Jimmy Kimmel Calls for "National Unfriend Day"

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel
Charley Gallay
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel
Charley Gallay

Mark Zuckerberg survived Aaron Sorkin, but now he's up against late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, a comedian with a message that Facebook's CEO can't like very much.

"On November 17, please, pull some weeds out of your life," said Kimmel, who urged his viewers of his show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to celebrate "National Unfriend Day," by whittling down the number of contacts in their Facebook friend list.

"Friendship is a sacred thing and I believe Facebook is cheapening it," Kimmel said. "I go on this Facebook, I see people with thousands of what they call 'friends' - which is impossible. You can't have 1,000 friends.

"Here's how you can tell who on Facebook is really your friend. Let's say on Friday, post a status update that says, 'I'm moving this weekend and I need help.' The people that respond - those are your friends. Everyone else isn't. I would like people to start whittling this down."

After mocking the mind-numbing musings of one serial Facebook poster, Kimmel made the case for a collective time out.

"I encourage you to cut out some of the friend fat in your life. A friend is someone you have a special relationship with. It's not someone who has a 'Which Harry Potter character are you?' Do you remember five years ago when no one was on Facebook and you didn't know what the guy in high school biology was having for lunch? Remember how that was fine? Let's go back to that. National Unfriend Day."

Kimmel's monologue was another testament to Facebook's extraordinary emergence as a cultural touchstone. Last month, Zuckerberg got pulled onto center stage when David Fincher's movie "The Social Network" debuted to a rave reception.

Despite the momentary PR stir caused by the movie's unflattering portrayal of Facebook's founder, Zuckerberg now envisions 1 billion people using the service before long.

Though not if Kimmel gets his wish. In a statement emailed to, Facebook said "Jimmy Kimmel's Facebook campaign is clever so we're keeping him on our friend list for now. Come Nov. 17, just remember Jimmy, it's one thing to be the "unfriender", but it's a whole different story if you're the "unfriended."

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.