BEST PUBLIC-ACCESS CABLE TV PROGRAM (1998)
Ken Iosso's Don't Worry About the Government follows the traditional talk-show format with an opening monologue, guests, and a studio audience--but from there it's utterly untraditional. Broadcast live at 8 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month on cable Channel 33 in St. Paul (and repeated at 8 p.m. on subsequent Wednesdays on that station and at 10 p.m. on Channel 33 in Minneapolis), the show has hosted such local luminaries as Minnesota Public Radio's John Gordon, mayoral candidates Barbara Carlson and Sandy Pappas, and bands Accident Clearinghouse and Rhinestone Chasis. Fodder for Iosso's monologues ranges from the British Prime Minister's "Question Time" to jabs at Norm Coleman for his failure to participate in the show's mayoral debate. In a typical opening, the host once commented on LeRoy Neiman's striking resemblance to a fat Freddie Mercury and warned that while his "cheap sophistication may pass at the Playboy Mansion," a Neiman Museum in St. Paul would brand us all as "boobs and rubes and parochial idiots." Don't Worry About the Government misses the mark occasionally but it's often better than the usual muck that passes muster in prime time--and, as the show itself proclaims, "It's closer to home than Letterman."