Charlottetown restauranteer Liam Dolan thought at first it was a joke when he received a phone call from the production team behind The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
While Dolan did ultimately end up on the receiving end of a joke, it was all in good humour when the iconic NBC show spotlighted the Olde Dublin Pub’s “Mount Dublin” burger in front of millions of North American viewers earlier this week.
Dolan said the restaurant first received a phone call earlier this week from an individual who eventually revealed themselves to be part of Leno’s team. He asked Dolan for permission to use the restaurant’s burger.
“I said ‘this is a prank,” Dolan said during an interview with The Guardian.
“He said ‘no, no’ and explained what he (Leno) wanted to do and explained how he was going to do it.”
The mention came at the end of Leno’s monologue when he invited the audience to participate in a game called “Real Food for Fat Ass Americans or Something Disgusting We Made Up?”
Leno listed the burger’s ingredients — a dozen patties of Island beef, a dozen slices of cheese and bacon slices, red onion and tomato on a sesame seed bun and served with a pound of fries — and asked the audience to guess which category the item belonged to.
Many in the crowd thought it was real, while an equal amount thought the burger was made up.
Cheers rang out when Leno announced the burger was indeed real and is sold for $49.95 at the Olde Dublin Pub before he was interrupted by a producer off-stage.
“The Olde Dublin Pub is on Prince Edward Island, that’s in Canada,” said the producer.
“It’s in Canada?” asked Leno before exclaiming, “It’s real food for fat ass Canadians.”
There was much laughter from the crowd when Leno made the quip and a picture of one of the individuals who “conquered” Mount Dublin ran onscreen.
While the individual had worried about offending Dolan with the segment, Dolan gave his consent and said he found the mention funny.
“It was good,” he said with a chuckle.
Dolan said the individual pictured is a resident of New Brunswick and is one of the five individuals who have eaten the burger, which must be completed within 45 minutes for it to be free. Anyone who completes the challenge also receives a t-shirt with bragging rights.
Many have failed the challenge, said Dolan.
“That’s a lot of eating there with the fries and the cheese. It’s pretty rich,” he said, adding that he expects the restaurant will sell a few more orders of the burger due to the massive amount of buzz among Islanders over Facebook and Twitter.
“Any little publicity like that is fantastic,” said Dolan, referencing both the Leno incident and his 2010 appearance on Live! With Regis and Kelly when the show was filmed in Charlottetown.
“When you get a mention for Prince Edward Island, it’s promoting P.E.I., which I’m always happy to do in any way, shape or form.”
The clip of Leno’s monologue can be viewed for a limited time on NBC’s website.