There are plenty of odd media things that happen during college football bowls, but the new Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl (featuring Utah State and Oregon State) has taken some of that to a new level. That’s maybe to be expected, with it being sponsored by a late-night host; a lot of wacky things around this game have already been turned into late-night content for Kimmel’s ABC show, and there’s probably more to come there. In fact, Kimmel even did a segment on his show last week where he tried to get famed mascot consultant Dave Raymond (the original Phillie Phanatic, the founder of a renowned “Mascot Boot Camp,” and the subject of an in-depth New York Times Magazine feature this summer) to help him design a mascot for the game, a search that ended with “vomiting camel Jimmy Camel“:
And, shockingly, during the game, the vomiting camel lived up to that description following a mascot race:
Jimmy Kamel really did vomit during the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl broadcast. Poor Laura Rutledge… pic.twitter.com/8eVkr9mb7a
— Ian Casselberry (@iancass) December 19, 2021
This wasn’t the only odd thing that Rutledge was around during this game. See also this interview she conducted with Kimmel about how they made him have a credential to the bowl game named for him:
And, as seen there, Kimmel also played clarinet with the Oregon State marching band:
Jimmy Kimmel playing clarinet with Oregon State marching band. pic.twitter.com/jHr4T6ltMl
— Nick Daschel (@nickdaschel) December 19, 2021
In some ways, the shenanigans here are similar to what we’ve seen with the Nickelodeon NFL broadcasts. And there’s some logic to that; a weird and different broadcast can draw in a different crowd. A challenge with this versus Nickelodeon is that this all happened on the main ABC feed of the game rather than a separate feed, so those looking to just watch the game probably had some bones to pick with the extensive Kimmel content; however, 7-5 Oregon State and 10-3 Utah State isn’t exactly a NFL playoff matchup in terms of viewership, so the risk here’s lower (and plenty of people on Twitter did note that they were tuning in for the Kimmel shenanigans, not just the game). Also, ABC picked the perfect play-by-play voice here in Joe Tessitore, who has incredible shenanigan/serious balancing experience from working with Rob Riggle on Holey Moley.
At any rate, it will be interesting to see what the end ratings for the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl are, and how this arrangement evolves going into next year. But the inaugural Jimmy Kimmel Bowl did give us a vomiting camel mascot, something that’s probably never been said about a bowl game before.
[Ian Casselberry on Twitter]