These days, we know Duluth is, among other things: the most underrated city in Minnesota, the best town in America, and, perhaps most terrifyingly relevant, the 7th best city for surviving the nuclear apocalypse.
In the '80s, as its population plummeted and industrial heft rusted over, Duluth was a tougher sell. Thankfully, the titular force behind '70s TV hit Kojak was on the case ... or at least the dude who played him was. In this delightful 1983 tourism ad -- one we'll all watch together right now, because TGIF -- we see actor Telly Savalas romping through Glensheen Mansion, gesturing wildly and trumpeting Duluth with over-the-top zeal.
As Savalas recounts his '80s globetrotting, we're led to believe he loves tiny, frigid Duluth more than Switzerland, Scotland, Mexico, Hawaii, and San Francisco. Then the Emmy-winning actor delivers the goods with his Kojak catchphrase: "Duluth, who loves ya, baby? I do." Bam! Suddenly, all you wanna do is visit Duluth!
Citizens of the Zenith City recently -- recently! -- rallied to have a street named after Savalas. The Duluth News Tribute helped snuff out that idea, pointing out that the native New Yorker never lived on the North Shore, though he did enjoy visiting. And he did so often, since his third wife, Julie Hovland, was born and raised in Duluth.
"Duluth will always love Telly Savalas. But that doesn't mean we ought to rename a street for him," the Duluth News Tribune editorial board concluded in 2013. "Or even that we could. We weren't even able to properly rename a street to honor native son Bob Dylan, after all."
Finding yourself in the mood for a daytrip to Duluth? The weekend forecast calls for rain Saturday, but Sunday will be sunny and 67. Summertime in Duluth: Who doesn’t love ya, baby?
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