John King says there's nothing he likes more than overcommitting to a dumb idea.
The Edina-born ad exec is best known around these parts for his annual compilations of the finest flow and freshest salad at the state high school hockey tournament. (Though sadly, 2019 was reportedly his last installment in the series.) But his latest, greatest idea came from the dumbest possible source: a pun.
Behold: The Minnesotalorian. It’s a parody of Disney+’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a sci-fi western starring a stoic, helmeted bounty hunter trudging silently through hostile environments. While King, a self-described “old-school” Star Wars nerd, was watching the series, a similarity struck him.
“This is literally every six-foot-four person standing in front of me at a First Avenue concert,” he says.
So he set out to create The Mandalorian’s Midwestern counterpart. The bounty hunter’s pronged weapon became an ice scraper. The far-flung outer space locales became the White Bear Lake VFW and other such watering holes. The bounty? Just one goddamn winning pull tab.
Otherwise, not much changed.
King says it all came together pretty quickly. He got the helmet from eBay. His college-aged daughter, Peyton King, shot the whole thing in a few hours on her new iPhone. Steven George edited the whole thing to look like a tense Mandalorian episode. The result was pure, unadulterated, dumb fun.
It’s gotten a couple thousand views so far—teetering on the cusp of popularity, as far as King is concerned. But right now, he really doesn’t care that much.
“It was just super fun to make,” he says. Viewers have already offered ideas—and acting services—for the next episode.
And there will be a next episode, King says. They’ll probably film it over the holiday break, when his daughter is home again. He says that they’ve already got some pretty good ideas cooking on how to handle the internet’s current obsession: Baby Yoda.