Local TV Stations: Beware “Yo-Yo Master” K-Strass [Video]

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Give “K-Strass,” a man who has appeared on several local morning news shows recently claiming to be a yo-yo master, this much: he has a gift for performing. For example, witness this TV spot, where he regales the (uncomfortable) hosts with tales of his corporal-punishment-filled upbringing. Unfortunately for those same hosts, it becomes very evident later on that one thing K-Strass certainly does not have a gift for is the yo-yo.

Yes, K-Strass – a convenient nickname, as it allowed him to go by the full names “Kenny Strasser” and “Karl Strassburg” in separate TV appearances – is a (hilarious) fraud. How hilarious? Check out the video below (and photo above), both of which feature his best “trick.” Deadspin posted the video a piece on him this morning. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is also on K-Strass’ case, and even posted this update when he fooled yet another station.

In addition to his yo-yo “skills,” K-Strass also purported to have an environmental message behind his act, but that appears to be yet another ruse to make it easier to get booked on TV shows. The Journal-Sentinel said his actual identity is still unknown, but to make any more television appearances, he’ll most likely have to invent an entirely new act. Once a prominent newspaper and blog are both publicizing your act, it’s not likely anyone else is falling for it. Judging by this Journal-Sentinel excerpt, K-Strass sounds like an experienced prankster, but this one will be tough to top:

In each case, producers at the television stations received an e-mail from Joe Guehrke, saying he represented Strasser and ZimZam Yo-Yo, “the world’s first ‘green’ ” nonprofit toymaker…In the solicitation, there is a reference to ZimZam yo-yos, and a related Web site. But in registering the domain name, Zimzaminc.com, Guehrke gave a fictitious Milwaukee address and provided a phone number that is now disconnected.

The K-Strass Affair also serves as a warning to news stations – always be vigilant in fact-checking. Also from the Journal-Sentinel:

The e-mail solicitation stated that Strasser was a runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 1995, grand champion at the Pensacola Regional and was nominated for the Walt Greenberg Award in 2000.

There is no Walt Greenberg Award in yo-yo, and there is no evidence Pensacola ever hosted a yo-yo tournament or that Strasser won a rookie of the year award.

Of course, if K-Strass never made it to the air, we wouldn’t have the above clip. Never mind that last point, news stations: just let anyone on!

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