It appears Kenny Strasser's real name is Mark Proksch. Strasser's the yo-yo guy that strung along T.V. stations, and has been successfully hiding his true identity since his prank began about a month ago
Strasser made a memorable appearance on our station on April 20th, in which it quickly became clear he was not a yo-yo champion, as he claimed. Ours was one of at least 7 stations on which he did a live morning show appearance.
Just last week, video and stories about Kenny's conquests exploded, appearing on comedy websites, blogs, and news reports all over the nation. You can read more about Kenny's appearances and the coverage that followed in Mikel Lauber's Friday blog.
Photo Courtesy: cine-magic.com
The tip that led to his real identity came from Ryan Orlick of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Orlick, who runs an internet radio station called WJBX, had seen our report linking Kenny Strasser to Joe Pickett and the Found Footage Festival. Orlick found a website called http://cine-magic.com/, which has since been taken down, which listed Joe Pickett as a member, along with Mark Proksch. Orlick saved a head shot listed on that site under the name Mark Proksch, and sent it our way.
Proksch, Pickett, and other filmmakers at Cine-magic produce films for film festivals according to a cached version of their site. After digging through their cached site, we were able to find another photo of Proksch, and we have little doubt he's Kenny. Take a look at the videos and photos and decide for yourself.
Additionally, we found a phone number that 'Kenny' called us from in April listed under a Milwaukee Craigslist post by someone named 'Mark'.
Staying anonymous for weeks despite a National spotlight is no small feat, and Proksch has done an impressive job of hiding his name and identity on the web since the yo-yo guy appearances. Besides taking down the cine-magic site, a twitter account under his name has been deleted, although we found this photo linked to his former twitter account. That photo was posted by a company called AboutFaceMedia, which produces documentary-style films. Proksch's name can no longer be found anywhere on the site for AboutFaceMedia, either. His facebook profile was difficult to find, and is locked, although he's facebook friends with Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of the Found Footage Festival.
Zim-Zam Yo-Yos had no comment when we asked them about Proksch being Kenny's true identity. What remains a mystery is the reason behind their T.V. tour, although they posted on the official Kenny Strasser facebook page Monday that a video they planned to release has been delayed because of copyright issues.
Photo Courtesy: cine-magic.com
Meanwhile, the guys at Zim-Zam Yo-Yos have set up their 'official' website, featuring Kenny. It can be found at http://zimzaminc.com/.
UPDATE: According to a blog post on The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, their Sports Business Reporter Don Walker tried to find Proksch at his Milwaukee address today. His landlord said he still lives there, but is avoiding them
And according to the facebook page for WGN's Morning News, Kenny Strasser has been booked as a guest on tomorrow's morning show. Will it be Kenny in-character? Will he appear as Mark Proksch? It should be interesting.