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.
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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.

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