Welcome back to Going Downs, a newsletter about the intersection of celebrity and politics.
I hope everyone had a good week. If you’re Benana (Ben Affleck/Ana de Armas), you soothed your romance woes with more Dunkin’ or got the haircut from Amelie, respectively. Have to hand it to them for breaking it off (as I predicted) before Valentine’s Day. Saves everyone a press cycle and them a lot of money.
Today, I want to talk about the recent, amazing Daily Mail headline, “EXCLUSIVE: Trump-loving My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell had secret romance with 30 Rock actress Jane Krakowski.”
If you don’t know who “the My Pillow guy” is, let’s start there. If you’ve ever seen a mustachioed John Hodgman-looking man on an after-hours infomercial trying to sell you a “magic” pillow seems to be filled with loose chunks of foam. You might also recognize the jingle:
Lindell is kind of like a less charismatic Billy Mays. Originally a bar owner in Minnesota, in 2011, Lindell came up with a body-molding pillow, and they sold like hotcakes. Or rather, by airing the My Pillow commercials an average of 200 times per day on local television since 2013, people have bought them.
Reviews of the product are middling, My Pillow got their BBB accreditation revoked in 2017 for some allegedly bogus BOGO offers, and the company has faced several major lawsuits that fined Lindell for claiming he was a “sleep expert” (he is not) and making wild medical promises about the pillow’s ability to treat health issues.
Lindell has come under fire for some seriously insane controversies. He’s an “All Lives Matter” guy and actively promoted that in multiple press appearances last June. When Fox host, Laura Ingraham, made disparaging comments about Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims, students called for a boycott. Lindell instead increased advertising on the show by 625% to show his support of Ingraham and his pro-assault rifle beliefs. To show support for Donald Trump in 2020, amidst Trump’s impending loss, MyPillow became the single biggest advertiser on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Before the January 6, 2021 Storming of the Capitol, Mike Lindell sponsored busses that helped rioters get to Washington, D.C. This caused massive boycotts of My Pillow from stores like Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Then there’s the fact that Lindell spends his time on Twitter questioning the results of the 2020 election — to such a degree that Dominion Voting Systems has threatened to sue him for libel.
So this week, Daily Mail comes out with the story that 30 Rock’s own Jenna Maroney is dating this guy, apparently from three “sources” they spoke to. The article describes the relationship as an “open secret in New York’s West Village where…[they] were regularly seen in each other's company.”
“The source said: 'It surprised many of Jane's friends because she's such an icon in the gay community, but here she is dating one of Trump's biggest business backers. Another source...revealed that he had wooed the actress for close to a year, showering her with gifts and flowers...She said she had known him for about eight years and that they had been friends but then they started a relationship about a year ago. According to the source, Krakowski and Lindell met in a studio while filming a show and the relationship continued on from there.'They would fight and Jane would throw all of the gifts that he had given her away. [The relationship] came to an end after a weekend together at the actress's rented Hamptons beach house.”
Then today, Krakowski and Lindell responded to the rumors. “Jane has never met Mr. Lindell. She is not and has never been in any relationship with him, romantic or otherwise,” the actress’ publicist said in a statement. “She is, however, in full fledged fantasy relationships with Brad Pitt, Rege-Jean Page and Kermit the Frog and welcomes any and all coverage on those.” Lindell also told The Daily Beast: “I have never met that person and I told the Daily Mail that. My lawyers are going after them.” To Page Six Lindell said, “I've never been to the Hamptons or that place in New York or whatever it is, the West Village.” “In a separate voicemail, Lindell struggled to say Krakowski’s last name, pronouncing it “co-krow-ski,” wrote The Post. Now that’s offensive. Hasn’t he at least seen Ally McBeal?
The whole thing sounds like one big 30 Rock arc. In fact, some people are comparing it to an episode in which a crazed fan played by John Hodgman collects 1,000,000 Surge Cola points which entitles him to ownership over Jenna. I mean after Alec Baldwin (Jack Donaghy) had his own 2021 bizarro 30 Rock plot with the unmasking of Hilaria/Hillary Baldwin, the comparisons are too perfect.
But my question is: why would someone (or 3 someones) make this up? I know Mail can exaggerate, but pulling Jane into all of this (of all people) feels weird! Why not start a rumor that Lindell is dating someone like Laura Ingraham or Nancy Grace? Someone in his social circle? When I first read the headline, I thought Mail was connecting actor John Krasinski to Mike Lindell. That would make sense! He’s pro-military and supposedly somewhat right-leaning.
I kind of buy it honestly. They’re in the same age bracket (52 and 59), and they both have been single and divorced from their spouses since 2013. Jane has actually been on FOX News a few times. !!! Here’s a 2012 appearance on Fox & Friends. Here’s Krakowski June 2016, passing out ice cream with Tucker Carlson.
Jane is currently hosting the 2021 reboot of Name that Tune on FOX, filmed last summer and fall. So, maybe there’s a FOX connection there. Lindell has, of course, been on FOX News pretty much nonstop since about 2015, almost 6 times per year.
It’s entirely possible that Lindell and Krakowski had a little fling back in the dregs of summer 2020. Krakowski was spotted in the Hamptons by paps on the beach a LOT between May-August 2020. I’m unable to place Mike in NYC this summer, but here’s a picture of him recording his audiobook in May which is available on Audible. Audible’s studios are located in New Jersey. Not sure if it’s the same place.
I’d argue that Lindell’s crazy only got mainstream in the summer when he began actively stumping for Trump and denouncing BLM. Maybe Jane came to her senses then. Here’s him giving the National Guard free My Pillows to support them shooting protesters this summer.
But then, I’m thinking that maybe some nosy Hamptons neighbors just saw Jane with a guy who looks like Lindell. He has a pretty common face, and if Lindell did wear a mask to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it could have been some other guy. A guy rich enough to give Jane lavish gifts, but not handsome enough to be mistaken for a “real celebrity.” When I pop Lindell into the celebrity doppelganger machine, here’s who I get:
I also think he looks like Tom Selleck and/or a random rich guy who looks like the My Pillow guy! I mean, with masks, you might think Jane was dating Mike Lindell. But Jane was, like we said, at the beach this summer. She and the mystery man probably took their masks off at some point.
Then there are the pap shots from this summer I found of Jane and this guy on the beach. Who is this guy? Is this “the” guy?! I’ll tell you what, he’s not the My Pillow guy! The My Pillow guy definitely isn’t a surfing guy. He’s not a Ray Bans guy!
But, fair readers, if you consume any more Jane Krakowski content this weekend, you have to watch this video of Jane rapping to “In the Heights” for a charity benefit while wearing a Kangol hat. She’s doing Lin Manuel’s part, and you’re gonna die. It’s a BIG YIKES and that’s why it’s so funny. Have a good one!
Going Downs is a free weekday newsletter, supported by readers like you, written by @clairecdowns and @brendengallager. There are monthly and annual subscription options available, or you can just keep enjoying this freaky free premium content at no additional burden to your wallet whatsoever. Venmo is also always a perfectly acceptable option.