Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to appear on improv show

Minnesota’s Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will appear on the Theater of Public Policy’s improv comedy show Monday, Nov. 16.

The Theater of Public Policy’s host Tane Danger said it is likely a lieutenant governor has never appeared on an improv show.

Danger will interview Smith on a variety of topics including public policy, her political future and what a lieutenant governor does on a day-to-day basis.

“You read about these people in the news, and you hear about some high-stakes political negotiation that they’re doing, but what does a lieutenant governor actually get up and do every day is, I think, actually a really interesting question,” Danger said.

The show’s cast will use the interview as fodder to create the show’s improv component. The audience will also have a chance to ask Smith questions, which the cast will use for a second improv round.

“It’s your very traditional civics improv comedy show,” Danger said.

The show began in 2011 and has since grown and garnered more prominent political names. Former guests include Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

“Every time somebody new does the show, they’re willing to tell people in their circles, ‘Oh, it’s not terrible, you won’t die, it’s actually fun and you will enjoy being a guest on the show,’” Danger said.

Smith became Minnesota’s 48th Lt. Governor in January 2015. She previously served as Dayton’s Chief of Staff and leads Minnesota’s Destination Medical Center initiative. Smith was also former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s Chief of Staff.

Danger suggests buying tickets ahead of time because he said he expects the show to sell out. They did not announce Smith as the show’s special guest until a week before the show.

The theater recently created a food drive with Finnegans to collect canned goods for the hungry. Guests will receive $2 off a Finnegans’ beer if they bring at least one can of food to the show. The theater collects the canned goods in a Finnegans’ beer barrel, and each audience member in attendance will receive a free beer once the barrel is full. Danger added the barrel will probably fill on Monday, so guests are strongly encouraged to bring food to the event.


Event Details:

Date: Monday, Nov. 16
Time: Doors open at 6 p.m., the show begins at 7 p.m.
Where: Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
Tickets are available online at

Reporter Madison Bloomquist is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota.