The Rez Reporter, Rob Fairbanks, stopped by Paul and Babe Tuesday to deliver the St. Patrick's Day report.
Fairbanks' fame continues to grow on Facebook
posts comedic videos on the Rez Report page.
Local comedian Rob Fairbanks started posting videos of himself as the Rez Reporter, an Ojibwe weatherman with an exaggerated accent, about two years ago on Facebook... Park Rapids, 56470
Local comedian Rob Fairbanks started posting videos of himself as the Rez Reporter, an Ojibwe weatherman with an exaggerated accent, about two years ago on Facebook and YouTube for fun.
As of Friday night, Fairbanks
had 39,684 Facebook
likes and 1,850 YouTube subscribers.
"I just started doing videos for my friends as a joke, and they encouraged me to keep making videos," Fairbanks
"After I made that first weather report, it went viral."
Fairbanks lives in Cass Lake where he
can often be spotted at the wayside rest shooting Rez Reports selfie-style on his
Minneapolis born and raised, Fairbanks, a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, moved up north to get away from the city six years ago.
remembered experiencing traditional ways when he
'd visit his
aunt and uncle on the reservation when he was younger.
has a real rezzy accent," Fairbanks
has known he
wanted to perform comedy since he
was young when he
used to watch the classic comedy shows "Laurel & Hardy" and "The Three Stooges" with his
"'Smoke Signals' really opened the door for exposure to Native humor," Fairbanks
Fellow comedian and former co-host Tito Ybarra of Red Lake teamed up with Fairbanks
almost 15 years ago, when the two lived in Minneapolis.
Ybarra and Fairbanks
hosted the "Rob and Tito Show" for six months on UpStream TV in Bemidji
been able to bridge the gap
between the Native and non-native crowds," Ybarra said.
"Doing TV is different than performing in front of a live audience," Fairbanks
"When you're talking to a camera, there's no reaction."
first stand up routine a year ago in Cass Lake.
One of Fairbanks' goals is to make it on national TV.
said although some of his
content is "rezzy," he
doesn't want to be labelled as a Native comedian, rather he
wants to be recognized as a Native American who does comedy.
Fairbanks' fame has grown in the Bemidji area so much he
gets recognized as the Rez Reporter when he
The local celebrity has taken on hosting events at casinos claiming the moniker "The Darker Bob Barker."
isn't creating viral videos or hosting events, he's
making co-workers laugh on the job.
Fairbanks has been working for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe public works department as a heating technician since 2012.
A year after he
started at LLBO public works, his
boss found out about Fairbanks' moonlighting as the Rez Reporter.
The Rez Reporter character may not be a politically correct persona, but Fairbanks
hasn't heard much negative feedback.
Mostly, people thank him for sharing his
humor and talent.
said one woman shook his
hand and thanked him for his
shared Rez Report videos with her
son,who was serving in Afghanistan, on Facebook
and it made him laugh.
"When I first started doing the Rez Report, I wanted to bring a positive light to Leech Lake," Fairbanks
"I wanted to let people know who we are and where we are in Leech Lake.
I want to give people a sense of pride."
remembers growing up with family always laughing and pride playing an important role in life.
said different tribes have different slang, but overall Native humor is universal.
is the creator's gift to cope," Fairbanks
Some of Fairbanks'
earlier videos are for an adult audience.