Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aunt to be on Leno's "Tonight Show" Tonight 11:30!

'Tonight Show' comes calling for hog caller
By Eric Barker of the Tribune
Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jolee Bacon is snorting and hollering her way to 15 minutes of fame.

The Lapwai woman is set to appear in a hog-calling sketch on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" tonight.

"I'm really excited. It's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime kind of deal," she said Wednesday while en route to Southern California.

Bacon was crowned champion hog caller at the Nez Perce County Fair in September and featured in a Tribune article about the event. The Associated Press picked up a shorter version of the story that was published in newspapers around the world. Bacon also landed on several Web sites after the Tribune posted a YouTube video of Bacon's winning call in the blog section of

Four months and 18,000 hits on YouTube later, Bacon was invited to appear on the venerable late night variety and talk show. She was told she will compete with another hog caller to lure a live pig. The contest will be designed to predict the winner of Sunday's Super Bowl.

"We are going to each wear football jerseys and do the pig call and see who the pig goes to," she said.

At least that is her understanding of what will happen. Bacon said the invitation came via a phone call from a "Tonight Show" representative Monday while she was extremely busy working at the Clearwater River Casino. Bacon is a greeter there and the call came while people where lining up for a casino promotion that gives customers free gambling money.

"I just about peed my pants when he was telling me," she said. "I'm having (to deal with) a line all the way out the door and this guy is trying to tell me what I'm going to be doing. I didn't know what to do with myself."

When she had a few minutes of break time she frantically tried to reach family members by cell phone to tell them the news. But none of her family were answering their phones. Finally she reached one of her sisters.

"I say 'holy moly I need somebody to come down here right now I have some news.' "

The show is paying her airfare and hotel expenses and will pick her up in a limo to take her to the show's taping. She is traveling with her husband, Jeff. The couple will return Saturday after taking in the sites around Los Angeles.

Bacon's 9-year-old daughter Jacey, who convinced her to sign up for the hog calling contest at the fair, isn't going.

"From the get-go my daughter is the one who said 'get up there and do that, mom.' She is kind feeling like she should be doing it."

Bacon has lots of hog calling experience. She raised several pigs for 4-H projects growing up. Her daughter now does the same thing. So twice a day she would snort and holler "sooey" before feeding the hog. But Jacey sold her pig at the fair last fall and Bacon fears her pig calling skills may be a bit rusty.

"I thought maybe at the bathrooms at these airports I would practice."

The show airs at 11:30 p.m. on NBC. A video of Bacon's winning hog call at the fair can be viewed at


Barker may be contacted at or at (208) 848-2273.


  1. Hog calling is an art. I have seen competitions at county and state fairs over the years. Some folks (as I would imagine this woman is) are very good, and some folks just think they're good.

  2. I can't wait to watch Leno's show tonight!!

    And I love your blog!!!!!!!!! Good job!!!!!!!!!

  3. Southern (in) Sanity:

    Hog calling is an art, and honestly, my aunt doesn't really know how to do it. She just won because she can entertain. She just sort of goes up on the stage and snorts a bit:) I suppose this is why the pig didn't come to her. She lost the competition on Leno's show.