DeRusha celebrates his day

You have to wonder whether some folks on the WCCO anchor desk weren't struck by just the teensiest pangs of jealousy on Monday, every time they smiled into the camera and said, "It's Jason DeRusha Day." Hey, who's the star of the show anyway? Last night at OM, it was Jason. And he had a proclamation from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to prove it.

With that, a perfect -- and friendly -- storm of social media blew ashore, as DeRusha watched from the sidelines. People he had never met began filling his Facebook page with advice. A Twitter discussion thread was launched. Perfect Porridge music blogger Greg Swan created a DeRusha Day poster and posted it on Flickr, "to feed the virus."


Ever wondered how to get your own day? WCCO's "Good Question" man did, too. It all began with cheesecake. On Aug. 6, he tried a little crowd sourcing for his nightly segment when he posted, "It's National Cheesecake Day. How do you get a 'day' anyway? Good Question at 10. (Anyone have power to declare DeRusha Day?)"
(The poster, featuring the newsman in a pair of Zubaz, prompted DeRusha to don a similar pair at the OM soiree last night and have his picture taken with friends.)  
Minneapolis graphic designer Dusty Fields created a DeRusha Day Web site. Editor and writer Max Sparber launched an online petition.

By late afternoon on Aug. 6, DeRusha was down at the mayor's office, tongue planted firmly in cheek, seeking paperwork to get his day. On Sept. 16, he got the news: Rybak had declared Sept. 21 Jason DeRusha Day. 

The news prompted some WCCO staffers to hit the streets with a video camera and ask, deadpan, "It's Jason DeRusha Day, what are you doing to celebrate?" As you can see from the video posted on Vimeo, there were a lot of smiles and good-natured shrugs. 

As OM's bartenders served "Good Question" cocktails, DeRusha laughed at the merriment and the odd experience of finally meeting some of the people responsible for the phenomenon. And he turned the party into something more than a light-hearted prank by asking all his old and new friends to make a donation to his favorite charity, People Helping People.
Now that he has his own day, what's next?
"Jason DeRusha Awareness Month," he said. "It would be in February. The shortest month. We don't want to overreach."