SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga saga with Jimmy Kimmel continues, as the late-night talk show host delivered another a six-minute monologue focused on Gonzaga University on Thursday night.
"Apparently, I opened up a 'Spo-can' of worms because people in Spokane are angry because I outted them I guess with this rouse they've been selling," Kimmel said.
Gonzaga University is asking Twitter users to convince late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that the university does in fact exist.
This all began on Monday, Kimmel joked about the existence of Gonzaga University during his opening monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
"I have a theory, and I know this might be controversial, but here it is," Kimmel said. "I don't believe Gonzaga exists."
The comedian went on to joke about the Bulldogs bringing attention to the school.
"I've never heard the word 'Gonzaga' outside of college basketball," Kimmel joked. "I don't know where it is. I don't know anyone who went there. I don't even know anyone who knows anyone who went there."
On Wednesday, Gonzaga tweeted, "Zag Nation, we are counting on you to show @jimmykimmel that #GonzagaExists. Tweet your photos and videos to him. Tag him, tag your friends."
Tag star Jeremy Renner liked Gonzaga's tweet.
On Thursday evening, Spokane Hoopfest Executive Director and former Zag Matt Santangelo invited Kimmel to the Lilac City for Hoopfest on June 29-30. Santangelo even offered to take him down to the GU campus to prove it's real.
ESPN's Neil Everett might not have a twitter account, but that didn't stop him from showing his #GonzagaExists support. In a post shared on Gonzaga University's twitter, Everett has an important and lighthearted personal message for Kimmel.
The monologue prompted responses from the Gonzaga men's basketball team, the City of Spokane and many alumni on Twitter.
On Wednesday night, Kimmel reaffirmed his belief that Gonzaga is a mythical place and highlighted responses to his monologue from local media outlets, including KREM 2.
“I think it’s very possible that Gonzaga is a hoax, probably cooked up by the Canadians to screw up our basketball brackets, and that made some people mad," Kimmel said.
"All I know is that, in March, I hear the word 60 times a day," he added.
During the monologue, Kimmel played a KREM 2 clip showing a tweet from VisitSpokane.
On Tuesday, VisitSpokane posted a thread of hilarious tweets proving the existence of Gonzaga and Spokane.
"All of these tweets, all of these examples – these are circumstantial. I need physical evidence that proves unequivocally that Gonzaga exists before I’ll believe it," he responded after playing the KREM clip.
Kimmel also referenced articles from The Spokesman-Review and The Bonner County Daily Bee.
On Wednesday, Kimmel also joked about someone from Gonzaga driving him to the middle of a field and leaving him there if he were to visit Spokane. He also said that he would later wake up in a bathtub with three missing kidneys.
Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh responded to Kimmel's fears via Twitter.
He wrote, “Hey Jimmy Kimmel! We PROMISE not to touch your third kidney. I’ll bring some concrete evidence to LA with me. Thanks for picking the @ZagMBB to win it all!”
Regardless, Kimmel said he filled out his bracket and picked Gonzaga to win the NCAA Tournament.
"My thinking is, if these guys are so good that they can concoct an imaginary university and get almost everyone to go along with it, they can easily win a basketball tournament," Kimmel said.
"When they zig, I go Zags," he added.
Most students know the host is just having some fun, but they said it's not the first time they've had to explain themselves.
"Then you have the people who are like 'Gonzaga? Is that a thing? Are you by Seattle? It happens every time," GU freshman Lily Schmidt said.
This also resulted in a petition to have Kimmel give the commencement speech at May graduation. Senior Jacob Schmidt and his roommates think it's a way to garner attention from the comedian.
"It started out a little bit as a joke, but we do think we can get a lot of signatures," Schmidt said.
Watch the full video below:
The Zags beat Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday afternoon.