Get ready to go on a storytelling adventure! This exciting new documentary from LPB takes you from one end of our state to the other to show you all of the ways Louisiana is a jewel, not just to those of us that live here, but to the entire world.  

Part 1
You can’t talk about Louisiana without talking about water, especially the mighty Mississippi River. It was the life source for many of the Native Americans who inhabited this land for thousands of years before colonization.  On this first night, we begin at Louisiana’s beginning, exploring places such as Poverty Point, the swamps of Acadiana and visit the Coushatta Pow-Wow. Plus, the founding of New Orleans, which becomes the port gateway to the New World long before Ellis Island. 

Part 2                          
Napoleon makes the sale of the century. More people come to Louisiana from all parts of the world producing an amazing culture full of talented artists, soulful musicians, bombastic politicians, and some of the biggest names in sports. Explore our history through the stories of Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium, the rich New Orleans music scene with Irma Thomas, Winnfield’s Louisiana Political Museum, and more, for some of the most memorable moments in Louisiana’s inimitable history. 

 Viewers will travel Louisiana far and wide and hear from an eclectic group of eyewitnesses and experts who help us along the way. National Geographic Magazine called Louisiana “the weirdest country in America.”  This show proves it’s a moniker the residents wear with pride. 


The LPB Education Department is developing standards-based academic content to accompany Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi… or Any Place Else! The curriculum supports and suggestions will be geared toward students in grades 6-12 and will cover a variety of subjects, from Louisiana history, to math, science, ELA and the Arts.  The content and video clips will be sorted by grade and subject for easy access and will be available on theWhy Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi… or Any Place Else! website under Classroom. As Louisiana’s largest classroom, LPB is committed to providing resources so educators and parents can extend the learning.


The Host

Jay Dardenne 
Jay Dardenne was elected twice as Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor and twice as Secretary of State after a 15-year career in the State Senate.  He now serves as Commissioner of Administration, the state’s chief operating officer. Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi… or Any Place Else! is a documentary version of a presentation he created in 2005, which has been performed to live audiences across Louisiana. 

The Baton Rouge native is an attorney whose stories of Louisiana’s unique culture and disproportionate contribution to America’s arts, sports, music, history and politics make this a light-hearted and fun-filled tour de force. “It’s not your traditional documentary.”

The Producer

Linda Midgett
, Executive Producer, LPB. ​ 
As executive producer at LPB, Linda Midgett has been a driving force behind such LPB productions as Ziggy’s Arts Adventure, Safe Haven: Louisiana’s Green Book, and Louisiana Spotlight. The Emmy award-winning Midgett has directed, written and supervised more than 600 hours of programming for networks such as NBC-Universal, the History Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic. Her 2018 independent documentary, Same God, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was shown on PBS affiliates nationwide. 

The Illustrator

William Joyce
Shreveport’s William Joyce has achieved worldwide recognition as an author, illustrator and pioneer in the digital and animation industry. He began his film career on Toy Story and has since been a producer/director/screenwriter/production designer in both animation and live action. In 2009, he founded Moonbot Studios, a multimedia storytelling company producing books, apps, films and video games. Among his many awards, Bill has won 6 Emmys, 3 Annies and an Academy award for his short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore. He has written and illustrated 50 bestselling children’s books and novels which have been translated into over 40 languages. Bill was named by Newsweek magazine as “one of the 100 people to watch in the new millennium. His feature films, all based on his books, include Epic, Rise of the Guardians, Robots and Meet the Robinsons. His television series include the groundbreaking Rolie Polie Olie for which he was creator and showrunner. His new company, Howdybot Studios, is focused on Bill’s stories in a variety of mediums and media. He’s just released his newest short film Mr. Spam Gets a New Hat which is winning awards across the globe. He is also in pre-production on an animated version of the Great Gatsby. Both projects are in collaboration with DNEG studios and Epic games. Bill hopes to someday serve as the first "Secretary of Cheerful Endeavors" for the United Nations . 


Since 1975, Louisiana Public Broadcasting has connected the citizens of Louisiana by showcasing the history, people, places and events that make our state so unique. Over the decades, through the production of award-winning documentaries, programs, and digital-first content, LPB has come to be known as Louisiana’s Storyteller. The food, music, scenery, cultures, and traditions are just a few of the things that make our state such a treasure, not only to those of us lucky enough to call it home, but to the world. There really is no place quite like Louisiana. That’s why sharing the stories of Louisiana is so important to LPB and to the generations of Louisianans we continue to serve. 

And what a story we are sharing with Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi… or Any Place Else! From all of us, we invite you to take a trip to all corners of our great state… your adventure awaits. Enjoy!