Remember when journalist Ashley Feinberg uncovered secret Twitter accounts for both James Comey and Mitt Romney and also uncovered that it was likely someone within Pete Buttigieg’s own team editing his Wikipedia page? Well this story is exactly like that, except the stakes are way lower because it’s just about Jimmy Kimmel and pizza.
Jimmy Kimmel was a guest on Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out podcast recently, and the topic of pizza and Yelp reviews came up. Kimmel mentioned he has a secret Yelp account, and then said he left a terrible review for a Domino’s Pizza in Newark, New Jersey. That seemed like enough information to track the account down, so I did.
In Feinberg’s stories, she carefully pieced together small clues, checked sources, contacted people—real journalism type stuff. Me? I literally just searched Yelp for Domino’s pizza restaurants in Newark and looked at comments until I found Kimmel.
Genuinely thought it would be harder, but it took like two minutes. It’s the first Domino’s that comes up on Yelp when you search for Newark, New Jersey and Kimmel literally read Birbiglia the review verbatim on the podcast
His review of the Domino’s was his first review, so he created the account just to dunk on this place, which he admits on the podcast he’s never been to or eaten at. As a lifelong resident of New Jersey, he has a point. We have some of the best pizza in the world. But also as a guy who appreciates true garbage food, Domino’s is fine. Some of them might deserve one star, but I think as a chain, it’s at least two. I’d give it a solid three. Pre-pandemic I used to travel a lot for comedy, and it’s a gamble trying pizza in some parts of the country (Looking at you Michigan. You know what you did.) so sometimes you just go for the option that you know will probably be at least fine.
Since the 2010 one-star review of the Newark Domino’s, Kimmel has left a total of 20 reviews, averaging about two a year. They are mostly 5-Star reviews of places he enjoyed, with a few one and two star reviews thrown in when something goes wrong. Like in a 2010 review for the now-closed Little Laura’s Sweets bakery where Kimmel claims the baker never sent out the 100 boxes of cupcakes he ordered. Other reviews on the page tell similar stories of the bakery letting customers down, but Robelle C. says, “I got the browned butter and jam cake and it was delicious!!!!!” so who knows.
Looking at Kimmel’s secret Yelp account I noticed that he has no friends in the app. Then I checked, and I don’t either. That seemed sad, so I sent him a request that he will almost certainly ignore.
Before you start trying to crack my top secret Yelp account, here it is. I’ve left three reviews. All five stars, and I stand by them.
If you think I’m a jerk for doing this, or if Kimmel is a jerk for leaving a bad review of a place he’s never eaten, you might be interested in Jerk! The Magazine, a magazine you send to jerks.