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References to Duluth in Film/TV or Other Media Posts

Rick Steves offends his Duluth friends

The Nov. 18 episode of Travel with Rick Steves has a brief and not terribly flattering mention of Duluth … though it’s not all that insulting either. The episode is titled “Gili Islands; All-Season Australia; Open Phones: Memorable Travels.”

During the open phone segment, Steves chats with “Brad” from Portland, Ore., who has done ten “home exchanges.” That means Brad and his family have traded houses with other families while traveling. The discussion quickly turns to the notion of convincing someone from Paris to exchange a home with someone who lives in … “no offense … Duluth.”

Weak-willed Duluthian changes opinion

For the 14th time (by Perfect Duluth Day’s count) The Onion has published a story with a Duluth dateline.

The headline reads: Weak-willed coward changes opinion after learning he was wrong

According to the story, “33-year-old coward Benjamin Dyer gave in and changed his opinion … instead of doubling down on his previously held belief like a real man.”

Duluth reference on “The Deuce”

According to Perfect Duluth Day’s highly reputable sources, the HBO series The Deuce recently made a reference to Duluth.

In episode #2 a prostitute named Lori, who is a new arrival in New York City via Minnesota, is about to be arrested when her pimp stabs the cop and explains the guy is not really a cop. He searches the guy and finds rope and other torture instruments, then says, “We ain’t in Duluth no more, Dorothy.”

Find a clip of the scene to win the internet for a day.

Wheel of Duluth

We don’t have a video clip, and the specific air date isn’t known, but at some point in mid-July 2007 — ten years ago — Duluth was the answer to a final puzzle on Wheel of Fortune.

A post in the PDD archives notes the clue was “on the map.” The contestant had just two letters to guess with, making it pretty much impossible, but anyone from Duluth could figure it out instantly.

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“Colder than the surface of Mars”

Poet Dora Malech gets all Duluthy in a poem published in the May 29 issue of The New Yorker. It’s more that a reference — the poem is basically set in Duluth.

The text of “I Now Pronounce You” is available online, along with an audio track of the poet reading it.

Malech grew up in Bethesda, Md., and now lives in Baltimore. Her connection to Duluth is unknown, unless it’s as simple as the first line of the poem: “Our friends are getting married in Duluth.”

2 Dope Queens discuss Justin Bieber’s Duluth chakra

At the very onset of episode #36 of the 2 Dope Queens podcast, hosts Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson drop a reference to Duluth while going over items on Justin Bieber’s tour rider.

PDD Quiz: Duluth in Popular Culture

ticket to rideReferences to Duluth abound in popular culture; how many are you aware of? Take this quiz to find out! (Hint: you might have an edge if you’ve been paying attention to previous quizzes and the PDD blog.)

Our next PDD Quiz, reviewing the events of March 2017, will be published on March 26. E-mail question ideas to Alison Klawiter at [email protected] by March 23.

Mary Tyler Moore went to high school in Duluth … sort of

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Mike Michaels posted this image from The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Facebook yesterday, the date of Mary Tyler Moore’s death, noting the show featured the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Old Main building as the fictional high school of her character, Mary Richards.

“One of the show’s writers, Lorenzo Music, lived in Duluth and attended UMD. He married an actress who was a Denfeld grad,” Michaels wrote. “They both ended up starring in a CBS variety show and both wrote the theme song to The Bob Newhart Show. Lorenzo became even more famous as the voice of the doorman on the TV show Rhoda and the voice of Garfield the cat. He was also a TV producer.”

UMD’s Old Main building was destroyed by fire in 1993.

The parking meters in Hartford vs. Duluth

A few weeks back PDD reported a Duluth reference in a new episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, prompting vague assertions that Duluth had been mentioned in an episode of the original run of Gilmore Girls.

Well, a more specific tip finally came in.

Duluth was name dropped in season 2, episode 3, “Red Light on the Wedding Night.” Lorelai’s fiance Max has his bachelor party cut short because his brother leap frogged a parking meter and didn’t make it, resulting in a hospital visit. According to Max, his brother “claims he wasn’t drunk. He’s saying that the parking meters in Hartford are taller than the parking meters in Duluth, so he just miscalculated.”

The episode originally aired Oct. 16, 2001. The Duluth reference is just after the 18-minute mark of the full episode; the bootleg clip above isolates the reference.

Adam Ruins Everything references Duluth

adam-ruins-everythingAdam Ruins Everything is at least the fifth television series to reference Duluth in 2016. Episode 23, which aired Dec. 6 on the cable network TruTV, features Adam Conover discussing “how deep Facebook’s tentacles really go,” with an example of a man who bought a “bacon double heart-attack burger” in Duluth after seeing an ad targeted through his Facebook likes.

Other shows that have referenced Duluth in 2016 include Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Robot Chicken, Vinyl and Lady Dynamite.

The year Joel Hodgson spent in Duluth

joel-hodgsonOn the Halloween episode of The Dana Gould Hour, guest Joel Hodgson briefly mentions his family lived in Duluth for a year. The conversation had steered to small-town television shows and personalities, and Hodgson recalled “picturesque slides of lighthouses” and how it gave a “mood of where you were.”

Hodgson, of course, is best known as the creator of the hit television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Gilmore Girls Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge Cake Ornament

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The Netflix revival of the TV comedy/drama Gilmore Girls features a brief and strange nod to the Zenith City. The last of the four new episodes includes a pre-wedding scene with Sookie St. James (played by Melissa McCarthy) showing a cake to Lorelai Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham) that has a miniature Aerial Lift Bridge on it labeled “Duluth.”

Bob and Joan

Bob mentions a couple of Northland towns at the beginning of their first song.

Maria Bamford: Lady Dynamite of Duluth

Maria Bamford Duluth Maria Bamford - Lady Dynamite

With all the posts on PDD about References to Duluth in TV and Film we shouldn’t neglect to mention the newest and most obvious example. Lady Dynamite, starring Duluth’s Maria Bamford, premiered Friday on Netflix.

Duluth on HBO’s Vinyl

The new HBO series Vinyl references Duluth in season 1, episode 7. Richie and one of his lackies are in Las Vegas and pick up a couple of women. One says she’s from “St. Paul … Duluth, actually … trying to be fancy.” Richie cracks some joke about flying over Duluth.