Terra Sigillata

NBC now owns www.hornymanatee.com

Many ScienceBloggers are quite fond of manatees; I still keep my ‘Save the Manatee’ fundraising license plate from my days in the Sunshine State.

But this made me laugh.

From the New York Times, a Conan O’Brien skit on the absurdity of college mascots led NBC to cover its butt:

At the end of the skit, in a line Mr. O’Brien insists was ad-libbed, he mentioned that the voyeur (actually Mark Pender, a member of the show’s band) was watching www.hornymanatee.com. There was only one problem: as of the taping of that show, which concluded at 6:30 p.m., no such site existed. Which presented an immediate quandary for NBC: If a viewer were somehow to acquire the license to use that Internet domain name, then put something inappropriate on the site, the network could potentially be held liable for appearing to promote it.


In explaining to the audience the next night what he and his writers had done, Mr. O’Brien marveled, “For $159, NBC, the network that brought you ‘Meet the Press,’ Milton Berle and the nation’s first commercial television station became the proud owner of www.hornymanatee.com.”


  1. #1 RPM
    December 13, 2006

    They’ve infiltrated the popular media. The invasion is soon. Beward.

  2. #2 Aerik Knapp-Loomis
    December 13, 2006

    I watched the show the night after, but I only wish I had seen the one where he made up the domain. I can understand why Conan would think he can be cavalier, because years ago, Chris Parnell for Saturday Night Live did one of their classic fake commercial skits about a sit called http://www.clownpenis.fart . I suppose Conan just didn’t think to make up a domain extension that doesn’t exist (.fart).

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