2007 Golden Spatula Winner!

Tom Lenartz

Motivating Employees through Spatulatastic Threats

The Golden Spatula Institute is a joint student-and-faculty group at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We present a Golden Spatula award (a certificate and gold-painted spatula) annually to recognize the distinguished achievements and services by organizations and individuals who use a spatula in comedic, educational, or other endeavors.

To submit a candidate for 2008, please e-mail ckiessel@goldenspatula.net a 500-word or less description of an organization or individual who uses a spatula in an innovative, educational, comedic, or other purpose.

Why does the Golden Spatula Institute exist?

It all started in 1989 with a little movie called UHF. In the film, "Weird Al" Yankovic plays George Newman, a "daydreaming loser", whose uncle wins a faltering UHF television station (Channel 62) in a poker game and reluctantly puts George in charge, along with his friend Bob). Among its employees is a scientist/studio engineer named Philo and a spirited news anchor/receptionist named Pamela Finklestein. Through a series of hilarious skits and actions, Channel 62 becomes the most popular television station of the area.

One of the most memorable skits is Spatula City, a commercial for a store that sells nothing but spatulas.

As the fall semester started in 1989, two sophomores (Josh Farrow and Jacob Briscoe) thought it would be funny to send "Weird Al" Yankovic a golden spatula as an award for his movie, and so they did.

The next fall, their mutual friend Alice Nickolai, partially inspired by their spatula obsession, wrote a student play that featured a wrathful spatula predominately. It performed to good reviews. Josh and Jacob created another Golden Spatula award for Alice.

Soon, the Golden Spatula became known by all students and staff at Kirkwood, and the Golden Spatula Institute was born. No longer limited to the biased opinions of Josh and Jacob, this student-faculty group expanded to include anyone who used a spatula for the betterment of mankind.

In 2000, as the number of positive spatula uses dwindled, the criteria expanded to include any comedic, useful, or innovative use of a spatula by any organization or individual.

Spatula City


Sep 15 2007: We have our own domain name now! www.goldenspatula.net!
Sep 12 2007: The 2007 Golden Spatula winner is Tom Lenartz of Grand Rapids, MI! His award will be shipped immediately.
Sep 10 2007: The website has been redesigned in anticipation of the 2007 Golden Spatula winner.

Past Winners

Year Winner Achievement Picture
2007 Tom Lenartz Motivating employees through spatulatastic threats.
2006 Digital Kitchen Spatula with built-in thermometer
2005 Jason Steele Spatula Madness (short film)
2004 Dr. Dennis Hagner World's smallest spatula
2003 Spatula (band) Spatula (band)
2002 Akimoto Kenta World's Largest Spatula
2001 Vicarious Visions SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula (video game)
2000 Diana Lundin Midwest Spatula Museum
1999 Paul Espinoza Broke 37 spatulas in 30 seconds (new world record) N/A
1998 Richard Crane Encouraged cooking in education, provided free spatulas to students N/A
1997 Rodney Tomson Began spatula-recycling program (Tucson, AZ) N/A
1996 Cheriann Lodewyk Sold hand-carved spatulas for charity to raise breast cancer awareness N/A
1995 Talmadge Lotterman Advertised using spatulas (tv commercial) N/A
1994 Glenn Beesley Created dual-use flyswatter/spatula combo N/A
1993 Jason Remmelts Invented auto-flipping spatula N/A
1992 Walter Dewaard Fended off burglar with spatula N/A
1991 William Henwood Used spatula to grill burgers for homeless N/A
1990 Alice Nickolai Positive protrayal of spatulas in "Not Without My Anger" (performing-arts play) N/A
1989 "Weird Al" Yankovic "Spatula City" scene from UHF (movie)

Copyright ©1989-2007 Kirkwood Community College. All rights reserved.