City Officials And Residents Trade Barbs With Kimmel Over Harry Baals

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis
By Nicole Hahn
By Jeff Neumeyer

February 10, 2011 Updated Feb 11, 2011 at 7:32 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Setting the record straight on the story that just won't go away.

Late Night Network host Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday poked fun at Fort Wayne for declining to name its new government building after former Mayor Harry Baals (pronounced Bawls).

At least one of Kimmel's jabs seemed a little off base, though city officials aren't complaining about the humor or attention.

By now, many have seen the ABC segment where Kimmel climbs a ladder to get on his “high horse” to scold Fort Wayne.

Jimmy Kimmel/Late Night Host: " Now some of you have chosen to ignore that man's tireless contributions to your town because his name was Harry Baals."

In Fort Wayne’s downtown Freimann Square, there’s a statue of Mad Anthony Wayne, the Revolutionary War General who the city takes its name from.

If alive, he might take issue with one of Kimmel’s humorous barbs.

Jimmy Kimmel: " Well, I got news for you Fort Wayne. First of all, you're not even a fort."

Blaine Stuckey/Microbrewer: " What do you mean, Jimmy. We have a fort, we're proud of our Fort Wayne."

Blaine Stuckey not only thinks Historic Fort Wayne, which is located just north of the downtown business district, is one of the community's biggest prizes, he also honors the memory of Harry Baals.

The owner of the Mad Anthony Brewing Company at Broadway and Taylor Streets developed the Harry Baals Irish Stout.

A bartender noontime on Friday poured one out of the tap for customer Bob Wagner.

Bob Wagner/Likes Harry Baals Drink: " This was my first and only so far. I probably will have more. It's quite good actually."

Mayor Tom Henry/(D) Fort Wayne: " Okay, Jimmy. We got your message, now we want to respond accordingly."

Back at the Mad Anthony Wayne statue, Fort Wayne's current Mayor Tom Henry with good nature couldn't thank Kimmel enough for giving his city some colossal exposure.

Henry says people from as far away as Australia have let him know Fort Wayne is suddenly on their radar.

Mayor Henry: " We've received messages from England, really we've gone international.” He laughed, “It hasn't cost us a cent."

Kimmel: " Be proud of Harry Baals Fort Wayne."

Baals served Fort Wayne decades ago, but you could say he's serving his city once again.

Gone, but not forgotten, in fact, he's making a comeback.

Jimmy Kimmel talks Harry Baals

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