Jimmy Fallon makes fun of quirky sign at Omaha store on ‘The Tonight Show’

Jimmy Fallon makes fun of quirky sign at Omaha store on ‘The Tonight Show’
This sign at Dillard's at Oak View Mall directs shoppers to the elevators in the china department, not the country, but some customers still get a chuckle from it. (World-Herald News Service)

Jimmy Fallon and his audience got a good laugh this week from a quirky sign at an Omaha department store.

The host of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” has a regular bit on his NBC show called “Bad Signs,” and on Tuesday he featured one from Dillard’s department store at Omaha’s Oak View Mall.

The sign says: “FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE AN ELEVATOR IS LOCATED IN CHINA.” The sign is directing people to the department that sells china, the dishes — not the country 7,000 miles away. But customers have gotten a chuckle from the message for years.

There are two of the signs, both on the main floor by the escalators. The china department — and the elevator — are just 100 feet away from the signs, so there’s no need to hop on a long-distance flight to Asia.

Fallon displayed a photo of the sign, read the message, paused as the audience got the joke, and then said, “I’ll take the stairs.”

And there’s a bonus: Fallon said the sign was submitted by a woman from Papillion. Local people on Facebook are giving the comedian credit for pronouncing the town’s name right, and not going with the French pronunciation — phonetically “pappy-on” — that out-of-towners often use. Papillion is derived from the French word for butterfly.

Kristen Donaldson of Papillion was watching Fallon’s show Tuesday and the host caught her ear when he said the city’s name. She posted a video clip of the bit on Facebook. She said she loves the sign and thinks it’s great Fallon said the town’s name right.

Trenton Albers, spokesman for the City of Papillion, said when salespeople call City Hall pitching something, it’s easy to tell which ones are from outside the area just by how they pronounce the name.

Albers said even though Fallon tapes his show in New York City, he nailed it.

“It’s good they did their homework,’’ he said.

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