Conan O’Brien Unintentionally Wrote the Worst Joke That The Rock Ever Told
A kid from South Boston gets into Harvard. During the first week of his freshman year, he finds himself lost on campus, and he approaches an upperclassman from Brookline to get directions.
“Where’s the library at?” asks the freshman.
“You are a student of Harvard University, and students of Harvard do not end sentences with prepositions,” the upperclassman responds.
The freshman says, “Okay, where’s the library at, asshole?”
That overtold Harvard joke is far better than the one that Harvard alumnus and Brookline native Conan O’Brien accidentally entered into the annals of WWE history. The late-night legend appeared on The Howard Stern Show last week to talk colleges, comedians and the unintentional consequences of bullying your writing staff with the worst put-downs known to humankind. He also told the story of how he accidentally wrote one of the dumbest lines that The Rock ever delivered in his storied eight-year WWE career, which goes, “You should be concerned with fixing yourself a nice tall glass of shut-up juice!”
“When I think about you, I think, ‘The guy went to Harvard. He wrote for The Harvard Lampoon,” Stern teased when talking about his illustrious guest’s impressive academic history. O’Brien lamented that the university name on his degree shouldn’t impress anyone, and he told a story of how, when he first started his career in late night, his announcer would list his academic achievements before every show, allegedly declaring, “Here he is, a man who’s better than all of you!” before O’Brien took the stage.
According to O’Brien, comedy doesn’t come from college degrees, and some of the greatest writers he’s ever met were not graduates of Harvard or any university for that matter. O’Brien listed Metalocalypse creator and prolific writer, producer and voice actor Tommy Blacha as “one of the greatest comedy writers I’ve ever worked with,” forgetting his education about prepositions.
Blacha went straight from high school into the military, eventually landing a job on the writing staff of Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1993 on the recommendation of his and O'Brien's mutual friend Andy Richter. Blacha worked on Late Night for six years, creating characters such as "Gaseous Wiener" and "PimpBot5000" during his tenure before leaving to become a creative director at the WWE.
Before he left, Blacha took a souvenir from Late Night in the form of a joke that O’Brien used to tell his ornery writers — “Why don’t you go and have a nice tall glass of shut up juice?” — whenever they got on his nerves.
Shortly after joining the WWE, Blacha called his old boss and told him to watch an upcoming match. O’Brien watched as The Rock delivered his plagiarized line to uproarious applause, and a small cultural phenomenon was born. WWE fans brought signs proudly repeating the dumb joke to all the shows that followed, conspicuously missing accreditation for the Harvard-educated author who originated the bit.
Blacha apologized to O’Brien for stealing his joke, but O’Brien was elated to see his stupid line land with so many wrestling fans. “I was in heaven,” O’Brien told Stern.
And here we thought Harvard grads were only good enough to write for The Simpsons.