Mark Borchardt is a Milwaukee icon, as familiar as the wings of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the shores of Lake Michigan, or the jean shorts on that guy who sells hot dogs on the corner of Wisconsin and Water in the summer. Back in 2000, a year removed from being featured in the award-winning documentary American Movie, Borchardt was a national star. Among his high-profile gigs that year were his five appearances on the Late Show With David Letterman, serving as both a political correspondent and a just-dropping-by-to-shoot-the-shit guest.
The following clip is a good example of the latter type of appearance. Broadcast on November 2, 2000, just days before the presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore (Borchardt reveals he’s voting for Ralph Nader, and that he previously voted for Ross Perot), the segment features plenty of highlights: Borchardt mentioning how he listened to “Rhinestone Cowboy” nine times in a row one night (“That was wild, man,”) Borchardt giving a tour of Menomonee Falls and Milwaukee to the strains of “Crazy Train” (“Bob Uecker lives out here, too, man,”) Borchardt pointing out the 8,000 houses he used to party at, Borchardt hanging out with Mike Schank, Mike Schank reciting some original song lyrics (“The reek of burning flesh and hair / The smell of death hangs low in the air,”) and Borchardt eating a bunch of candy.
“I totally dig it here, I feel comfortable here,” Borchardt says at the end of the tour. “It’s Milwaukee, man” Enjoy, man.