is to shake every single hand and take every picture, because those people will come back.

“Super Troopers 2” hits theaters across the U.S. on April 20. Check your local theaters for showtimes. 

The Local Music Scene presents: The means.

About the show:
Each month a different local musician or group performs their original music. Between songs the improv group, The Local Music Scene, uses the lyrics as inspiration to create improvised scenes.

About the guest:
The means. is an entertainer, songwriter, and new Minnesotan by way of South Philly. She has been performing her brand of honest, vocal-driven hiphop since 2014. It’s simpler to say what she doesn’t do: waste your time.

About The Local Music Scene:
The Local Music Scene is a group of seasoned local improvisers.All of them either are local musicians, or enjoy local music. At the very least, they’ve heard the term “local music.”

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at door.

Minnesota Tonight

Come be a part of the live studio audience for Minnesota Tonight, the show keeping you up to date on your state!

Minnesota Tonight is the only late night comedy show focused on satirizing the news, politics and issues happening right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Each taping features monologues, video segments, interviews with local luminaries, and musical guest performances, all filmed right before your eyes. And don’t worry, a fully stocked bar will keep the drinks flowing while the cameras are rolling.

For more information, click here.

Live comedy show ‘Minnesota Tonight’ makes a joke out of local news

Host Jonathan Gershberg on camera at a recording of Minnesota Tonight // Photo courtesy Minnesota Tonight

Host Jonathan Gershberg on camera at a recording of “Minnesota Tonight” // Photo courtesy “Minnesota Tonight”

Who says the news can’t be funny?

Now more than ever late night talk shows are platforms that are just as powerful as traditional news outlets. Whether it’s “The Daily Show,” “Last Week Tonight,” or “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” watching news commentary shows has become a way for many people to not only laugh at what’s happening in the world, but to stay informed as well.

Thanks to Jonathan Gershberg and the crew of “Minnesota Tonight,” local news and politics are no longer safe from similar smack talking.

“I grew up fascinated with news comedies like ‘The Daily Show,’” Gershberg explains. “When I started doing stand-up comedy in Minnesota, I realized there really wasn’t anything like that here.”

In the summer of 2015, Gershberg put out a call for like-minded individuals interested in producing a live news-focused comedy show. In October of that same year, “Minnesota Tonight” was born.

Focused on satirizing the news, politics, and issues happening here in Minnesota, the show is structured in a similar way to its national influences. Monologues, video segments, interviews with prominent local guests, and musical performances are all on display in front of a live audience each month at Brave New Workshop. Taking place the fourth Wednesday of each month, the show has managed to bring in guests ranging from Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender, to musicians like Kerry Alexander of Bad Bad Hats. The group’s next show on March 28 may feature their biggest guests yet, with recently elected Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey joining the show, along with musical guest, wetter.

“It’s fun because our guests can laugh at themselves a little more than politicians who appear on these types of shows at a national level,” Gershberg says.

Though the basis is to make people laugh, “the comedy show that keeps you up to date on your state” has also begun to create a unique opportunity for people to learn about important issues and access prominent figures in a new way.

“People today need new ways of digesting and absorbing news,” Gershberg reflects. “There’s so much happening constantly, and our show is another way of helping people understand what’s happening locally.”

Now in its third season, the show has found its footing and begun building a reputation with both fans and potential guests. Covering topics ranging from police brutality to transgender rights to invasive species in our lakes, while also bringing intimate musical performances by some of the Twin Cities’ best emerging artists, there is a consistent format across each episode.

Still, Gershberg says, there is still a sense of newness and excitement.

“It’s good because we don’t have to try and explain the concept as much when we’re pitching potential guests,” he says. “The thing about it that’s so great is that we aren’t trying to reinvent the proven formula for late night shows, but it’s not so established that we can’t have some leeway with the format.”

On average, each show takes about three weeks to put together, which is eons in the nightly talk show world, but is still quite an undertaking when putting together a live show, booking guests, taping segments, and staying on top of the constantly-changing landscape of local news. While it is certainly more intense than your standard stage production, Gershberg says they will stay true to their mission.

“If it’s happening in Minnesota, we’re talking about it on-stage and on-screen.”

Don’t miss the next installment of “Minnesota Tonight” on Wednesday, March 28 at Brave New Workshop. Click here for details and tickets.

Good + Comedy

Come see comedy for a cause. Presented by Kewl Shirt Productions, Good + Comedy showcases the Twin Cities’ best performers and benefits the local organizations making a difference in the Minnesota. Proceeds from the March show will go to the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

Featuring:
Miss Shannan Paul
Champagne Jamboree
Brandi Brown
The Shrieking Harpies
Hosted by Chloe Radcliffe

Learn more here.

Crime and Pun-ishment

Join The Murder Mystery Company, live in Minneapolis, for an immersive mystery experience full of twists and turns. A murder will occur and your sleuthing skills will be put to the test as you work to determine whodunnit. You’ll have the chance to examine clues and mingle with suspects to deduce the culprit as you dine on a killer three course meal. You might even become a suspect yourself! Tickets go fast, so get yours today by visiting us online or calling 888-643-2583.

The Local Music Scene presents: The Floating Perspectives

The Floating Perspectives will perform original songs, and The Local Music Scene will improvise comedic scenes inspired by their lyrics.

The Floating Perspectives bring you powerful, incisive lyrics backed by a lush string ensemble. Behind their deceptively upbeat music and rich harmonies, The Floating Perspectives grapple with the beauty and uncertainty of life to bring you a real, but positive message. Drawing influence from the energy of rock, the rhythmic drive of bluegrass, the catchiness of pop, and the lyricism of indie music, comes this energetic, acoustic band with a sound all its own.

The Local Music Scene is a group of seasoned local improvisers. All of them either are local musicians, or enjoy local music. At the very least, they’ve heard the term “local music.”

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.