“Way better than anyone’s seen”: MPLS.TV hosts fundraising concert, looks to second season


“Winter Jubilee” is a fundraiser for MPLS.TV, an up-and-coming public access comedy show airing Thursdays at 11 p.m. on MTN 17, and always streaming online. Bedlam Theatre will be home to the fundraiser, which takes place Thursday, January 28 at 6 p.m. Admission is $10, which will go to MPLS.TV. Performing at the event will be Guante, Zoo Animal, Chelsea Boys, We Became Actors, Bethany Larson and the Bee Knees, and Paragraphs. DJs will end the night with a dance party. The fundraiser will also have games and door prizes, including the musical score of season one. 

MPLS.TV‘s creators are Chris Cloud and Kevin Albertson, lifelong friends from St. Paul who grew up spending all their free time hanging out in Minneapolis. Cloud and Albertson purchased the domain name “mpls.tv” back in April 2009. Albertson describes the duo’s initial vision for MPLS.TV as “this format of recording some band live, doing an interview with matching polos on, and just doing a bunch of crazy skits in between.”

Cloud and Albertson rounded up some friends to form the MPLS.TV collective, started writing the show in June, and began producing it in August. Cloud is the show’s producer, and Albertson works as its director. Both act in the show, alongside collective members and other actors.

Each episode has a theme on which the skits are based. Past episodes include “Lakes,” “Uptown,” and “Zombies.” For the latter, the crew followed the Zombie Pub Crawl through a number of skits, with the episode portraying the crawl as a zombie apocalypse taking over the city. In keeping with the episode’s theme, the musical guest was Zombie Season.

The show is partnered with the City Pages Gimme Noise music blog for its “City of Music” series, which features a local band performing in an unconventional venue. Jeremy Messersmith performs his song “Light Rail” in a skyway overlooking the LRT’s Nicollet Mall stop, and Peter Wolf Crier perform at Logville, a fort filled with found objects put together by local sign painter Phil Vandervoort. MPLS.TV recently produced a video for Gimme Noise of interviews and footage shot at First Avenue’s 2009 Best New Bands showcase.

In addition to preparing for the fundraiser, MPLS.TV is currently working on a Valentine’s Day episode, “Love Special,” which will air February 11. Season two isn’t slated to begin until late April or May. Until then, the collective is looking into putting on more fundraisers and screenings around the city and is looking for more help with the show, in many forms, including internships, acting, and promotions.

Albertson says MPLS.TV will also changing the show’s format in the new season. “We’re trying to re-imagine the structure of our show right now,” says Albertson. “We want to make sure season two is way better than anything anyone’s seen in the first season.”