Staff Directory 6370468

Neal Justin

Columnist/Reporter | Media
Phone: 612-673-7431

Neal Justin covers the entertainment world, primarily TV and radio. He also reviews stand-up comedy. Justin is the founder of JCamp, a non-profit program for high-school journalists, and works on many fronts to further diversity in newsrooms.


Justin is currently president of UNITY, co-chair of the Star Tribune News Guild and teaches at Minnesota State University. He is a former governing board member of the Asian American Journalists Association and Minnesota chapter president for AAJA.
Recent content from Neal Justin
Chloé Zhao accepted the Best Director-Motion Picture award for “Nomadland” via video as Bryce Dallas Howard presented onstage at the 78th Annual

'Nomadland' finds a home at the Golden Globes

The Globes often serve as a signal as to who might wind up with a more coveted Oscar nomination.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg

A new SpongeBob movie, RBG, 'Debris' and other things our TV critic is watching this week

Notorious RBGThere's already been a feature film and a top-notch documentary celebrating the contributions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but that shouldn't stop you from checking…
Soleil Moon Frye stars in a rebooted “Punky Brewster” on Peacock.

Child star disaster stories abound. How did Punky Brewster avoid that fate?

Soleil Moon Frye's love for her '80s kid sitcom character helped keep her sane.
Former KQRS DJ/producer John Lassman is now on Rockin' 101 in St. Cloud.

Former KQRS personality John Lassman replaces controversial St. Cloud radio host

St. Cloud morning show is trying to recover from an incident that led to its last host's resignation.
Ellis Haizlip with the J.C. White Singers on the set of “Soul!”

'Superman & Lois' and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Change is gonna come"Soul!," the PBS program that celebrated African American dance, music and literature in the late '60s and early '70s, doesn't get mentioned…
Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow, Mia Farrow from “Allen v. Farrow.”

You may never watch a Woody Allen film again after seeing 'Allen v. Farrow'

An HBO documentary makes a devastating case against the filmmaker.
Falcon Heights teacher, Kelly Klein on the ‘Ellen’ show.

'Ellen' show pays tribute to terminally ill Falcon Heights teacher

Kelly Klein will also receive $20,000 for medical bills and a vacation.
Host Jason Biggs on “Cherries Wild.”

A new sitcom from Kevin James and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

No deal"Cherries Wild" wants to appeal to the same viewers who played "Deal or No Deal," but this time the centerpiece is a three-story slot…
Leo Shidla(photo courtesy the Shidla family) ORG XMIT: MIN2102110935070032

NPR grants 8-year-old Minneapolis boy's wish for more dinosaur talk

Leo Shidla thought that not "All Things" were being considered on NPR's flagship show. "Cool things," for one.
Kenan Thompson, who has been a staple on “Saturday Night Live” for years, is trying out prime time with the premiere of “Kenan.” NBC

Is it time for Kenan Thompson to leave 'Saturday Night Live'?

It may be time for one of late-night's most beloved comics to move on.
Twin Cities radio personality Paul Geiger retires after 43 years on the air

Twin Cities radio personality Paul Geiger retires after 43 years on the air

Geiger has spent most of the decade at the classic-hits/oldies station WDGY, headquartered in Hudson.
Bill Dallman

Former KMSP news director Bill Dallman named KARE's new general manager

For the past three years, he was running the newsroom for the ABC affiliate in Seattle.
Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling.

How CBS' 'Silence of the Lambs' spinoff will survive without Hannibal Lecter

Agent Clarice Starling returns in a promising new CBS series.
Chief Janeé Harteau of the Minneapolis Police Department is featured in “Women in Blue.”

Minneapolis police documentary 'Women in Blue,' and four other things our TV critic is watching this week

Internal affairs"Women in Blue" investigates the Minneapolis Police Department, specifically its woeful record in hiring women for key positions. Former Chief Janeé Harteau is among…
Actor Hal Holbrook as himself (left) and as Mark Twain, circa 1976.

Former WCCO anchor Don Shelby pays tribute to the late Hal Holbrook

The former WCCO anchor shared a love for Mark Twain with the celebrated actor.
“Saturday Night Live” and late night talk show hosts made hay with impersonations and jokes about former President Donald Trump, with  Alec Baldwi

How political comedy will adjust to a Biden administration

What does the future of stand-up look like in the shadow of Trump?
Elizabeth Carmichael, shown with her Dale automobile in “The Lady and the Dale.”

