C'mon, Booker, put up your dukes.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has had enough of what's become a weeks-long feud between him and late-night host Conan O'Brien over whether his city should be flushed down the figurative toilet -- or not.
The Northeast is standing with Booker. The Southwest appears to be going with Conan, who Booker calls "CoCo." This is especially true in Arizona, "which has a particular love for large gaping holes that just won't close," the mayor said.
Booker also took the opportunity to craft a message of bipartisanship and progress, saying states shouldn't be red or blue any more than they should be "Cory or CoCo."
Booker offered to go on Conan's show or lift the ban on Conan in Newark to move things forward. He even said he'd wear a California T-shirt if necessary. And maybe Conan would take it upon himself to pay tribute to one of Newark's greatest inventors -- Seth Boyden, you know, the guy who invented patent leather (enter creepy leather-wearing Conan photo behind Booker's head).
The battle between Conan and Booker escalated into an all-out word war between cities, airports and everything in between. It all started a few weeks ago when Conan made a joke about Newark that Booker didn't appreciate.
The late-night funnyman said Booker planned to improve the health-care system in Newark by giving people a bus ticket out of the city.
Hardy, har, har, har.
Booker retaliated by posting a YouTube video banning Conan from Newark Airport
and pointing out what a wonderful city his is.
O'Brien responded to Booker's video by saying he apologized, then noted Newark's many cultural gems, such as their "beautiful waterfront, thriving art scene, exciting regional cuisine, four-star lodging and world class live theater."
Of course, as he said that, photos were shown of a dingy bridge, a graffiti'd back alley, a Dunkin Donuts, some burned out cars and a peep show.
Then Conan pointed out he could still get to Newark Airport because part of one of the terminals is in Elizabeth, a neighboring city, and proceeded to ban Booker from Burbank Airport in California.
Then Booker retorted
by banning Conan from the entire state of New Jersey -- and all of Newark's sister cities around the globe.
That leads us to last night, when Conan tried to pop Booker's communal balloon.
"I have bad news for you, Mayor Booker. The municipalities of New Jersey don't roll quite as together as you think," he said.
Conan said he got a letter from one of his so-called allies -- the mayor of the neighboring city of Elizabeth.
"I think you've been done a grave injustice by being banned from the great state of New Jersey, so on behalf of all the residents of Elizabeth, I welcome you with open arms to New Jersey's fourth-largest city," Conan read from the letter. "And since Terminal A of Newark Airport lies in my city, I will rename it the Conan O'Brien terminal for your visit."
With Newark's bordering town on his side, Conan is poised to launch a full-scale attack.
"Now that I've established a beachhead, I'm going to begin my campaign to surround and crush you," O'Brien threatened Booker. The comedian said he would accomplish his mission by "shamelessly sucking up" to surrounding municipalities -- towns like East Orange, Kearny and Jersey City.
"With these cities, I now have Newark completely surrounded, creating a geographic toilet seat around the city of Newark," O'Brien said.
Then the comedian flushed the city down the figurative toilet he created by connecting the dots on his map, haughtily laughing and saying, "It's your move, Mayor Booker."
Published at 9:36 AM EDT on Oct 7, 2009