David Hougland, with Pacsat International, places a microphone on Marshall Junior High School eighth-grader Michael Morrissey as they get ready to tape for the Jimmy Kimmel Live show Wednesday night at his home in Clovis. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
Clovis’ newly dubbed Burrito Boy is not only getting attention at Marshall Junior High, he’s getting attention from Hollywood.
Three lights, cameras, and a truck equipped with a satellite were perched outside the Michael Morrissey’s home Wednesday night — a crew from ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live featured the eighth grade Marshall Junior High student on their late night Hollywood-based show.
Morrissey, the creator of the 30-inch burrito that, when mistaken for a potential weapon by a passerby, caused an armed response by local law enforcement at Marshall Junior High, is nonplused by all the attention.
“No sweat,” said Morrissey, who created a replica of the infamous burrito for the late-night show. The show’s crew wanted the audience to see what the massive fare looked like up close.
“I made it basically the same way I made the first one,” Morrissey said, “except I used a whole lot more Crisco this time, which helps support the tortilla. And this one’s much rounder and it’s 36 inches long. And this time, I cut down it down to steak and just some bell peppers and jalapenos and onions. And I was cracking up when I made this one.”
Jimmy Kimmel Show associated producer Tara Varilek said her people scoured dozens of Internet sites daily looking for the unusual story.
“We always looking for unusual stories or people with unusual skills,” Varilek said. “This definitely fits in the unusual news category.
“Plus, Jimmy is pretty good with young people on the show.”
Morrissey hasn’t grown tired of the attention the burrito has brought. The heckles, jabs, and back pats from peers at his school have been relentless. Even the teacher who assigned the extra-credit project that spurred the creation of the burrito upped Morrissey’s extra credit points from 100 to 200 — post-hype.
“It’s pretty awesome. I’ll see guys in the hallway and they’ll say ‘yeah bro, that was awesome.’ I’m getting massive amounts of attention. They all bet me that I couldn’t even make a 30-inch burrito. And then it caused all this,” Morrissey said from his Axtell Street home.
Morrissey plans on eating the replica burrito — the original was confiscated by the police.
“My family and I will eat it. But if the crew wants some, hey, go for it,” Morrissey said.
“But just a word of caution — it’s very hot.”