Everyone knows late-night host Jimmy Kimmel loves pranks, and this time, his target was the entire Internet. And it worked: The YouTube clip that went viral last week of the “Worst Twerk Fail EVER” (featuring a girl catching on fire during a twerk session gone wrong) was actually an elaborate hoax set up by Kimmel, he confirmed on his show Monday. “To the conspiracy theorists on the Internet who thought the video was fake, you were right,” Kimmel announced proudly of the video, which attracted more than 9 million views in six days. “It was fake, we made it up.”
At first, Kimmel kicked off the segment on Monday pretending he had landed an exclusive interview with the star of the video, a girl named Caitlin, who admitted she was embarrassed, but a friend persuaded her to put up the clip. Cut to: The “director’s cut” of the video, which featured Kimmel bursting through the door in the end with a fire extinguisher.
“Caitlin” (who is really a stuntwoman named Daphne) and Kimmel discussed the scientific process behind making a video go viral, which apparently goes like this: Set someone on fire. Put the video on YouTube. Wait for the Internet to work its magic. Kimmel swore that no one notified any TV stations, and the video naturally just caught the attention of the Internet. “Some people even blamed Miley Cyrus, as if it were her fault,” he joked.
He also delighted in showing the countless news outlets that fell for the hoax and played the video on air, from ABC’s “The View” to CBS’s “The Talk” to the fourth hour of the NBC’s “Today” show. “Good thing nothing’s happening in Syria right now,” Kimmel deadpanned.
In the end, Kimmel finally revealed the goal of his prank: “Thank you for helping us deceive the world,” he told Daphne the stuntwoman. “And hopefully, put an end to twerking forever.”