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Wild Greg’s Vs. the Vax Mandate

Plus losing Louie Anderson, the modest Timmy stimmy, and hero courtroom dogs in today's Flyover.

The scene at Wild Greg's.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Who Will Think of Wild Greg’s Saloon? 

When the folks with a mechanical bull and a giant golden penis are peeved, you know it’s serious. That’s the case at Wild Greg’s and Gay 90’s, respectively, two bars who’ve joined a collective effort to end the city-wide vax mandate. Minneapolis’s vaccine requirement for bars and restaurants went into effect on Wednesday, and according to the chatter in industry Facebook groups, things, so far, have seemed fairly normal. But a group of downtown restaurants isn’t having it, and they’re suing the city. The disgruntled establishments in question? Smack Shack, Gay 90’s, Sneaky Pete’s, Urban Forage, Jimmy John’s, Bunkers Music Bar & Grill, and Gov. Walz-banning party spot Wild Greg’s Saloon (the mention of which caused one unnamed Racket staffer to burst into laughter). The problem, per the plaintiffs, is that the requirements pose “significant challenges” and contradict recommendations from the state, the CDC, and medical experts, “all of which adamantly promote and encourage at-home testing.” Faiza Mahamud at the Star Tribune has the scoop.

RIP Louie Anderson

St. Paul’s Louie Anderson, one of the godfathers of the Twin Cities comedy scene, died Friday in Las Vegas from blood cancer, his longtime publicist confirmed with the New York Times. Anderson was 68. As is the case with five-decade careers, Louie’s means different things to different generations. Anderson was at the forefront of the ’80s standup boom, landing headlining club tours and, in 1984, a spot on Carson’s Tonight Show. His animated TV program Life with Louie delighted ’90s kids for three seasons; he hosted a rebooted Family Feud from 1999 to 2002. Anderson enjoyed a late-career revival with his gender-swapping role on FX’s Baskets, for which he’d win a 2016 Emmy. Personalities from across the comedy universe are mourning his loss today. If you’re a fan of comedy or deep Minnesota connections, do yourself a favor and listen to this 2016 conversation Louie had on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Or just watch this clip:

Guv Wants to Buy Your Vote

Holy shit! Minnesota is projected to have a $7.7 billion surplus, and Gov. Tim Walz is looking to pull a “Jesse Ventura” and send that money our way. Dubbed “Walz checks” (we prefer the Reformer’s name, the “Timmy Stimmy”), the plan would cut $175 checks for single filers making $164,400 or less and $350 for joint filers making $273,470 or less. “Minnesotans want to see results. They want to see things that make sense. They want this surplus to come to their pockets, make their lives easier, reduce their costs, and invest for things that go forward,” Walz said at a news conference Thursday. Republicans, meanwhile, think the idea is lame. “Walz checks are nothing more than an election year gimmick, and it will barely cover the inflationary costs of everyday necessities,” senate majority leader Jeremy Miller wrote in a statement. “Additionally, it’s a glaring omission from Walz’s proposal there isn’t one dime for more cops.” No way, man. Minnesotans want to see things that make sense.

Hero Dogs Comfort Inside Courthouses

One week after dishonoring dogs with this mindless copaganda, the Star Tribune did right by canines by highlighting the hero courtroom pups who soothe vulnerable humans. (Editor’s note: Racket’s style guide liberally designates “hero” status to just about any dog; get used to it.) In three Minnesota county attorney’s offices, professionally trained pooches are hired to comfort victims and witnesses of crime. Consider this anecdote about Norie, the courthouse dog employed by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. “There was a 10-year-old in a sexual abuse case who was scared and didn’t want to explain what happened to her to a bunch of adults she didn’t know,” Norie’s handler, Bill Kubes, tells the Strib. “Norie came in and she played with her a while and put her at ease. She said ‘I love Norie’ when we were done.” …No you’re crying!!! Currently, Minnesota’s courtroom dogs are only present in pretrial and investigative proceedings, but there’s a push to join “at least 15” other states who allow ’em in the witness stand. Let’s make it happen gang.