Based on the lackluster reviews from Sunday’s Target Center performance it sounds as if Justin Bieber left it all on the lakes.

Video surfaced of him wakeboarding Friday in Detroit Lakes. As girls excitedly squealed and proclaimed their love, a wet-suited Bieber walked silently from the dock to the black SUVs while a small crowd of fans stood around taking pictures. The appropriate response to cries of “I love you” from fans is some form of acknowledgment but Bieber returned nothing. He wiped off his face with a towel while walking.

Monday on Twitter Kookie Mom @erinamundo asked me “How come nobody is reporting on JB being on Lake Minnetonka [Sunday]?” She attached a fuzzy photo. I guess that could’ve been Bieber.

I asked my friend Steve Schussler, of the restaurant development company Schussler Creative, if he saw Bieber on Lake Minnetonka. “I didn’t see him, I heard he was there,” said Schussler, who told me to ask Billy Ellis if his son Danny got his audience with Biebs.

There was more Bieber-related disappointment.

“My son shot a video that we sent KARE 11 about Danny, and [reporter Jana Shortal] aired the video a couple of days ago,” said Ellis. “Danny’s a Down syndrome kid, very talented. He’s been following Bieber. He learned the ability to dance, sing and perform by watching Bieber. Bieber really inspired him.”

Shortal did a piece on her show, “Breaking the News,” co-anchored with Rena Sarigianopoulos, about Danny, the ultimate Bieber fan. (It’s the video where I was wildly distracted by Shortal’s feet being up on the couch; via Twitter she clarified that she was not wearing shoes. I still don’t think her feet, even in socks, belonged on the couch but maybe she’s a family friend.)

“Through all the people my family and have known throughout the years, some music executives got involved, local people got involved and we had apparently penetrated the inner circle but we just couldn’t get [Bieber] to go for it. So Danny went to the show with his brothers and cousins. Had a great time,” said Ellis. “The effort on the part of so many people trying to get this thing done came up short, but it was very gratifying to our family to see that many people concerned to give my son this opportunity.”

Ricks is funniest dad

With Jim Gaffigan and NBC’s “Today Show” in the pocket, a Blaine businessman is going after Acme Comedy Co.’s Funniest Person in the Twin Cities crown. The aforementioned pocket is the size of a clown’s.

David Ricks was named “Funniest Dad” last week on “Today” by Gaffigan, star of an eponymous TVLand show. Gaffigan is also currently featured in hysterically sardonic commercials for Chrysler Pacifica. Ricks beat out two other dads and he’s stoked for his 10 p.m. July 15 Acme bit.

“I was there last year, my first time ever doing anything like that,” said Ricks, a retired St. Paul school principal and owner of Northtown Mall’s Sheer Treasures. “I plan to win it this time. It gives me certainly credibility when you go places. It gives me a great boost of confidence as well.” Ricks’ stage name is Outrageous Davis.

Acme holds “Funniest Person” competitions throughout the summer, according to a spokesperson.

I have been sent the link to the Ricks’ “Today” appearance three times and none have opened so I’ll quote City Pages, which noted that the other two dads attempted stand-up comedy while Ricks “just told a short story, with nary a punchline to it. It was very … fatherly.”

It’s been a busy two weeks for Ricks and his wife, Gail, who last caught the eye of “Today” by discussing their sizzling post-50 sex life. Their daughter Dhomonique Ricks, an anchor at Cleveland’s WEWS-TV, married Arlington, Va.-based property management executive Frank Murphy in the Bahamas. They met when Dhomonique lived in Virginia. The Ricks of Maple Grove just got back from Cleveland where they attended the regional Emmys with their broadcasting daughter. They flew out of Cleveland before it became the center of the sports universe after the Cavs and Kevin Love became NBA Champions to the chagrin of some Timberwolves fans.

Back in the news

No documentary about O.J. Simpson is complete without mention of Nicole Brown Simpson look-a-like Christie Prody.

The Minnesota woman, who hung with Simpson for more than a decade, was included in Ezra Edelman’s stellar ESPN series: “O.J.: Made in America.” (Edelman’s mom is activist Marian Wright Edelman.)

While the Simpson jury was wrong to ignore the evidence in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, the apparent takeaway is that those jurors were just acting the same way as countless other California juries that refused to convict police and citizens obviously guilty of killing minorities.


C.J. can be reached at and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show” and “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.