LOS ANGELES – Jimmy Kimmel confessed to being the prankster behind a staged twerking accident video, saying his revelation might bring an end to the suggestive move.
Maybe, maybe not. It also remains to be seen whether the clip of a woman apparently set afire while twerking causes TV news programs and other shows to be more cautious about airing unverified videos.
Kimmel admitted on his ABC late-night show Monday that he had created the YouTube clip that drew more than 9 million views in less than a week. He introduced stuntwoman Daphne Avalon, who played fictional, ill-fated twerker Caitlin Heller.
“To the conspiracy theorists on the Internet who thought the video was fake, you're right: The video was fake, we made it up,” Kimmel said.
Hundreds of news outlets were punked into showing it, he said. Kimmel marveled that some even pinned the blame for the mishap on Miley Cyrus, who brought twerking to the fore with her performance on last month's MTV Video Music Awards.
“Good thing nothing is happening in Syria right now,” Kimmel said, taking a jab at the newscasts that gave his video airtime.
In the clip posted last week, a young woman's twerking ends in screams as she topples into a table with burning candles. “I tried making a sexy twerk video for my boyfriend and things got a little too hot,” reads a comment accompanying the video.
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday, the host introduced the rest of the clip that showed him bursting into the woman's living room – dressed in a pink top and black yoga pants to match hers – and dousing her with a fire extinguisher.
“All part of the job, ma'am,” Kimmel says, giving a thumbs-up to the camera.
In a clip “sampler,” Kimmel highlighted the video's use by media outlets, including HLN, ABC and several local Fox stations, although some newscasters and talk show hosts had hedged their bets, saying it could be a fake.
Kimmel's show has feasted on in-house videos before, including faux romantic encounters involving Kimmel, his former girlfriend Sarah Silverman, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. But those aired as obvious parodies on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” not as online pranks.