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April 17, 2020

Jimmy Kimmel calls 'Pizza Groundhog' a 'glimmer of beauty' amid coronavirus pandemic

Late-night hosts chuckle at Philly's quarantine 'legend'

TV Late Night
Pizza Groundhog Kimmel Source/Kristin Chalela Bagnell

Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah found humor in Philadelphia's 'Pizza Groundhog.' Kimmel referred to the woodchuck as a 'glimmer of beauty' while 'The Daily Show' host deemed the animal a 'legend.'

The viral video of a nonchalant groundhog eating a slice of pizza in Philadelphia has fascinated many people during the COVID-19 shutdown — particularly late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah. 

The so-called "Pizza Groundhog" offers a bit of respite amid the frustrations of social isolation, Kimmel said during his monologue Thursday night on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" He described the woodchuck as a "glimmer of beauty in these depressing times." 

The video, which was captured by Kristin Chalela Bagnell at her home in Brewerytown, has been circulating on the internet since Tuesday. The pizza-munching groundhog spent an hour nibbling on the slice, completely unfazed by Bagnell and her two dogs. 

"That groundhog is a legend," Noah said on "The Daily Show." "Did you see his face? Did you see him? He's just eating that pizza right in their faces. He's like if Bugs Bunny was even more of an a**hole." 

Kimmel joked the groundhog's junk food habit may mean "we have another two weeks of home confinement." (To be fair, it's probably going to be a little more than just two weeks.) 

He then added, "You've heard of Punxsutawney Phil? This is Quarantiny Tim." 

Perhaps. But Noah seemed to think the groundhog has more sinister plans. 

"I bet next week he's going to come back and start taunting us humans," he said. "He's just going to set up a brunch outside of the window with all of his friends. 'Bottomless mimosas? Can't do that at home.'"

The groundhog joins the ranks of the beloved New York City Pizza Rat, which became famous in 2015 for dragging a slice of pizza into the subway. 

"Every time an animal is on camera eating human food, you hear, 'Move over, Pizza Rat.' But here's a little reality check," Kimmel said. "The Pizza Rat ... that was five years ago. Rats have a life expectancy of, like, two years. He's dead people. The Pizza Rat is dead."

As heartbreaking as that may be for New Yorkers to hear, I, for one, welcome our new quarantine-predicting groundhog overlord. 

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