That’s A Clown Question, Bro
In this age of instant social-media fame, any fleeting catchphrase uttered by a celebrity has the potential to start a “meme” and launch a cottage industry of products. Parties who are quick to secure the associated intellectual property rights are rewarded in this environment. Washington Nationals teenage sensation Bryce Harper is only the latest celebrity to move quickly to protect his catchphrase’s instant Web fame.
During a routine post-game media session in Toronto, the Nevada native was asked if he would enjoy a celebratory beer in honor of his athletic performance and what his favorite brand of beer was. Although he is of legal drinking age in Canada, Harper is underage in the U.S. and also a devout Mormon. The absurdity of this question inspired him to quip: “That’s a clown question, bro.”
The baseball superstar’s representatives quickly moved to trademark the phrase on June 13th, and his athletic apparel sponsor Under Armour announced shortly afterwards that they would be producing an official line of shirts bearing the phrase. Already plastered on homemade T-shirts, stock tickers, and countless Internet tributes, this “meme” reached another level of immortality when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-NV) dropped the phrase in a press conference.