WHITE BEAR LAKE -- It's a work day and an army of television technicians, producers and actors has taken over White Bear Lake Bowl in this Twin Cities suburb.
At the entrance, a pair of lightly clad women sags under the mid-day heat, squeaking instructions to a dozen newly arrived extras from the shade of an open-air tent.
The air buzzes with the purr of several portable generators and a herd of truck engines idling just around the corner in a parking lot off the building's west wing.
Bulky, bearded technicians scurry in and out of a side entrance, following a course hampered by layers of heavy electrical cord, stooping occasionally to fiddle with a truck-mounted control panel or heft another wire.
Inside, the bowling alley, vintage in its decor, is a hive of activity as cast and crew of Comedy Central's newest show prepare for "lights, camera, action."
It's time to tape another segment of "Let's Bowl," a 30-minute comedy game show featuring Brainerd-bred Steve Sedahl and Twin Cities actor Rich Kronfeld.
Comedy Central has ordered 10 installments of the bowling and game show spoof created and produced by Tim Scott of Minneapolis, with help from Kronfeld and Sedahl, a 1976 Brainerd High School grad.
For the past several weeks, the cable network has leased the 1970s-style bowling alley as the set for the show. Several of the lanes are surrounded by the cameras and booms and lighting tracks and control panels and other paraphernalia of television production.
Sedahl is shuffling notes at the padded red desk where he and Kronfeld will sit during the show. Kronfeld is telling jokes to about 50 extras parked in bleachers at the back end of the temporary set.
Taping was conducted off and on over a five-day period that wrapped last Saturday. The program will premiere at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 19.
Sedahl, as "Chopper," and Kronfeld, as "Wally," act as play-by-play commentators for a 10-frame bowling contest billed as a "grudge match" between two contestants.
On this day, the match features a pair of siblings who have argued for years over who is loved more by their mother.
The match settles the argument but they also compete for "semi-valuable prizes" throughout the contest, such as a $500 polish sausage, a used car or boat, or a chain saw.
Clad in blue, polyester sports coats and pink shirts, Sedahl and Kronfeld keep the action going with comedic banter and play-by-play commentary.
Sedahl plays the old-school sports commentator with useful insights, while Kronfeld breaks every rule of sports broadcasting, such as laughing at contestants or whining over his own personal problems.
Interviewed during a break in the action, Scott said the show "will appeal to a broad range of people with its friendly, not-too-risque" approach.
"If we can be bust-a-gut funny, that's phenomenal," the producer said. "But if we can just be really entertaining and be a destination for viewers that will be fantastic. And that's what we're shooting for."
The team put the show together in the mid-1990s, creating 13 episodes that aired on local stations in the Twin Cities, Chicago and other cities, winning rating points wherever it showed, Scott said.
It was this success that convinced Comedy Central executives to pick up the program, and there's much to suggest the network is preparing to purchase additional segments in the months ahead, Scott said.
"But if it doesn't we've already accomplished what we set out to do," Scott said. "If it doesn't perform we have five other projects that we think are pretty good too."
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