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Justin Timberlake to party at Prince's Paisley Park during Super Bowl week

Justin Timberlake was announced as the Super Bowl's halftime show headliner in October. / Photo by Amy Harris, Invision/AP

Justin Timberlake was announced as the Super Bowl's halftime show headliner in October. / Photo by Amy Harris, Invision/AP

Looks like a small number of Justin Timberlake fans will be using Paisley Park’s temporary liquor license during Super Bowl week to pop some champagne.

American Express is hosting a "listening session" with Timberlake featuring food, drink and a hint at "more" from the "Sexyback" singer in the home of late “Lovesexy” legend Prince on Feb. 1, according to an web page. Sorry, folks, it already lists tickets as sold out.

Should Timberlake opt to perform that night -- Prince himself usually kept Paisley visitors guessing -- 36-year-old pop star would have 2½ days to rest up for the Super Bowl halftime show at U.S. Bank Stadium that Sunday. JT's lumberjacky new album, “Man of the Woods,” comes out the day after the party at Paisley.

Apparently, a lucky few American Express card holders were surprised with access to the $80 tickets on Friday night. No word yet on how many were sold. Amex is a sponsor of Timberlake’s upcoming Man of the Woods Tour and is selling pre-sale tickets to all his upcoming dates (none in Minnesota; unless this Paisley thing count).

Presumably, the concert will take place in Paisley Park’s soundstage area, the high-ceilinged, 1,800-person room where Prince usually performed at the Chanhassen studio complex, which he built in 1987, and where he died in 2016. Parties there also sometimes took place in the adjoining NPG Music Club, which only holds a few hundred people.

As is commonplace at Paisley Park, cell phones will be disallowed at the party, and fans will be shuttled in from the nearby Chanhassen Transit Station. Other stipulations: They will have to present their Amex card upon entry, a tactic that safeguards the show from ticket scalpers.

Earlier this week, the Chanhassen City Council approved Paisley Park’s request for a temporary liquor license -- good from Jan. 29-Feb. 5 -- to host parties around the Super Bowl. The studio is now officially zoned as a museum, but there’s obvious financial incentive to host some of that week’s big-buck private parties (most of which involve booze).

Not only is Timberlake well-known to be a Prince fanatic – he penned a terrific tribute upon his death– he also has hometown Memphis ties with Graceland Holdings. The overseers of Elvis's estate also now run Paisley Park. 

Timberlake is also scheduled to join his buddy Jimmy Fallon on the post-Super Bowl "Tonight Show" broadcast from the Orpheum Theatre on Feb. 4. It looks to be a busy week for him.


Former Minneapolis comics Andy Erikson and Amber Preston making their mark in Hollywood

Andy Erikson

The Hollywood Improv Comedy Club helped nurture the careers of Richard Pryor, Jay Leno and Bette Midler. These days, it's championing the work of two former Minneapolis-based comics.

Andy Erikson and Amber Preston, who cut their teeth at Acme Comedy Club, regularly use the club's smaller space to host Punchline Punchout, a showcase that Erikson originated at the Corner Bar in the Twin Cities' Seven Corners district.

The format -- stand-ups have 12 hours to come up with jokes based on an assigned topic -- has been recently altered to accomodate more participation and less homework. For a packed show Tuesday night, the hosts challenged the evening's lineup to come up with campaign slogans for potential presidential candidate Oprah Winfrey with just 10 minutes to contemplate. The winner got the choice between a collection of tea bags and Japanese cookies.

Erikson, a top-five finalist during the 2015 season of "Last Comic Standing," moved to Los Angeles four years ago, but she hasn't forgotten her Ham Lake roots. She bounded on stage with a University of Minnesota t-shirt covered by a sweater featuring a cat grousing about a snowy winter. Preston, who grew up in Fargo before living in the Twin Cities, compared driving in a LA downpour to maneuvering roads during Midwest snowstorms.

The Punchline Punchout schedule is fairly loose -- check out for updates -- but Erikson plans to be back at Acme in either May or June. Preston also expects to be back in Minnesota sometime soon, but she's got another upcoming gig that's on her mind. She's getting married in April.

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