Newfoundland premier invites Jimmy Kimmel to visit after he jokes about Dildo

Newfoundland premier invites Jimmy Kimmel to visit after he jokes about Dildo
Canadian Press
August 12, 2019
August 12, 2019 6:06 PM EDT
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The picturesque Newfoundland town of Dildo is attracting unprecedented international attention over its name, as late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel continues his televised quest to become its mayor.
Andrew Pretty, a committee member for the local service district, said jokes about Dildo’s name are nothing new, but the spotlight has intensified since Kimmel’s first segments on the community aired this month.
“I can’t ever remember the amount of attention we’re getting right now,” Pretty said. “You would get a little bit of attention, but nothing drastic.”
Earlier this month, the comedian played a local news clip on tourism businesses in Dildo on his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and declared his fascination with everything about the place.
“How did we not know about this? I feel like Canada’s been hiding their Dildo from us,” Kimmel said.
The show has since featured more segments on the place Kimmel has become “entranced” with, including interviews with residents — Pretty among them — and an original song about Dildo by another resident.
In the same segment, Jimmy Kimmel Live correspondent Guillermo Rodriguez installed a sign outside the studio naming Dildo a sister city to Hollywood.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball got in on the joke Monday with a tweet officially inviting Kimmel to visit the province, promising the comedian that he would fall in love with the place.
“What are you waiting for?” he asked the comedian “How about I extend an official invite to come check out our incredible province. August is too hot in LA, and you need a break from that terrible traffic.”
Kimmel tweeted back thanking him for the invitation and using Ball’s name in another double entendre.
“My emissary … is on the ground in Newfoundland and the whole Kimmel family looks forward to seeing the Balls in #Dildo,” Kimmel’s tweet read.
Thank you Premier Ball. My emissary @IAMGUILLERMO is on the ground in Newfoundland and the whole Kimmel family looks forward to seeing the Balls in #Dildo
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) August 12, 2019
Pretty said crews from the show are in Dildo, about 60 kilometres west of St. John’s, this week posting “Kimmel for mayor” signs and producing segments for at least two more episodes.
He said some residents are concerned the jokes about their home might become too vulgar, but he said dirty jokes are not what the show’s producers seem to have in mind.
“Most people are happy about it. Some people are a little concerned that it’s going to get too dirty,” Pretty said. “Ninety percent of the people are really happy about the attention the community is getting.”
The exact origin of Dildo’s name is unknown, and local residents have their own theories about its meaning. Pretty said the earliest record of the name is from 1711.
Residents, who number 1,234 according to Canada’s latest census, doubt the original meaning is connected to the sex toy that comes to mind today. But Pretty said there’s a sense of pride about the unique name, putting a stop to past discussions about renaming Dildo.
Dildo’s road signs have been stolen many times over the years, and Pretty said Jimmy Kimmel’s mayoral signs have become the latest targets of theft. He said residents have volunteered to post signs on their properties, embracing the community’s moment in the limelight.
As a local service district, Dildo does not have a mayor and would require significant restructuring to allow for one, but Pretty said most residents are still having fun with the comedian’s campaign and the attention on Dildo.
He said the town has been busy over the last week greeting visitors who heard about the place through Kimmel’s segments, even some Newfoundlanders from other parts of the province who had just learned of Dildo’s existence.
Regardless of how Dildo ends up on a tourist’s or comedian’s itinerary, Pretty said people who visit for a laugh or a photo with a road sign are quickly won over by the beautiful scenery and friendly residents.
“They soon realize there’s a lot more to Dildo than just the name,” he said.
Jimmy Kimmel named honourary mayor of Dildo, N.L., promises to visit community
Canadian Press
August 16, 2019
August 16, 2019 6:49 PM EDT
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — After weeks broadcasting his passion for Dildo, N.L., late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel was named “honorary mayor” Thursday night and made a commitment to visit the community.
A gaggle of residents and politicians appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday, offering the comedian a key to the community before setting off fireworks over the picturesque Dildo Cove.
Andrew Pretty, a committee member for the local service district, assured Kimmel that his new title will not involve any actual work, aside from an eventual visit to the province.
“We’re going to give you the honour, but you’ve still got to come to Newfoundland at some point,” Pretty told Kimmel.
The TV host accepted the deal, vowing to be a fair and kind mayor.
“That goes without saying — I’m definitely coming,” the comedian replied. “I am honoured to be honourary and the mayor.”
Dildo has been bustling with visitors since Kimmel began running segments on the “magical place” that shares its name with a sex toy, declaring his intent to become mayor after learning the local service district does not have one.
Producers have been in Dildo this week to put up “Kimmel for Mayor” signs and meet residents, with the host noting that the running joke has cost network ABC about $100,000.
Jimmy Kimmel Live correspondent Guillermo Rodriguez accepted the key to Dildo on behalf of the host after taking part in a Screech-in ceremony to become an honourary Newfoundlander by kissing a cod and taking a shot of rum.
“Jimmy, I’m very sad to leave these people. They’re very friendly and I love them,” Rodriguez told the host during the segment.
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Newfoundland premier invites Jimmy Kimmel to visit after he jokes about Dildo
Dildo, located about 60 kilometres west of St. John’s, is accustomed to jokes about its name. Its road signs have been photo destinations and targets of theft over the years. But residents share a certain pride in their home’s unique name, rejecting proposals to rename the town, which has a population of 1,234 according to Canada’s latest census.
Kimmel’s televised campaign has thrust the community into an unprecedented limelight that residents seem to be basking in. Pretty said earlier this week that people were volunteering to display Kimmel signs on their properties in a show of Dildo pride, and some have cashed in on the surging Dildo frenzy by selling merchandise.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball appeared on the show Thursday along with local politicians, boasting of his province’s “amazing” people.
“That is for sure, you’ve got wonderful people,” Kimmel agreed to applause.
Kimmel closed Thursday’s segment by thanking residents for welcoming him and unveiling his gift to the town: a Hollywood-like Dildo sign, erected on a hilltop overlooking the community.
“Thank you my brothers and sisters in Dildo, you’ve been very kind. I’m proud to be your mayor and I will come to visit my fellow Dildodians very soon,” he said.