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Jimmy Kimmel now honorary mayor of Dildo, N.L., promises to visit

Jimmy Kimmel’s recent fascination with a small Newfoundland and Labrador community climaxed Thursday with the declaration that the American talk show host was the honorary mayor of Dildo.

The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live had been doing a series of single-entendre jokes about the naughty-sounding place name on his weeknight ABC show. This week, his “security guard” Guillermo Rodriguez was dispatched to the island with a crew to file reports.

Dildo has been unusually busy with visitors since Kimmel began doing bits on what he called a “magical place,” according to The Canadian Press. He said he intended to become mayor after learning the unincorporated coastal community of 1,200, located about 60 kilometres from St. John’s, does not have one.

Staffers had put up Kimmel for Mayor signs throughout the community, along with the odd one touting opponent Matt Damon. Kimmel has had an ongoing fake feud with the actor since his show debuted in 2003; he still signs off nightly with an apology to Damon that time would not allow for him to be on the show.

“He just ruins everything,” Kimmel said Thursday of his phony foe.

After Rodriguez went through the tourist Screech In ceremony Thursday, a committee of residents announced that Kimmel was conditionally named honorary mayor. The one condition is that he has to come to Newfoundland.

“That goes without saying,” he said. “I’m definitely coming.”

Kimmel thanked residents for welcoming his staff this week and ended the eight-minute bit, which had been played 144,000 times on Twitter by mid-afternoon Friday, by revealing an illuminated Hollywood-style Dildo sign overlooking the cove.

“That is our gift to you.”

Actually, his gift is probably best measured in terms of free advertising. Last week, Kimmel’s show averaged about 1.7 million viewers in the U.S., according to TV By the Numbers.

There has been a cost to Kimmel’s network, which is part of the Walt Disney Co.

“What started as a silly joke has turned into a silly joke that ABC has spent, like, $100,000 on,” Kimmel said.

The marketing value to the community and province is likely much more, considering the bits — boosted by the #JimmyLovesDildo hashtag on social media — have been a regular feature on the late-night show for a couple of weeks.

The place name Dildo “is attested in this area since at least 1711, though how this came to be is unknown,” according to Wikipedia. Over the years, especially since the name came to be commonly associated with a sex toy, there have been campaigns to change it.

Coincidentally, Jimmy Kimmel Live got news Thursday that likely wasn’t as well received in the office. The Federal Communications Commission said it was fining the show US$395,000 for misusing the tone from the American emergency alert system in a joke last year.

RELATED: Dildo residents thrilled after Jimmy Kimmel features town


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