By: Amanda Mews
Dildo. We’ve seen the highway sign and maybe had a chuckle or two. The name is hard to ignore, but beyond the popular green sign lives a group of people who take great pride in their town – and ownership of its name.
My first visit to Dildo was with camera operator, Glenn Andrews, for the NTV “Your Community” segment now seen by millions. His mother is from the town, and cousin Glynis helped get us contacts on the ground.
My first impression of Dildo was of a quiet little town, straddling the old and the new. Like many rural towns in Newfoundland and Labrador it turned to entrepreneurship as a means of holding tight to the place they loved.
Since Dildo was thrust into the spotlight on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the ingenuity of its people has become even more apparent. A day after a sister city sign was erected in Hollywood, Dildo had its own sister city sign. Before that, T-shirts were made by a member of the community.
Now, there are “Jim-bits” and “Dildonuts” served at the local café. The town saw a tourism-drawing opportunity, assembled, and acted quickly. The Dildo Brewery even has a beer named after the late night host, the “Jimmy Kimm-ale.”
The town of Dildo was featured for nearly two weeks on Jimmy Kimmel Live, a late night show watched by millions. And the people of Dildo set the tone for the entire ride.
Andrew Pretty and Karine McDonald were at the centre of the video clip that started it all, and instrumental in the story’s development ever since.
But let’s get real here. The story arc could have gone very differently.
Butt of jokes
Newfoundlanders have been the butt of jokes before, and comedians are unpredictable. But, for the most part, the story has been a positive one, accepted with open arms. All because a proud group of people decided to turn a joke on its head for the good of their town.
And why wouldn’t they be proud?
No one may know definitively why the town was named Dildo, but one thing is for sure – Dildonians, Dildorians, Dildodians, whatever we call them – they were here first, and will have the last laugh.
NTV News entertainment reporter Amanda Mews can be reached by emailing [email protected]