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America Finally Discovers the Magic of Dildo

Jimmy Kimmel wants to be the top man in Dildo, Newfoundland. We say: Yes b’y.

by Drew Brown
Aug 14 2019, 4:39pm

Images via AP and Wikimedia Commons.

Dildo, a community of about 1,200 people in Newfoundland, has been buzzing with excitement lately. It vibrates and shudders under a thousand Townie tourists clambering to jump on the bandwagon and steal one of its road signs.

You see, earlier in August, late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel discovered one of Canada’s best-kept secrets: a “magical place” with a spectacular, sexy name. His show has since featured interviews with residents and business owners, showcased a brand-new Dildo anthem by local songwriters, and officially declared the rural enclave as Hollywood’s “Sister City.”

Now, Kimmel plans a foray into municipal politics by running—so far uncontested—to be the top man in town. His correspondent Guillermo Rodriguez is on location all week doing the groundwork for Kimmel’s campaign, now shooting live nightly updates from various sheds around the cove. Local television and radio crews are staking out downtown Dildo all week while tourists take selfies beneath the JIMMY LOVES DILDO: KIMMEL FOR MAYOR banners draped over doors and balconies.

Jimmy Kimmel is turning Dildo on to the world—and it’s got the people of Newfoundland and Labrador squealing with delight.

And why not? It’s easy to love the gentle pleasures of Dildo. Nestled in the crook of Dildo Arm just east of Spread Eagle Bay, this small fishing community just a stroke north of Broad Cove is the very vision of the Newfoundland Dream. Sleepy saltbox houses overlook a bustling seaside boardwalk and a booming craft brewery. It has all the magic of a rustic rural seastead full of friendly people, it’s barely an hour’s drive outside St. John’s, and it has a sublimely sexualized name that never stops being funny.

By rights Dildo should be the capital of Newfoundland, and arguably also depicted on the provincial coat of arms.

Like much else in Newfoundland English, the origin and meaning of Dildo’s name has been lost in time and translation. Once upon a time, a ‘dildo’ referred to any phallic-looking object, from glass test-tubes to wooden dowels—so a ‘dildoe’, perhaps, might have been a piece of wood used to plug up the ‘dill’ (or bilge) of a boat. Alternately, given that it was known cartographical jokester Captain James Cook who christened the area Dildo, the community can credibly boast that it’s named for a three-hundred-year-old masturbation joke.

You can see the obvious appeal in building a bit around Dildo for a fella like Jimmy Kimmel: the jokes write themselves and the locals are happy to play along. It’s a win for the town and province, too. Dildo gets weeks of free advertising on international television, and everyone else in Newfoundland and Labrador can enjoy our greatest local in-joke getting out there in the world. And the longer the stunt continues, the more momentum it generates. YouPorn is now offering up $50,000 to help Kimmel run for mayor. You can lay a lot of asphalt with that kind of money.

Of course, Newfoundlanders are a famously pessimistic bunch, so the sudden blitz of attention from Los Angeles has got a number of locals spinning cynical yarns. Some of Kimmel’s past work has been exploitative, and it does sometimes seem more like Kimmel is laughing at the town and its residents than alongside them. In that case, local media and politicians tripping over themselves to flatter and solicit our new favourite city-slicker might actually be playing directly into the “backwater peasant” stereotypes powering some of the laughter. Are we sure this is just a bit of harmless fun? Are we really this desperate for attention? Is all publicity actually good publicity?

Let me spell it out for the smug champions of misery out there: you are missing the point. This is fun, so for God’s sake don’t spoil it for everyone else. Newfoundland and Labrador needs this right now. We need this Dildo thing badly and we aren’t too haughty to show it. We only have two collective moods—hysterical self-abasement or manic self-aggrandizement—and Kimmel plugging Dildo is exactly the thing to flip the switch. You can watch the one try to turn into the other.

Fun has been in short supply here lately. Every time you turn on the radio or open a newspaper it’s nothing but awful news. It’s all Credit Rating Downgrade this or Premier ‘Accidentally’ Commits Colonialism that or an unending parade of expensive bummers called the Muskrat Falls Inquiry. So, what: a famous guy making is making Dildo jokes to his massive American audience and their untapped tourism money? Yes, absolutely: please God let ‘Jimmy Kimmel, Mayor of Dildo’ become a running gag that lasts a thousand years.

(The only complicating factor in Kimmel’s mayoral campaign is that Dildo is not technically a town. It’s an unincorporated “local service district,” a loose collection of households who don’t have an actual municipal government so they rely on the chronically-underfunded province to provide a lot of basic services. Some people consider this type of arrangement a scourge. If Jimmy Kimmel becomes the mayor, he might happily make Dildo finally drop LSD.)

The campaign to mount Kimmel as Dildo’s head drives ever deeper. The main thing now is to lose yourself in the frisson of this collective ecstasy: the fleshy sea of tourists swelling every coffer in town, their lascivious laughter amid the gentle pounding of the waves, and the sheer stroke of good luck that has brought them into our warm embrace. Worrying about whether Dildo is the butt of the joke comes in the post-coital comedown.

Every Newfoundlander now feels the magic of Dildo deep inside them—and soon, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, so will the world.

Follow Drew Brown on Twitter.