Locals react to Jim Jefferies' joke about bombing Reno

The Reno Arch in downtown. Photo by Wade Barnett/KOLO
The Reno Arch in downtown. Photo by Wade Barnett/KOLO(KOLO)
Published: Aug. 10, 2017 at 11:34 PM PDT
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The phrase “Any publicity is good publicity” is not the case for some people in the Biggest Little City.

"The comedy or whatever, it has gone too far," said Ben Hara, Reno resident.

As tensions between the White House and North Korea escalate, some people weren't laughing when comedian

encouraged Kim Jong-Un to bomb Reno.

"This sounds very threatening to people," said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve.

Schieve says she realizes it's a joke, but she doesn't find it funny.

"Some comedians might think that rhetoric is funny. Under the political climate it doesn't resonate, well certainly not with me. He should clean up his act," said Schieve.

But Matt Howlett, a UNR student, says Jefferies was just being sarcastic.

"No more offended than I was at the scene from the Muppets movie, when they go out into the alley and there are sirens and everything. There are jokes and there are jokes about a lot of cities," said Howlett, referring to a movie scene that's supposed to depict a very seedy casino area of Reno.

Jefferies is one of several comedians who have painted Reno in a negative light. Last year, Amy Schumer said the worst place to spend a weekend is Reno because it's a dump.

Humorous or not, one person hopes people look beyond the joke.

"In comedy there is a lot of laughter to it. But when you stop and think what the subject is, you should take it serious," said Eugene Muir, Reno resident.

Jefferies is scheduled to make an appearance in Reno at the Silver Legacy September 9. Some people we spoke with believe he might have included Reno in his comedy bit as publicity for the event.

Verbatim of Jefferies' routine:

 
"Listen, KJ, I know you’re itching to show off your big fancy weapons and bomb the United States, but this is America.  You can’t hurt us.  Whatever you do to us, we’ll come out stronger.  You think you can just bomb L.A. or Chicago to prove you’re a big man?  Well, you’re wrong.  It’s not like you’re going to be bombing Reno or … No, I didn’t say that.  Sorry, look, whatever you do, Kim, please do not bomb Reno.  It’s absolutely vital to our nation’s security.  If you destroy Reno, you will definitely win this war and be a hero to your people.  So don’t do it, whatever you do, do not set your missiles launch codes to 39.5 degrees north latitude, 119.6 degrees west longitude.  Please, KJ, Mr. KJ, stay away from Reno.  If you bomb it, everyone here in America would absolutely hate it."