A new Britney Spears documentary, and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Mother of inventionElizabeth Carmichael aspired to be the next Henry Ford, but she has more in common with Elizabeth Holmes, the con artist featured in…
Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall on “The Equalizer.”

How Queen Latifah is putting a new spin on 'The Equalizer'

Queen Latifah puts a new spin on a beloved character.
North High School head football coach and former Minneapolis police officer Charles Adams III.

HBO's 'Real Sports' spotlights North High School and its football coach

The 27th season premiere airs 9 p.m. Tuesday.
How to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to lower the temperature of discourse. ASsociated Press

6 strategies for cooling it down on social media

Tips on how to lower the temperature on social media without losing your mind.
“Bridge and Tunnel”

'Fate: The Winx Saga' and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Tunnel of loveEdward Burns made a name for himself in the 1990s with a string of romcoms that insisted that pretty people have problems, too.…
John Hanson, left, in 2008, shown with KSTP "Twin Cities Live" producer Taylor Cisco and Hanson's co-host Rebekah Wood.

WCCO Radio parts ways with its program director

John Hanson, who grew up in the Twin Cities, returned home in 2018 for the WCCO programming position.
Javicia Leslie makes her debut as Ryan Wilder, aka the title character in “Batwoman.”

Meet the new Batwoman: New actor steps in after only one season on the CW

Can the CW's "Batwoman" survive a major departure?
Comedian Pete Lee performed at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis on Feb. 28, 2019. TONY SAUNDERS • anthony.saunders@startribune.com

Comedian brings Acme Comedy Co. to 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'

Pete Lee's weekend stint at the Minneapolis club will be featured on the late-night show.
“Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure” is one of the offerings on the new Discovery Plus.

Should you add Discovery Plus as a streaming service?

Fans of nonfiction TV have a new streaming platform to consider.
Elfo (voice of Nat Faxon), Bean (Abbi Jacobson) and Luci (Eric Andre) in “Disenchantment.”

The return of 'Disenchantment' and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Comedy Camelot"Disenchantment" may not stick around as long as other Matt Groening projects, most notably "The Simpsons." So enjoy it while you can. Season 3…
Paul Rudd in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Watching 'WandaVision'? Here are five titles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to see first

Catch up with the world of "WandaVision" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney Plus.
Above, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in “WandaVision.”

In 'WandaVision,' Marvel superheroes take on sitcoms

Superheroes take on sitcoms in Marvel's thunderous step into TV.
Ethan Mundt, 25, performs under the stage name Utica Queen, a nod to growing up in Utica, Minn.

'RuPaul Drag Race' contestant flaunts her Minnesota roots

One of this season's competitors on "RuPaul's Drag Race" hails from Minnesota —and wants the whole world to know it. Ethan Mundt, 25, performs under…
KSTP's Jay Kolls

KSTP partially retracts reporter Jay Kolls' story on Capitol riot

He quoted an expert as saying it was "highly likely" that people aligned with antifa may have been part of the violence at the U.S. Capitol.
WCCO radio's Dave Lee announces his retirement

WCCO radio's Dave Lee announces his retirement

The morning-drive host is looking forward to sleeping in.
Omar Sy stars in “Lupin.”

'Lupin,' 'Dickinson' and other shows our TV critic is watching this week

To catch a thiefDespite its title, "Lupin" isn't really about the crafty burglar from French literature. He's merely the inspiration for vigilante Assane Diop (Omar…
Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine in 2002.

HBO film documents the rise and fall (and rise again) of Tiger Woods

A new documentary looks at the rise and fall (and rise again) of a legendary athlete.
Nicholas Ralph (with a two-ton bull) as country veterinarian James Herriot in “All Creatures Great and Small.” PBS

New PBS adaptation of 'All Creatures Great and Small' offers country comforts

A new take on James Herriot's beloved memoirs offers country comforts we need right now.
Ben Garvin. Photo by Mette Mork.

KARE photographer says he was fired after company car was stolen

"It was time to move forward and start something new," the award-winning photographer wrote.
THE BACHELOR - Ò2501Ó Ð Matt James, the charismatic and engaging star of ABCÕs hit romance reality series ÒThe Bachelor,Ó will hand out the rose

Minnesotan snags second-to-last rose on season premiere of 'The Bachelor'

Owatonna's Anna Redman received the penultimate rose in Monday's season premiere.
Then President Jimmy Carter, right, and singer Willie Nelson sang “Amazing Grace” together.

