Wed June 13, 2012
'That's A Clown Question, Bro' Or The Rhetorical Comeback Rounding Twitter
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:04 pm
If Twitter has its way, "That's a clown question, bro" will join "Don't tase me, bro" in the annals of popular rhetorical comebacks.
"That's a clown question, bro" comes from 19-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Harper. That's what he told a Canadian journalist yesterday, following his second three-hit game in a row.
The journalist asked the Nationals' Harper if he was going to celebrate by drinking a beer, being that the legal drinking age in Canada is 19.
Harper, who is Mormon, rolled his eyes and said, "I'm not going to answer that. That's a clown question, bro."
In truth, the phrase is much funnier in print and removed from the context, as you'll see in this video:
But that hasn't stopped Twitter. The phrase has ignited debate. There is a T-shirt now. And many have noted that in a confrontational interview today, NBA Commissioner David Stern should have resorted to the Harperism.
Instead, when Jim Rome asked Stern, "Was the fix in for the [NBA] lottery?" He replied, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" an answer that called into question the trickery of the phrasing.
Chris Moody, a political reporter for Yahoo!, tweets:
"Jay Carney didn't say "that's a clown question, bro" during today's WH presser. This is how I feel about that: http://bit.ly/NfSdKU"
We'll note that unlike "Don't tase me, bro." the Harperism has not gotten an entry on Urbandictionary.com.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
One more exchange that's getting a lot of attention online comes courtesy of Major League Baseball's newest phenom, the Washington National's 19-year-old star outfielder Bryce Harper.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Last night in Toronto, Harper hit a towering home run against the hometown Blue Jays. It traveled some 450 feet before ricocheting loudly off the side of a stadium restaurant.
BLOCK: While that hit has landed on countless online highlight reels, what's really getting people's attention is what Bryce Harper said afterward in the locker room. He was asked by a reporter if he would enjoy a celebratory beer in Toronto, where the drinking age is only 19. He refused to answer, saying...
BRYCE HARPER: That's a clown question, bro.
CORNISH: It goes by pretty fast so let's play that again.
HARPER: That's a clown question, bro.
CORNISH: And those few simple words: That's a clown question, bro, have gone truly viral.
BLOCK: While it might be taken as an affront to the clown community, we want to make one thing clear: the president of the World Clown Association is not offended.
JOYCE PAYNE: My name is Joyce Payne. I perform professionally as Joy The Magic Clown.
CORNISH: And Joy The Magic Clown knows a thing or two about real clown questions.
PAYNE: Is that you really hair? Where did you get your shoes? Are you a real clown? Clowns are creative people. We can answer any way we want.
BLOCK: So, to be clear, Bryce Harper and the clowns of the world are on the same team. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.