KFAN's 'Common Man' to Star in Documentary Film
Posted by Brent Lee on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM By Brent Lee / May 21, 2014 Comment
It's 12:00 noon in the Twin Cities. You’re tuned to 100.3 on your FM radio dial. The late Paul Harvey issues a sternly-worded warning against mediocrity and its inevitable consequences, as the opening horns of Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" bellow through the speakers. The rousing rendition serves as a familiar sign that tomfoolery, courtesy of the “Radio Romeo,” is approaching — it’s a warning to anyone listening that there is likely skullduggery ahead. If you've never heard the show, everything before this sentence might sound a bit strange. But for fans accustomed to the “Tough Love Covenant," you know exactly what it means when the midday hour strikes and the sound bite-strewn music begins to play: The Common Man "Progrum" starts now. ** A self-proclaimed radio dinosaur who's been honing his craft "from town to town, up and down the dial" for more than 30 years, Dan Cole — or the “Common Man” as his legion of local fans call him — has been delighting the listeners of KFAN for more than two decades. Taste Fairy. Soon, he’ll be adding to his already robust repertoire, hoisted onto the big screen in his film debut. That’s right — the gears are turning on the planned production of a feature-length documentary starring Dan “The Common Man” Cole. This past Sunday, I had exclusive access to the set during the filming of a promotional trailer for the film at WCCO's TV studio in Minneapolis. I've tuned in to the Common Man on KFAN frequently for the last 13, 14 years, and the chance to hang out with him for the evening was a great thrill. I was curious to find out if Dan Cole would be the same sort of guy in person as he was when in character as “The Common Man” on his show — "Is the whole thing just an act?" I wondered.
He is indeed a light-hearted joker, often riffing about his lack of daily show prep and "working lunches" (by which he means eating his lunch on-air, during the radio broadcast), but it occurred to me in watching him work that the Common Man is actually a bit of a perfectionist. He delivered take after take with gusto, consistently asking the crew for feedback and, more than once, offering to "stay all night to make sure this thing gets done right." Sunday’s filming of the promotional trailer — a satirical homage to Robert DeNiro’s famous monologue-in-the-mirror from the closing scene of Raging Bull — was just the first step in making the documentary a reality. After completion of the trailer, a crowd-funding campaign will begin to build support for film, which director (Director-guy as Common calls him) Gregg Holtgrewe says he plans to release in the Spring of 2015, perhaps on Father’s Day. While the finer details of the project are scant at this point, the trailer should be available online sometime next week, and shooting of the film could start as early as June says Minnesota Connected's own Matthew Deery, who is involved in this project as a producer (Producer-guy as Common calls him). If Sunday night's film shoot is any indication, the working-titled The Ego Has Landed, Common Man documentary will be an entertaining and insightful look into a (funny and) fascinating figure in Minnesota media and culture. The rest of the rubes and I look forward to it, me boy! Stay tuned to Minnesota Connected and the Common Man Progrum on KFAN for more info and updates throughout the filming process. Photos via: Matthew Deery