Remember When George Clooney Cracked A Charming Joke About Duluth While At The Depot?
From time to time I still smile when I think about the time George Clooney came to Duluth along with his co-star Renee Zellweger. They were promoting a movie that had Duluth in the storyline and came to the depot. George Clooney was just as charming as you hoped he would be.
The movie they were promoting was Leatherheads. It also starred Jon Krasinski from The Office. It was about the early days of football in America. Smaller towns like Duluth are featured as a location in the film. They even call the team the Duluth Bulldogs, which worked out well.
To promote the film, they traveled to different locations that were featured in the movie in the Midwest. It kicked off in Duluth on March 24, 2008. George & Renee arrived at a press event at the depot and rolled up to the podium on a train.
They then did a Q&A with members of Duluth's media. I was lucky enough to be in attendance. This was a pretty big deal for us! George Clooney and Renee Zellweger in Duluth? I didn't get to ask a question as just a young, new radio DJ in town. However, some of the heavy hitters in news at the time got to ask some questions.
That included News Director Barbara Reyelts for KDLH 3 news and KBJR 6. She introduced herself and asked them what they thought about Duluth. The audio is kind of hard to hear, but you can make out that Renee says they had spent the last 12 hours learning about the history of Duluth, which she pointed out the "town has a lot of."
Then George responded and said, "Wait a minute, you're both the NBC and the CBS affiliate?" Barbara responded that she was. George then said, "Now that's a small town!" The crowd erupted in laughter. He continued, "I'm both the priest and the heart surgeon," poking fun at our charming little city. You can actually see that clip below.
We all had a good laugh. He really was charming. There is something about seeing celebrities in real person like this. They truly seem larger than life. George didn't disappoint, and outside the depot, he was greeted by fans and spent a lot of time signing autographs.
Renee left the depot minutes after George finally cleared through his fans. She smiled and waved to Duluth before getting in her ride.
March 24, 2008 was proclaimed Leatherheads day in Duluth by Mayor Don Ness. Too bad the movie flopped. At least we have the movie to thank for bringing in these stars. You can see the clip here. Remember this was a long time ago, the video isn't the best.