KDWB's Dave Ryan was blasted on social media Tuesday after a video of him being rude to a restaurant server made the rounds on the internet.
The video got hundreds of thousands of clicks, Ryan was called every name in the book on social media and KDWB got a ton of free publicity. It's not the first time the host and his show have been at the center of a bit of controversy. This time, however, they planned it.
Today on The Dave Ryan Show, the host admitted it was all a big joke.
Ryan compared the joke to parents telling their kids they ate all of their Halloween candy.
"Our idea was to get you to laugh," Ryan explained.
The joke had a laughable effect on some. Others? Not so much.
In case you missed it, here's how it all went down.
On Tuesday's radio show, co-host Falen Bonsett Lambert tells Ryan that a listener has a video of him berating a server at Crave restaurant in St. Louis Park and that he must've been having a bad day.
Steve-O, the co-hosts' sidekick, then says he is going to tweet out the video. The video is uploaded to the show's YouTube channel and shared across its social media platforms. This caused some people to realize early on that the video might be a set-up.
In the video, seemingly captured by a stealth diner from a nearby table, Ryan asks a young server a series of belittling questions: "Do you get paid for this job? They pay you for doing a job like this? Because if I did my job as poorly as you do your job, I wouldn't have a job for very long."
He goes on: "Is this your first job? Do you like your job? Maybe you should put a little more effort into it? Now can you get my friend a water?"
That video can no longer be viewed, but a "full version" of the video has been offered up in its place. In that version, Ryan says to the waitress, "Can I tell you one more thing? You know what I'm gonna do? I wanna dance!"
Ryan stands up, spins the server around and they file out of the restaurant, along with everyone else, while dancing to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling."
Why would Ryan think a video of him being a jerk to a server is funny? We reached out to Ryan and KDWB for further comment, and haven't heard back yet, so here are a few possible explanations:
1. It's ratings week. (Nope, it's not.)
2. The folks at KDWB are seriously bored.
3. Maybe Ryan doesn't understand how jokes work (as first suggested by City Pages' Mike Mullen).
Mid-day Wedesnday, Ryan provided somewhat of an explanation on the show's Facebook page here.
Twin Cities listeners haven't always been amused by the show's jokes. In 2011, the station apologized after Ryan and Co. made up a parody song making fun of Hmong people. In 2013, the station lost paid sponsorships after Ryan tweeted a series of disparaging things about local high schools pertaining to drug abuse, teen pregnancy, intelligence and literacy, and socioeconomic status, among other themes.