- "Apparently This Matters" is our skewed look at trending social-media topics
- This week, Jarrett figures out why "Doink the Clown" was trending on Twitter
- Doink's WWF highlights include beating guys named "Barry" with a prosthetic limb
- Even with a loss, at least Doink wasn't stuck on the night shift at Denny's
When you're sitting on your couch on a quiet Monday night searching the Web for a decent trending topic and the almighty Twitter gods give you Doink the Clown, you take it. And if you happen to have a goat, it's polite to offer them a sacrifice. I was fresh out of goats, so I murdered a Klondike Bar.
And the Twitter gods were pleased.
Truth be told, I had no idea who Doink the Clown was. But it sounded like a good topic, just so long as he wasn't making headlines for cruising the suburbs in a windowless van.
Clowns and vans. Not good.
So, why the trend? Well, it turns out Doink the Clown is an old-school WWE wrestler who had just made a blast-from-the-past appearance on "Monday Night Raw." I guess this was kind of a big deal. I don't know -- I'm not really into wrestling.
In fact, the closest I ever came to a real match was when two of my college friends battled each other inside an old Dodge Daytona to see who could be first out the sunroof.
We lost a lot of good brain cells that day.
Anyway, according to the WWE website, the evil Doink was known for scaring children and making them cry. Basic clown stuff. But Doink would also bludgeon his opponents with a prosthetic limb. That leads to years of serious therapy.
"So, tell me how Doink made you feel."
"You mean before or after I went home and cut off my genitals?"
Of course, the really good wrestlers have their signature moves, and Doink was also known for utilizing something called the "Whoopie Cushion." Apparently he would butt-slam his opponent's head while viciously breaking wind.
Doink was a classy clown.
I actually found one good example of this on YouTube, which shows Doink dropping the Whoopie Cushion move on some guy named Barry Horowitz. Yes. Barry Horowitz.
I'm not saying my people are bad wrestlers or poor athletes. After all, we did have Goldberg. But if tomorrow I had to get in the ring and you gave me a list of 10,000 wrestlers to choose from, I'm absolutely, positively picking the guy named Barry Horowitz.
Unless there's a Shlomo Rothstein. In which case, I choose him.
Now, as I remember it -- and this was a long time ago -- unless it was a pay-per-view mega-event, the big name superstar wrestlers always just faced some random mullet-man in a pair of briefs. And won. Because, let's be honest, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake doesn't get pinned by the night manager at Denny's.
Apparently, there's an actual term for these no-name wrestlers. They're called "jobbers." Their job is to lose the match. Barry Horowitz, it turns out, made a nice career out of getting his brains beat in. Though I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz were never pleased with their son's life choice.
"You're such a smart boy, Barry. You could've been a doctor!"
By the mid-'90s it seemed as though WWE (then, WWF) started using fewer of these jobbers in favor of marquee fights to increase their TV ratings. Especially on Mondays.
It was 1993 when Raw first appeared on television. Almost 20 years later, they've done it 997 times. So, there's a big milestone coming up. To celebrate the upcoming 1,000th episode, WWE has been sending Heath "The One-Man Band" Slater into the ring each week to compete against past WWE legends. This week, they brought back Doink the Clown.
Twitter went crazy. And here we are.
Doink lost the match within minutes, and most people online seemed to think it was a rather lackluster performance. Alas, on this warm summer night, an old, sad clown was just doing his "job."
And perhaps somewhere a Denny's was missing its night manager.