Conan O’Brien recently made a crack about the city of Newark, New Jersey, on The Tonight Show. But it seems the city’s Mayor, Cory Booker, didn’t find it very funny.
“The Mayor of Newark, NJ, wants to set up a citywide program to improve residents’ health. The health care program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark,” O’Brien said. Ouch.
The Mayor handled it well though, responding with a YouTube video challenging Conan’s perceptions of the city. “You fail to understand our city is one of the fastest growing cities in the Northeast,” he said. He went on to detail the many improvement made to the city, one that he called “a city on the rise.” He then offered a glimpse of resident reactions to Conan’s crack, including the ego-crushing query of one woman: “Who’s Conan O’Brien?”
With a slight grin, Mayor Booker told Conan he was officially on the Newark Airport’s “no fly list” and closed with “Try JFK, buddy.”
Of course, Conan had to fire back.
He said the ban was no problem; he could easily get to Newark through the sewer system, because, “Everyone knows, all sewer pipes lead to Newark.” He invited the Mayor to come on his show to settle things like “men of honor”, adding that the studio was just five minutes from the Burbank Internatonal Airport. . . which the Mayor was now, of course, banned from.
In response to Conan’s egging, Booker posted another video. This time, he’s calling for reinforcements, saying that he has 566 municipalites backing him because “we in New Jersey roll hard, we roll strong, and we roll together.” And Booker didn’t stop there. He says he’s reached out Newark’s Sister Cities all over the world, which means Conan’s not just banned from the entire state of New Jersey, but also from cities in places like Ghana and even Conan’s own ancestral home of Ireland. “CoCo can’t go go,” the Mayor taunts.
He does offer to come on The Tonight Show show to settle the dispute, but only if Conan will first pay a visit to Newark.
Your move, Conan.