Jimmy Kimmel pot jokes spark college invitation

ARCATA, Calif. — Humboldt State University in California has invited Jimmy Kimmel to deliver the school’s commencement address after he joked about its marijuana research program.

The host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” devoted a segment of his late-night show to poking fun at the new academic program, which the university says is probably the first dedicated to examining marijuana through the lens of disciplines such as geography, politics and economics.

“They will probably just end up playing Ultimate Frisbee or something,” Kimmel dead-panned during the bit that aired in late November, after the university first publicized the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.

The sketch also included a faux recruiting commercial saying students who attended could look forward to low-pressure careers such as dog walking, organizing drum circles and occupying Wall Street. Kimmel joked that the program would probably make getting into Humboldt more competitive than Yale.

University spokesman Jarad Petroske said Thursday the school has not heard back from Kimmel, who also was invited to make a public appearance at its Arcata campus in the fall if his schedule prevents him from speaking at graduation ceremonies in May.

Humboldt State President Rollin Richmond and student body president Ellyn Henderson revealed this week they sent Kimmel a school baseball cap and good-natured letter last month saying they found parts of the skit funny but thought it unfairly portrayed the campus community as “a bunch of pot-obsessed slackers.” A visit to campus, they wrote, would give him “a chance to grow a little and make up for it.”

“We figure you owe us,” the letter read. “Humboldt State provided you with just over three minutes of pretty good material, which must be worth quite a bit for a nationally televised program.”

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