A new Tina Fey sitcom, and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Gotta serve somebodyBob Dylan offers up a rare on-screen interview to hail a musical chief in "Jimmy Carter, Rock & Roll President," a documentary that's…
Roseanne Barr and John Goodman in “Roseanne,” which made full use of the closing credits.

6 sitcoms with the most hilarious closing credits

"Call Me Kat" is the latest sitcom to have fun with the closing credits.
“In the Dark” host Madeleine Baran and managing producer Samara Freemark were interviewed for "60 Minutes."(Photo from Madeleine Baran via Twitter

St. Paul-based podcast 'In the Dark' featured on '60 Minutes' this weekend

The show will focus on the podcast's role in the release of Curtis Flowers.
Laura Ingalls Wilder signing books.

Minnesota plays significant role in PBS documentary about Laura Ingalls Wilder

Just about every Midwestern state wants to claim Laura Ingalls Wilder, but a new PBS documentary gives Minnesota the strongest bragging rights.
Pictured:  Matthew Rhys in “Perry Mason,” Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sacha Baron Cohen in “Borat Su

The year in TV and movies, viewed from our critics' couches

Our critics discuss the highs and lows of 2020 quarantine viewing in their living rooms.
Regé-Jean Page and  Phoebe Dynevor in executive producer Shonda Rhimes’ “Bridgerton.”

'Bridgerton' and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Scandalous"Bridgerton," a new series about upper-class courtship in 1810 London, opens with all the pomp and circumstance of PBS theater, the kind of British drama…
Garrison Keillor in the 1970s.

Review: 'That Time of Year: A Minnesota Life,' by Garrison Keillor

NONFICTION: In his memoir, Garrison Keillor waxes nostalgic for heroes of the past but saves his vitriol for his former employer.
Stacey Nogy

After a year of great change, KARE-11 names its next news director

Meteorologists Jason Disharoon and Sven Sundgaard are both gone, as is anchor Pat Evans.
Comedian Andy Erikson

Her heart stopped, but this Minnesota comedian bounced back: 'This is my second life.'

Minnesota comic Andy Erikson's streaming special celebrates the holidays, and a new lease on life.
Christian Serratos stars as Selena Quintanilla in “Selena: The Series.”

A new take on the life of Tejano superstar Selena and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Como la flor The 1997 film “Selena” made Jennifer Lopez a superstar. “Selena: The Series,” also based on the rise of the late Selena Quintanilla,…
Nick Birch (voiced by Nick Kroll) in the fourth season of “Big Mouth.”

'Big Mouth' speaks volumes about the fears of kids — and adults

The adult animated series returns for a whole new round of tween angst.
Chris Kruse on "Dateline NBC."

'Dateline NBC' takes deep dive into 2015 Minnesota murder

The news program will focus on the death of Jan Kruse of Brewster, Minn.
Minnesota radio host resigns after bullying another DJ on the air

Minnesota radio host resigns after bullying another DJ on the air

Aaron Imholte had been with WHMH-FM in Sauk Rapids since 2014.
“Baby God” director Hannah Olson.

Minnesota filmmaker exposes sinister fertility doctor in a new HBO documentary

Hopkins High School graduate Hannah Olson makes an impressive directorial debut.
“Zappa”

The 'Fargo' finale and four other things our TV critic is watching this week

The father of invention “Zappa,” a thorough documentary on the life of Frank Zappa, helps dismiss the notion that the artist was merely a novelty…
Kaley Cuoco in “The Flight Attendant.”

'Big Bang' star Kaley Cuoco soars to new heights in 'The Flight Attendant'

The "Big Bang" star keeps showing off her comedy chops in her latest series.
Richardson, who came to the Twin Cities to be a Pioneer Press sportswriter, is heading to Los Angeles.

KMOJ's Ray Richardson says goodbye to the Twin Cities

His final show included his all-time favorite R&B classics.
The Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot, return in “Animaniacs.”

The return of 'Saved by the Bell' and 'Animaniacs,' and other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Tasmanian devils In the 1990s, the hyperactive characters on “Animaniacs” tore up the Warner Bros. lot, ravaging pop-culture references in their path. It’s more of…
The doctor had been disguised at The Serpent.

