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Some Duluth residents who routinely brush off cold weather might bristle at a recent episode of "The Daily Show" that made jokes about their city. But Justin Juntunen, one of several locals who were featured in Wednesday's segment, had nothing but warm thoughts about it.

"I think it was silly and fun, and scathing at points," said Juntunen, founder of Cedar & Stone Nordic Sauna.

During the nearly seven-minute piece, correspondent Michael Kosta visits Duluth under the premise that more and more people are moving to the Upper Midwest to escape wildfires, hurricanes and drought.

While interviewing folks, Kosta mispronounces the name of the city several times, topples over during a snowshoeing excursion and mistakes deer for giants rats. At one point, he compares the terrain as a "barren ice planet from Star Wars."

But those who spent time with the comedian said his coastal-elite attitude was just an act.

"He was super great, really down to Earth," Juntunen said. "When the cameras went on, he put on a very different persona."

At the end of the segment, Kosta fidgets his way through an outdoor soak in one of Cedar & Stone's saunas and shrieks when he takes a cold plunge into Lake Superior. In reality, Kosta, who grew up in Ann Arbor and attended the University of Illinois, is a fan of both saunas and polar plunges; Juntunen said he's been in talks with the comedian about building a sauna for his cabin out East.

Minnesotans may be puzzled by the sight of the snow-covered grounds on the screen and Kosta complaining about the cold. Duluth has been enjoying unusually nice weather, and on Thursday temperatures reached 50.

But the segment was actually shot last February over the course of three to six days. The report was supposed to run earlier, but got shelved when the show stopped production due to the writers strike. Locals featured in the piece were informed early Wednesday that it would finally air.

Former Mayor Emily Larson, who was still in office at the time of shooting, said she was assured by producers and Kosta that Duluth wasn't going to be used as a punchline.

"They were very interested in the climate change story," said Larson, who pops up about halfway through the piece. "Michael told us, 'I'm the joke in the story, not your community.'"

Larson said the texts she has gotten from Duluth residents after Wednesday's episode have been positive.

"Our hope and expectations in helping them set this up was that it was going to be a lot of fun," she said. "And it was a ton of fun."

Other residents who got a moment of national exposure include Mindy Granley, the city's chief sustainability officer, and environmentalist Jamie Alexander.

The crew shot the piece on downtown streets, at City Hall and the Corktown Deli.

Juntunen said he thought Duluth came off looking like a swell place to live.

"I"m a champion for Duluth," he said. "When you get someone from network TV doing a cold plunge and warm sauna, that's a pretty good picture to show the world."

"The Daily Show" airs at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Jon Stewart is back behind the anchor desk on Mondays, with Kosta and fellow correspondents filling in on the remaining days. A permanent host has yet to be named since Trevor Noah gave up hosting duties in December 2022.