There's a gal goin' 'round droppin' names...

By anne
August 5, 2006 - 21:53.

A former friend once sneered that I’m a name-dropper. (Like that’s a bad thing.) I’d forgotten all about it until Melissa Cohen, PR über-maven to many a celebrity, sent a photo of herself with recent Twin Cities visitor Katie Couric. That’s not name-dropping. That’s sharing. I couldn’t help feeling as if I’d hung out with Katie myself!

Imagine my delight, then, to have met darling Hollywood actress Desiree (Desi) Doyen and her investigative journalist boyfriend Brad Friedman of and The Brad Show, whose charm leaves no doubt as to how he gets those bigwig interviews before anyone else does. We ended up at the same party last night, along with John Forde (say FOR-dee), host of public television’s Mental Engineering, an entertaining show featuring panelists who analyze commercials. Turns out Brad and Desi were in town to tape the show, and they invited me to tag along. Such fun!

Also on the set today were L.A.-based comedian Tom Rhodes (right) and Renee Hobbs, a media literacy professor at Temple University in Philadelphia (second from right). When the cameras got rolling, Forde and his four guests mustered funny and intelligent commentary on ads for underarm deoderant, Hummer vehicles, Levi’s 501 jeans, and a “deep brain stimulation” clinic. Watch for the episodes to air in December, and pretend you don’t hear my muffled giggles in the background.

Mental Engineering host and panelists up close:

John Forde

.Brad Friedman

Desi Doyen

Tom Rhodes

Renee Hobbs

August 12, 2006 - 11:42
anne says:

With 175,000 new blogs being created worldwide every day*, we bloggers must do what we can to keep each other feeling relevant. So I was pleased to see that Brad Friedman wrote about appearing in my online pages. Visit to see that entry, along with a photo of yet another celebrity whose name (if not her hat) is often dropped in tourist tales of Minneapolis.

*According to Technorati founder Dave Sifry, interviewed by Scott Simon Aug. 12 on Minnesota Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday. (Click here to listen.)

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