Mayo Clinic's singing surgeon is revealed on 'The Masked Singer'

The Mayo Clinic's singing surgeon, who became a viral sensation in 2018 with his version of Mike Yung's "Alright," is back in the spotlight.
Lizz Winstead

Lizz Winstead's new comedy special was filmed on a lake with crowd in kayaks

The "Daily Show" co-creator's topical performance will be available on-demand.
Nick Swardson tested out new material at a sold-out show at the Comedy Corner on Dec. 11, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Corner Bar, a popular gathering sp

Minneapolis sports bar and comedy club closed by fire

Popular sports pub and its Comedy Corner were inundated by smoke.
Will anyone fill the gap left by City Pages?

Will anyone fill the gap left by City Pages?

The loss of the Twin Cities' alternative weekly could provide an opportunity for other local entrepreneurs to fill the gap in local arts coverage.
James Hong in his Warner Bros. trailer: “Even if I was playing a part that simply said ‘Chinaman’ or ‘Villain,’ I would put my heart and sou

At 91, will Minnesota native 'working actor' finally get star on Hollywood Walk of Fame?

James Hong, Minnesota's most prolific actor of all time, looks back on his storied career.
Take a closer look at the 40th president in the four-part documentary “The Reagans.”

A scathing documentary on the Reagans and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Far from Camelot Romantic notions about Ronald Reagan’s presidency are shattered in the four-part documentary “The Reagans,” which spends more time on the first lady’s…
“The Crown” adds Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, top, and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher to the ensemble.

Review: Season 4 of 'The Crown' is a royal pain

The fourth season of 'The Crown" welcomes Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher to the self-pity party.
“Moonbase8”

Space comedy 'Moonbase 8' and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

The wrong stuff In “Moonbase 8,” John C. Reilly, Tim Heidecker and Fred Armisen play misfit astronauts assigned to a never-ending training exercise in the…
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

Liberal-leaning late-night comedians rally for Joe Biden

Stephen Colbert and company did little to hide their liberal leanings.
Hunter Quinn, left, and Steve LaTart, right.

Two Twin Cities radio personalities have lost their jobs

An executive producer for "The Dave Ryan Show" and a Cities 97.1 morning host both announced their departures on Monday.
WCCO’s senior political reporter Pat Kessler in front of the State Capitol, his longtime stamping grounds.

WCCO's Kessler looks back at most memorable moments, politicians

While the 67-year-old news hound insists he'll still contribute special reports to WCCO and appear on KFAN, he officially slips into retirement after this election cycle.
Anya Taylor-Joy stars as orphaned chess prodigy Beth Harmon in “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix.

'The Queen's Gambit' and more chess films worth checking out

"Queen's Gambit" is just one of many projects that celebrate the royal game.
Hugh Laurie stars as a scheming U.K. government minister in “Roadkill” on TPT.

Hugh Laurie's latest series, and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

But seriously, folks Viewers accustomed to watching Hugh Laurie play acerbic characters like he did in “House” and “Veep” may be disappointed in his latest…
Meteorologist Dave Dahl has been with KSTP for 43 years.

KSTP weatherman Dave Dahl announces he's retiring

The meteorologist has been with the station for 43 years.
Jordana Green

WCCO Radio host Jordana Green reveals she has leukemia

The radio personality is receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic.
CBS White House Correspondent Ben Tracy says “the seats are nothing fancy” on Air Force One — but “the food is fantastic.”

Ex-WCCO reporter shares his often 'crazy' life as White House correspondent

What's life like for a St. Paul native covering President Donald Trump during unprecedented times?
Madison Iseman and Fin Argus in "Clouds." Argus used Zach Sobiech's actual crutches in the film.

How Hollywood turned a young Minnesotan's life into a Disney movie with 'Clouds'

The movie version of Zach Sobiech's life borrows true details as well as items from his bedroom.
Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman dabble in murder and betrayal in “The Undoing.”

In HBO's 'The Undoing,' Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant get away with murder

Why are Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant so compelling? Here are a few clues.
“Chelsea Handler: Evolution”

A weird Steve Bannon documentary and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week

Growing up “Chelsea Handler: Evolution,” the comedian’s first stand-up special in six years, seems familiar in the first 20 minutes with lots of jokes about private…
Minnesota Public Radio's headquarters in downtown St. Paul.

Another MPR executive announces his departure

Another high-ranking executive at Minnesota Public Radio has announced he’s leaving the company. Tim Roesler, senior vice president and chief business development officer for MPR…
Lizzo and David Letterman collaborate on his Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”

Lizzo and Letterman swap Minnesota memories on Netflix show

New episodes of David Letterman's Netflix series include a conversation with the onetime Minnesotan.