Joel Hodgson of 'MST3K,' comedian Louie Anderson team up to help Pepitos owner Joe Minjares

Mounting medical bills may force the popular restaurant to close.

The owner of a popular Minneapolis restaurant is getting help from some famous comedians. 

Joe Minjares, who owns Pepitos Restaurant in south Minneapolis and is also a comedian and playwright, has been battling pulmonary fibrosis since 2011. 

As he waits for a lung transplant, his medical bills have piled up, which is putting his restaurant at risk of closing. 

Related: – Owner of popular Minneapolis Tex-Mex joint Pepitos fights for his life – and his restaurant

That's why some famous Minnesota natives are stepping up to help their friend, including Mystery Science 3000 (MST3K)creator Joel Hodgson and comedian and Baskets star Louie Anderson.

Anderson, who will appear at the event via video, said in an email news release that he always used to eat at Pepitos, and when he moved to Los Angeles he "always missed Pepitos and thought about that cheese dip often," adding that "there are many imitators, but they have never even come close."

The Thanks and Giving for Joe Minjares Comedy Benefit will be held at the Parkway Theater on Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the 21-plus event are $20 in advance (buy them here) or $25 at the door. 

All funds will go directly to Minjares' medical costs, according to the ticket website

Comedienne Kristin Andersen will emcee the event, which will also feature MST3K's Mary Jo Pehl and local comedians Alex Jackson and Tom Baumgartner. 

Andersen says Minjares is "talented, funny, generous, selfless. A man devoted to his family and his community. If I could get him a lung on Craig's List, he'd already have it. No one is more deserving." 

This fundraising event is in addition to a GoFundMe page that was set up for Minjares. As of Monday morning, it has raised more than $27,000 of its $50,000 goal. 

You can donate to it here.

Next Up

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.