Jan 16, 2024 - Politics

From pro wrestler to Minnesota's governor, new film chronicles Jesse Ventura's unlikely rise

Two men stand behind a row of microphones and gesture toward the audience unseen in the foreground

Donald Trump — then exploring a Reform Party bid for president — with Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura at a luncheon in Brooklyn Park in 2000. Photo: Craig Lassig/AFP via Getty Images

It's been 25 years since a former pro wrestler took the oath of office as Minnesota's new governor.

Driving the news: Tuesday night, TPT will mark the anniversary of Jesse Ventura's inauguration by debuting a documentary chronicling his rise from the ring to the State Capitol.

  • "Jesse Ventura Shocks The World" will debut at 8pm on TPT and will stream on the PBS app.

Why it matters: Aside from being a wild, only-in-Minnesota story, the film explores his break from politics as usual in the late '90s — and how he gave a roadmap for other non-traditional candidates to win.

  • "You don't have President Donald Trump without Gov. Jesse Ventura," Mary LaHammer — TPT's veteran Capitol reporter and the film's executive producer —said in the film's trailer.

Details: The film will explore Ventura's embrace of LGBTQ+ advocacy and marijuana legalization at a time when those views weren't as mainstream, according to a release from the filmmakers.

Go deeper: Read how Ventura won the election.


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