We'll be the first to admit it: We believed that Kate Hansen had filmed a dog, or maybe even a wolf, in a dorm in Sochi.
Newsy, along with The Independent, NBC and others, produced a story Thursday that looked at whether the animal was a wolf, as Hansen herself said on social media, or a dog, as skeptical spectators said. Turns out — it was a wolf, but it wasn't in Sochi.
"The media went nuts, which is what I was hoping for."
So, a "prank," Kimmel called it — and an elaborate one.
His show paid to build a replica of Hansen's dorm room for the video. They paid to "rent" a wolf and a handler. (Via ABC)
They coordinated with an Olympian, already famous for her very real dance moves, who'd built up a social media following. (Via Instagram / k8ertots)
Will Leitch, founder of Deadspin, tweeted: "Still don't quite understand why Jimmy Kimmel wolf thing counts as a 'prank.' Isn't it just 'lying, and then laughing about it?'"
Kimmel made fun of the news outlets for reporting on the story. But, as Leitch points out — this was a story. This was an Olympian posting a video that even she said got security in the Village "freaking out."
"Security started freaking out because it technically was a breach. ... There was a little bit more backlash than I thought there would be." (Via ABC / "Jimmy Kimmel Live")
You may remember Kimmel's previous prank — a woman twerking and catching on fire — uploaded from a random, unverified YouTube account. The vid went viral.
Kimmel made a good point then about the need for media to research before breaking "news." But this time, we're wondering — what was the point?
Eli Langer, social media editor for CNBC, tweeted this — a link to a Jimmy Fallon sketch. "This@JimmyFallon guy can teach that @JimmyKimmel dude a thing or two about going viral without manipulating people."
We won't pretend to know how to produce a great late-night TV show, and we're not feeling irreversibly scorned here. Mostly, we're upset we didn't think of the amazing wolf puns other media outlets did.
"You've heard of 'The Wolf of Wall Street."
"Big movie out there. But what about the wolf of Sochi?" (Via WCAU)
But we do have one pun: Jimmy, we gotta wonder, how many times can a boy cry wolf?