The World-Famous Mobile Leprechaun Turns 11 [Video]
Another year, another barrage of emails and calls for New Orleans new anchor Scott Walker. The attention is right on time as he is forever tied to one of the greatest TV news moments in history. The leprechaun sighting gripped a neighborhood in Mobile, but everyone wasn't convinced. "Could be a crackhead!", one witness told WPMI reporter.
It happened in 2006 when I was working at WPMI, the NBC affiliate in Mobile. It was covered as a real news story…at first. We heard reports of large crowds gathering in the Crichton community and police were being called out. We didn’t know WHY they were gathering. The way I remember it, we weren’t going out there to cover a Leprechaun sighting (that would have been a questionable decision). We were going out there to see why such large crowds were causing problems in the neighborhood. When our crew arrived, things sort of snowballed. People were looking up at a tree and saying there was a Leprechaun in it. A leprechaun.
The WPMI crew started shooting video and that’s when the people of Crichton took over and turned this story into an internet sensation.
The version all over the internet is actually the one that aired on WPMI’s morning newscast. The story’s debut came the previous night. For some reason, that one slipped right past the YouTube uploaders.
In the end, the now-legendary “amateur sketch” was auctioned off on eBay by WPMI and the proceeds donated to charity. I think it pulled in close to $1,000.
My wife and I, along with our two kids, get new Mobile Leprechaun t-shirts every couple of years. CafePress has a great selection.
It’s fun to be part of something that’s talked about so much for so long, although some of my co-workers are probably really tired of it. But I never get tired of hearing about it. It’s funny and ridiculous and makes people laugh. I always say that I could be immortalized on YouTube for something far worse. I’ll take this.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with us!
Patty in the Parc at Parc International