Henry Takes Good-Natured Ribbing Over Harry Baals

By Peter Ambrose
By Mary Collins

March 16, 2011 Updated Mar 16, 2011 at 8:48 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Re-naming the Renaissance Square building Citizens Square wasn't the most popular choice, but Ft. Wayne Mayor Tom Henry stands by it even when confronted by big Harry Baals supporter Jimmy Kimmel.

Henry appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! via Skype last night, one day after announcing the decision to name the new city-county government center at 200 E. Berry Street Citizens Square.

Kimmel razzed Henry for not naming the building after former mayor Harry Baals. The idea made national and international headlines a month ago, and was the frequent butt of Kimmel's jokes on his late night talk show.

Kimmel pointed out Harry Baals got overwhelming support in a city-run online poll, but Henry countered that most of those votes came from outside the city. Stil, Kimmel said, "I think Citizens Square got 5 votes! 5 people voted for Citizens Square, you're probably one of them for all we know, and yet you went with that. Are the citizens of Ft. Wayne square?" "Absolutely not!" Henry laughed, "We're probably one of the hippest towns in the midwest!"

Kimmel also asked, "what if in the future your name becomes a euphemism for some sort of body part? What if like in the future people start calling their nipples 'Henry?' What if all of a sudden you become Mayor Nipples, is that gonna be a problem?" Henry's response: "In my opinion: no."

Kimmel then put Henry on the spot by asking about his wife's maiden name. Henry laughed and admitted it's Kocks. Kimmel then moved in for the kill, exclaiming, "Your wife's name is Cindy Kocks-Henry. And where does she stand on this? She's kind of in the same boat, she's kinda in that Baals-Kocks boat there!" And how does she feel about it? Henry said "she's having just as much fun as we are."

Henry also asked if Kimmel got a Harry Baals t-shirt they sent and invited him to visit the city. Kimmel side-stepped it, joking he's probably not welcome here. Henry also said the city is "investigating" the possibility of naming something else after Harry Baals. But since Citizens Square is here to stay, Kimmel said he re-named his theater in honor of the former mayor.

The newly named and renovated Citizens Square will soon open as the new home for Fort Wayne and Allen County offices. The City-County building at Main Street will be used for other county offices and serve as the headquarters for the Fort Wayne city and Allen County police departments. It will be re-named after late county commissioner Ed Rousseau.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs each weeknight at midnight on ABC and WPTA.

Henry on Kimmel

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