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Twin Cities PBS Premieres "Jesse Ventura Shocks the World"

January 12, 2024

Jan. 10, 2024 (St. Paul, MN) — Timed with the 25th anniversary of Jesse Ventura’s inauguration as the Governor of Minnesota, Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is proud to announce the premiere of “Jesse Ventura Shocks the World,” an exploration of the extraordinary journey of Jesse “The Body” Ventura from the wrestling ring to the governor’s mansion. This thought-provoking film, set to premiere on January 16, 2024, delves into Ventura’s groundbreaking election as the Governor of Minnesota, offering a captivating look at his legacy and lasting impact on American politics in the years after his election.

In 1998, Jesse Ventura’s election as the Governor of Minnesota took the nation by surprise. “Jesse Ventura Shocks the World” explores the intriguing story behind this election, providing a compelling account of the moments that forever altered the political landscape. The documentary paints a vivid picture of how Ventura’s unique blend of charisma, authenticity, and non-partisan appeal resonated with Minnesotans and left an indelible mark on the state’s history.

“If you think you know Ventura’s story, you don’t,” says Mary Lahammer, the film’s executive producer. “We have a massive archive of interviews and never-before-seen footage that add context to his evolution from wrestler-celebrity to politician, and that will lead to some surprises along the way.”

The film traces Jesse Ventura’s transformation to the elected leader of Minnesota and the issues that were important to him, including women’s rights, LGBTQ advocacy, marijuana legalization and a nonpartisan judiciary, among others. In addition, the film explores how that very departure from politics-as-usual influenced the overall political landscape in the U.S.

“Jesse Ventura Shocks the World” also underscores the enduring legacy of Ventura’s tenure, illustrating that every vote carries the power to shape the future of a community, state, or nation.

The documentary is based on the insights, anecdotes and commentary from Lahammer’s tenure as an award-winning political reporter for Twin Cities PBS, as well as additional interviews with longtime Political Reporter and “Almanac” Host Eric Eskola. Lahammer has spent decades covering Jesse Ventura’s career and the intricacies of Minnesota politics. In the film, she provides viewers with an intimate perspective on Ventura’s life and career, offering a unique behind-the-scenes look at the man behind the myth. Lahammer’s co-executive producer is TPT’S WEM Endowed Director of History Daniel Bergin, while award-winning filmmaker Kevin Dragseth produced and directed the documentary.

Don’t miss the premiere of “Jesse Ventura Shocks the World” on January 16, 2024 on TPT 2 at 8 pm. The film will also be available for streaming on the PBS App. Playful as it is serious, this documentary promises to be a must-watch for those interested in politics, wrestling, and the extraordinary journeys that shape the fabric of our nation.


About Twin Cities PBS 

Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s mission is to enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media. Established 64 years ago, TPT now operates as a public service media organization that harnesses a range of media tools to serve citizens in new ways — with multiple broadcast channels, online teaching resources, educational outreach and community engagement activities reaching more than 2 million people each month. Over its history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmy® Awards. Find more information at

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2024. All rights reserved.


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