Oh, have we got a treat for you today!
Many of you have been following along with the weekly riddles from The Lowell Riddler, and if you haven’t, let us bring you up to speed…
The Lowell Riddler is someone who approached us earlier this year with the idea to hide medallions around town and release weekly riddles that point to their location. Whoever solves the riddle and finds the medallion first wins a prize that include gift cards to various Lowell shops.
Well, The Lowell Riddler has been a hit with our readers, but the person behind the riddles has insisted on remaining anonymous. However, after weeks of begging, cajoling, pleading, supplicating, entreating and beseeching, they have relented to let us reveal their name.
The Lowell Riddler is….(drumroll please)
Yes, that’s right! The veteran of such fine cinema such as Dumb and Dumber, Dumb and Dumber To and Space Chimps – as well as the will-it-never-end Gettysburg – has a soft spot in his heart for Michigan. Daniels grew up in Chelsea, Michigan, attended Central Michigan University and even co-wrote, directed and starred in the Michigan-centric movie Escanaba in da Moonlight.
We caught up with Daniels recently for a chat on the Riverwalk to learn more about what led him to Lowell.
“Well, you see,” he starts. “Chelsea is nice and all, but…” (and here his voices drops to a whisper) …”West Michigan really is better than the east side of the state.”
“Whew!” Daniels straightens up and exhales. “What a relief to finally be able to say that out loud!” Then, he quickly looks around to make sure no one is listening and admonishes us to never repeat those words to anyone.
Anyway, Daniels apparently came across Lowell when he was looking for gigs to promote his latest musical album from The Jeff Daniels Band and decided to apply for a spot in the Lowell Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concert Series. As we all know, COVID-19 put the kibosh on the concert series but that didn’t dampen Daniels’s enthusiasm for Lowell.
“You know, when the stay-at-home order was lifted, I used to drive over here all the time,” he says. “I bought these Groucho Marx glasses from North Star Antiques and between those and my mask, no one recognized me.” He smiles broadly before pausing to look introspectively at the river and adds quietly, “Or maybe no one has seen my movies.” We are quick to assure him that Arachnophobia is one of our favorite films.
The moment passes, and Daniels smiles again. “So I decided that if I couldn’t do a concert here, I would do something else for Lowell,” he explains. “I always wanted to play the Riddler in Batman, but then Jim [Carrey] got the role so I figured this would be the next best thing.”
And there you have it…The Lowell Riddler was born!
Daniels says he’s had so much fun with The Lowell Riddler that he is looking for other ways to brighten the lives of people during the pandemic. For his next act, he’ll be teaming up with Bill Gates to give away $5,000 to everyone who forwards an email he sends.
Wait…those emails aren’t real, you say? Well, neither is this article.
Happy April Fools’ Day!
No, Jeff Daniels is not The Lowell Riddler so you’ll have to keep guessing!
(And Mr. Daniels, if you should somehow end up reading this, we would really love to have you come visit Lowell so we can write a real article about you…and we really do like Arachnophobia.)