Video of twerking girl who caught fire was a Jimmy Kimmel hoax

Jimmy Kimmel

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By Randee Dawn

Over 9 million people and numerous media outlets have been giggling at a viral video that caught fire recently: The one where a twerking young woman falls onto a table full of lit candles and sets her lower half alight. 

Well, it's fake. Fake, fake, fake. As Jimmy Kimmel explained on his "Live" show Monday night, the video — which he posted under the YouTube account of one Caitlin Heller on Sept. 3 — was just a hoax perpetrated by the inveterate prankster.

During an remote interview with "Ms. Heller" from "Kansas City, Mo.," Kimmel suggested there was "more to see" in the original video and wondered why it cut off where it did.

"It got a little intense, but I do have the rest of the footage," she allowed.

Kimmel then walked behind a curtain and sat down next to "Heller," interrupting the so-called "remote" interview, and they watched the full video — from her mid-twerk fall into the candles, to her catching on fire, to ... um, Kimmel appearing in the video wielding an extinguisher and putting the flames out.

"Thanks, Jimmy Kimmel!" she cried in the video.

"All part of the job, ma'am," he told her, and gave the camera a big thumbs-up. End of fake video.


"To the conspiracy theorists on the internet who thought the video was fake, you're right, it was fake, we made it up," Kimmel then told his "Live" audience while still behind the "remote" curtain. "I'm also the guy who bit Charlie's finger, by the way," he added, referring to another viral video.

Kimmel said they'd shot the video two months ago and just put it on YouTube and "let the magic happen" without any tip-offs to the press or special social media attention given to it. Caitlin revealed her real name (Daphne Avalon) and profession (stuntwoman). Kimmel was amused at how many media outlets fell for the video. 

"Thank you for helping us deceive the world, and hopefully put an end to twerking forever," said Kimmel.

Doubtful, but a nice try.