Five weird celebrities from the Twin Cities
When it comes to homegrown celebrities, Minnesota isn't lacking in any department. There's Bob Dylan and Prince in the musical section, Kevin McHale and Joe Mauer in sports, and even Al Franken and Jesse Ventura in politics. But what people may not realize is that there's a whole other echelon of "celebrity," one that spawned from the Land of 10,000 Lakes like a lump of expired SPAM. These are the weird, fringe celebrities. The ones that we can claim, but aren't always sure if we should.
Here are the five weird Minnesota celebrities who might not make it into the Minnesota Hall of Fame, but won't be forgotten anytime soon.
Kevin Sorbo was like a poor man's Chuck Norris back in the '90s: all the feathered hair, but none of the jumping ability or pastel windbreakers. Also, for a guy who was supposed to be the strongest in the world, he really just looked like a well-adjusted Iggy Pop. This dude grew up in Mound, Minnesota, which is most famous for being the home of Tonka Trucks. You're definitely not an A-lister if you take backseat billing to a plastic dump-truck.
Otherwise known as the guy who made "Chocolate Rain." Imagine him as the voice of the Monopoly Man: He puts on his top hat and his monocle, and drops "Chocolate Rain" on all the citizens from his hot-air balloon. Does it make the people happy? Or do they drown like the fat German kid from Willy Wonka? Who knows. Zonday seems like a real nice guy, so it's unfortunate that he has a voice that could welcome souls to Hell. He almost sounds like Boris Karloff, the narrator from The Grinch, singing on a Casio demo. (Fun fact: Zonday actually did record the Grinch theme a few years back.) This means Minneapolis is both the home of "Purple Rain" and "Chocolate Rain."
Ric Flair, the world-famous wrestler, is from Edina. Do you realize how many times you have to yell "WOOO!" before it becomes your catchphrase? That's like saying "hi" so many times that someone finally goes, "Oh hey, he's the guy who says 'hi.'" Also, Flair's nickname is "the Nature Boy." How do you get that nickname being from Edina? At least we know where he got the platinum hair and feathered robe. WOOO!
Greenberg, far left, poses with Lipps of "Funkytown" fame
Steven Greenberg (a.k.a. the guy who wrote "Funkytown")
At first glance, "Funkytown" might seem like a slap in the face to Minneapolis, since the whole song is about leaving a lame town for somewhere cooler. But what most people don't know is that Greenberg was actually from St. Paul. Maybe he just wanted a ride to Minneapolis? Fun fact, part 2: Greenberg's son is an aspiring rapper named "Blizzard," and was featured on an episode of MTV's Made in the mid-2000s. Greenberg Sr. kept popping up in every scene to mention "Funkytown," as if all the mid-2000s kids would be impressed and buy his old 8-tracks. Being the guy who wrote "Funkytown" is a lot like being Mayor McCheese. Nobody under 45 cares.
Yes, Fancy Ray ran for mayor a few years ago
Fancy Ray McCloney
Did you really think we could make a weird Twin Cities celebrity list without Fancy Ray? Fancy may technically be from Minneapolis, but he's really from the appendix of Little Richard, the spleen of James Brown, and the pituitary gland of Prince. He was once spotted on a Tuesday at 11 a.m. running around the track at the downtown YMCA wearing a red unitard and hair curlers. Believe it or not, every time we've seen him out and about and have said "hi," he's had a different response. He probably sits at home and writes out thousands of ways that he can awkwardly answer innocent questions with sexual innuendo. And god bless him for it.
Honorable mention: The Pillsbury Doughboy
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