Comedian says Memorial University taking his catch phrase

St. John's internet sensation Donnie Dumphy says Memorial University is capitalizing on his catch phrase "havin' a time" to publicize its upcoming student reunion.

Donnie Dumphy alleges that MUN lifted its reunion slogan from him

St. John's comedian Donnie Dumphy, in a scene from his Havin' a Time video. (CBC )

St. John's internet sensation Donnie Dumphy says Memorial University is capitalizing on his catch phrase "havin' a time" to publicize its upcoming student reunion.

Dumphy created a comic rap video called "Havin' a Time" and posted it on YouTube in 2008. Since then, the video has received 1.2 million hits.

A banner advertising Memorial University's reunion in August. (CBC )

Dumphy said since his video went viral, "havin' a time" has become a popular phrase, especially among younger people in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

When Dumphy saw the phrase "havin' a time" on a billboard in 2011, he was flattered and curious.

After asking around, he found out it was part of an ad campaign for Memorial University's big reunion next month.

I would have done that [the ad campaign] for five bucks and a half pack of smokes.

"I said OK, no one contacted me, so I let it go," said Dumphy.

"And I seen the countless ads and I said, man, they're spending so much on money on all this and they never got ahold of me."

Dumphy went to university for answers

Dumphy said when he saw the campaign come out again this year, he was shocked.

Dumphy added that his fans noticed Memorial's ads as well, and started commenting on his Facebook page about them.

He said that he got so much feedback, he called Memorial University's director of alumni affairs and development, Penny Blackwood.   

"She lawyered up right away and said 'havin' a time' is a Newfoundland term," said Dumphy .

Blackwood said she was surprised to hear from Dumphy, and she denied that the university lifted its reunion slogan from him. 

"The definition of 'a time' is in the dictionary of Newfoundland English," said Blackwood. "It's completely coincidental." 

Dumphy said he's not impressed with the university's response.

"I would have done that [the ad campaign] for five bucks and a half pack of smokes."

Memorial University officials said they are standing firm. Not only is Dumphy not invited to the reunion because he is not a graduate of the university, he's not invited to perform either. 

"Like, I'm all about havin' a time, but this is not so much a time, if you will," said Dumphy.