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Former SMSU prof gets shout-out

October 3, 2012 - Karin Elton
I find the actor James Franco, noted for his roles in “Spiderman,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “127 Hours,” interesting because he is known for accepting roles regardless of if they will advance his career or not (the lowbrow “General Hospital”) and because he is continuing his education and is also a writer and director. Plus he’s cute.

In a recent column of Franco’s, I was startled to read about him picking a book off his stack authored by Joe Wenderoth called “Letters to Wendy’s.” Wenderoth was a professor at Southwest Minnesota State when he wrote the book, which was published in 2000. I didn’t care for the book, which is presented as a year's worth of responses on customer comment cards to Wendy's restaurant, but I interviewed him and wrote an article about him for the Independent.

I remember meeting with Wenderoth at Bagels and Brew. He had his followers (young male college students — the ones who most appreciated his often vulgar writing) with him which made the interview a little strained.

Franco, who is fascinated with popular culture as well as having more intellectual interests, liked the book and discussed it in detail in his column which can be found at


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