Trump Fired Up Over Phrase
Thu Mar 18, 7:35 PM ET
By Joal Ryan
The old expression "You're fired!" isn't just for Omarosa anymore.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump is asking the federal government to grant him trademarks on the oft-used phrase, arguably most used these days by the coif-challenged mogul himself.
Two applications, seeking dibs on "You're fired!" for the purposes of clothing, games, "playthings" and unspecified "casino services," were filed on behalf of Trump with the U.S. Patent Office in January and February. The documents surfaced Thursday on the ever-watchful Website, The Smoking Gun.
An NBC spokesman said Thursday he was not familiar with the requests, and did not know what a trademarked "You're fired!" would mean to the network or its hit reality show, leaving unanswered (for now) the question: Would the Peacock have to pay Trump a rights fee every time he whacked one of his aspiring corporate underlings on air?
With the success of The Apprentice, "You're fired!" is rivaling "wardrobe malfunction" for honors as the 2004's sick-of-hearing-that-yet? catchword.
Of course, even at its height, in the days after Super Bowl XXXVIII, "wardrobe malfunction" never caused a scene at Bloomingdale's.
But last week Trump-licensed "You're fired!" T-shirts (at $36 a pop; $24 for a woman's tank top) flew out the door of New York City's Bloomie's faster than that egghead who got canned in the first episode of The Apprentice.
"We shipped 300 to the New York store, and they sold out in three hours," Michael Hecht, owner of Project E sportswear, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Wardrobe malfunction" also never got its own techno remix. At least not from its network hosts at CBS.
But over at NBC, the network's official site is spinning the Trump-sampled tunes, "You're F, F, F, Fired" and "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is." Sadly, we are not making this up.
And yet another sign of Trump pop-culture domination: The 57-year-old real estate and casino kingpin has been tapped to host the April 3 edition of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
The Apprentice, originally pitting 16 men and women in competition for one $250,000 a year job with Trump, is the season's most-watched new show, averaging 19.2 million viewers through last week's demise of sales rep Heidi Bressler. NBC has already ordered a second and third edition.
An open-casting call for the show's second season attracted nearly 2,000 hopefuls Thursday in chilly, snow Manhattan. Similar roundups will be help in 11 more U.S. cities through April 1.
Applicants must be of excellent physical and mental health, willing to relocate to an undisclosed location for up to seven weeks during production in May and June, and, of course, able to stomach the sight (and sound) of Trump flicking his hand and barking, "You're fired!"