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Brothers Tony, Tyler and Tanner Kramer were joined by their father Tom in 2012 at Tony’s wedding. Tony and Tanner are hoping to one-up Tyler’s best man’s speech by bringing NBC star Jimmy Fallon to Minnesota for his wedding in September. (Submitted photo)

Slow-jam the groom? Woodbury man working to enlist NBC's Fallon for wedding gift

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A rural Minnesota pig farm would be the destination for one of America’s most popular entertainers if a Woodbury man and his brother get their way.

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Tony Kramer and Tanner Kramer hope to give their other brother and his fiancée the wedding gift to end all wedding gifts by bringing “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon to their family’s Hayfield, Minn., farm.

The idea occurred to Tony, a Woodbury resident, and Tanner while contemplating a bit of one-upsmanship over their brother Tyler Kramer. During Tony’s wedding, Tyler – who served as best man – turned his toast into a send-up of Fallon’s popular “slow jams” segment, where he playfully blends current events with laid-back R&B music.

“Everyone was just dying laughing,” Tony said.

The stunt proved popular – and presented Tony and Tanner with a challenge, since they’re serving as co-best men in Tyler’s wedding.

So they took aim at a challenge that tapped their competitive spirit.

“What if we tried to get Jimmy Fallon to come to the wedding?” Tony said, recalling the brainstorming session.

They’re hoping the appearance would be the perfect gift for Tyler and his fiancée Krystine Svoboda – both of Woodbury – who Tony called “big Jimmy Fallon fans.”

If all goes as planned, Fallon would appear at the wedding, where he would join Tony and Tanner in a “slow jam” serenade of memories about the couple set to pop and hip-hop songs.

“I think it’ll be pretty amazing if we can get him to come,” Tony said.

But what started as a longshot in May might not be so far-fetched once the big day arrives. As the couple’s Sept. 6 wedding nears, the prospect of Fallon being involved in some way with the wedding is becoming greater, Tony said.

Shortly after hatching the idea, he and Tanner enlisted the help of social media contacts to turn it into reality. Before they knew it, the Kramer brothers had a professionally produced appeal video shot by KSTP photographers, a crowdfunding site and a social media campaign that was beginning to pulse.

That led to connections with “Tonight Show” producers, who Tony has been speaking with. Now he’s about 70 percent confident that Fallon will get involved. Tony admits it’s more likely the show’s producers will be able to arrange something like a pre-recorded greeting, but the brothers are still pushing to for an in-person appearance.

So how do you convince Jimmy Fallon to make an appearance in a rural Minnesota farming community for a crowd-funded $5,000 when his normal appearance fee is in the neighborhood of $300,000?

You embrace the challenge, Tony explained.

The video highlights the tiny town of Hayfield, the Kramer family’s pig farm and their quirky barn, which includes a 1950s-era diner setup, a basketball court and a bank of arcade machines. In the video, the brothers pitch it to the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member with a little sketch-work of their own: The brothers portray judges for would-be Fallon fill-ins in the comedic bit starring some buddies of theirs.

Another pitch in the video invites Fallon to try out a game that, well, you might have to see to believe.

Tony said he hopes the video gets a few yuks – and a lot of attention.

In hopes of helping grease the skids, the brothers have raised more than $4,100 toward their $5,000 goal that they would use to help cover travel and lodging expenses for the star. They’re hoping that kind of sum at least proves their commitment to the effort.

“It’s not like we’re saying, ‘Here’s 250 bucks,’” Tony said.

But if they’re to land Fallon, attention is more likely what they’ll need. Tony said producers told the Kramers they will need to demonstrate that their efforts have in fact gone viral; they’ve got to turn it into a thing.

To that end, the brothers are hoping the Twitter hashtag #weneedjimmy and the corresponding video spreads like wildfire through social media.

The brothers have been careful to keep the effort quiet around the couple in hopes of pulling off perhaps the biggest coup: Keeping it a surprise.

Tony acknowledged that as the project goes bigger and eventually spreads beyond the two social media platforms the couple aren’t on – Twitter, Vine and Instagram – that they’ll catch wind. Tony said he’s willing to live with that reality at this point, especially if it means Fallon taking part in the ceremonies.

“We could still keep part of it a surprise,” Tony offered.

But as much as the Kramer brothers want Fallon on board, they also want the couple to remain the stars of their own wedding, not Fallon. Tony admits that’s a potentially awkward prospect to broach, but hopes the affable qualities he’s seen in Fallon would allow that to go by without trouble.

“He’s the average guy who made it to the big time,” Tony said.

As the effort continues to reverberate throughout social media, he said he’s feeling like it’s making a difference. Call it Jimmy Traction.

“I feel like there’s going to be something,” he said.

Check out the Kramer brothers’ appeal video at www.weneedjimmy.com.

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Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
(715) 426-1072
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