My Minnesota Home: The top 10 reasons it rules to be from the land o’ lakes

Minnesota is the poo. It’s honesty.

1. Some of the coolest people are from here:

Frickin’ Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) are Minnesotan. So suck it, rest of the country.

We got your killer filmmakers: The Cohen Bros and Terry Gilliam (I can has Dr. Parnassus preview, my MN friend?). We’ve got your iconic actresses: Judy Garland, Jessica Lange and Anne Bancroft. We’ve got your goofball comedians Sean William Scott, Steve Zahn, Breckin Meyer, Charlie Korsmo (yeah, the kid from Dick Tracy, What About Bob & Hook), Vince Vaughn, Tom Arnold, Louie Anderson, and Craig Kilborn (go ahead and scoff at Craig, but guess who started The Daily Show?). And we’ve got your tabloid bait: Loni Anderson & Winona Ryder.

Oh, and do you think it is some sort of fluke why Pixar is so successful? No. It’s because they had a Minnesotan in their original brain trust. Pete Docter, Pixar wizard, director of potential Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, Up, is a Minnesotan.

2. We are a pretty kick ass town for music:

Prince, Dylan, Husker frickin’ Du, The Replacements, Eddie Cochran, The Spin Doctors, Soul Asylum, Johnny Lang, The Soviettes. Then there’s new bands like Motion City Soundtrack, The Hopefuls, and Owl City. Also, Brian Setzer & Gwen Stefani’s sister live here (okay so that last one’s a stretch, but come on).

3. We make movies and tv better:

The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Little House on the Prairie, and Coach were all set in Minnesota.

  • Golden Girls’ Rose Nylund was from St. Olaf.
  • Rocky & Bullwinkle are from fictional Frostbite Falls.
  • How I Met Your Mother‘s Marshall Eriksen is from St. Cloud.
  • Beverly Hills 90210‘s Brandon & Brenda Walsh and Valerie Malone are from Minneapolis.
  • Larry Sanders (of The Larry Sander’s Show) was from Mound, MN
  • Angus MacGyver (MacGyver) is Minnesotan

And start paying attention, because there is always a random characters in tv shows from Minnesota.

There are tons of movies set in Minnesota–Sweetland and Oscar contender A Serious Man are some of the best recent ones. Here’s not only a great MN-based blog, but a list of the top 40 movies made in Minnesota. Fun MN movie fact, did you know a young Macaulay Culkin was thrown off of one of our cliffs in The Good Son? Also, you’re welcome Amy Adams, Diablo Cody, and Joshua Jackson for nurturing you until you became famous. Another fun movie tidbit: Nathan Fillion played Pvt. James Frederick ‘Minnesota’ Ryan in Saving Private Ryan and legend Jackie Gleason played Minnesota Fats in The Hustler.

4. The University of Minnesota.

Sure our professors invented things like the pacemaker, a drug to treat AIDS, the seat belt, the black box, K-rations, and Honeycrisp apples. Sure we have seven Nobel Laureates and four Pulitzer Prize winners…but what is more important than our student body?

  • Ron Perlman (Hellboy got his MA in Theater Arts here!)
  • Pete Docter (Aforementioned Pixar genius)
  • Bob Dylan (for about five minutes)
  • Loni Anderson
  • Jessica Lange
  • Garrison Keillor
  • Henry Fonda
  • Robert Engles (Producer and writer on Twin Peaks)
  • Yanni
  • Eddie Albert (Green Acres and he narrated The Lorax!)
  • Robert Vaughn (Emmy winner)
  • Dave Kapell (Who, you ask? The guy that invented magnet poetry!)
  • Dick Durrell (the guy that created People magazine)

Best ever: the U of M is (fictionally) credited with creating the Ned Flanders we all know and love today. Thanks, Spankological Protocol!

5. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and subsequently Rifftrax) were created here.

Making fun of movies has never been better.

6. The world wouldn’t know Snoopy without us.

Yes, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz is from MN, and without this delightful group of kiddies you wouldn’t have holiday icons like the great pumpkin or that sad little tree. Without Schulz Arrested Development wouldn’t have been able to produce that hilarious episode where George Michael is depicted as the modern day Charlie Brown (or the line where Buster refers to his testicles as his Charlie Browns). Also, without the Peanuts, we wouldn’t be able to use the “waa-waa-waa” voice to explain how boring people are.

7. We’re smart.

Minneapolis is the most literate city in the country (and St. Paul is the fourth). Sinclair Lewis, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for literature is from MN. We also boast F. Scott Fitzgerald, Garrison Keillor, Vince Flynn, Sandra Benitez, Neil Gaiman, Judith Guest, and Tim O’Brien to name a few. Plus, two former Vice Presidents are Minnesotan (Mondale and Humphrey).

8. MN brought you Betty Crocker, Poppin’ Fresh, Cheerios, Rollerblades, Target, and Post-it Notes.

You’re welcome.

9. I’m pretty sure we made fool actor/politicians popular again

Jesse Ventura, Governor. Al Franken, Senator. Hmm…should I pull for Louie Anderson, President? In any case, we may have been the butt of many jokes due to our political tomfoolery, but can your senator do this:

10. This guy

Do you think it is some sort of fluke why Pixar is so successful? No. It’s because they had a Minensotan in their original brain trust. That’s right–Pete Docter was in
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8 thoughts on “My Minnesota Home: The top 10 reasons it rules to be from the land o’ lakes

  1. Eralc Alegna says:

    I met a guy when I was going to Brown that tried saying he liked the cities except for the fact that we were lacking a strong local music scene.
    Poor, poor misguided Tony…

    P.S.We can claim Vince Vaughn and Brecklin Meyer?! I ❤ him!

  2. buckingthewave says:

    St. Olaf is the college– the town is Northfield. I hate to correct Betty White, buuuuut…..

    To make up for that, how’s this: the Cohen Bros’ The Serious Man was partially filmed at St. Olaf college. You know the scene with the giant chalkboard? I attended lectures in that room. boom.

    also: this list rocks. I can’t pick a favorite tidbit. (maybe you should have included the newsletter “tidbits” on this list?!) MN rocks. Little Junkies rocks. Keep it comin.

  3. […] My Minnesota Home: The top 10 reasons it rules to be from the land … […]

  4. […] My Minnesota Home: The top 10 reasons it rules to be from the land o’ lakes – Points out that it was the University of Minnesota that made Flanders what he is today.  […]

  5. Zrose25 says:

    I completely agree… replace Goldy with Hellboy! I would totes attend more school functions if that were the case!

    Thinking about J1’s fondness for people in costume…would it be more or less creepy for you to have a Hellboy mascot following you around verses the Goldy? 🙂

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