If you’d like to skip ahead to the video of one of the weirdest TV moments likely to happen today, that’s below our imagining of how it came to be.
[The team at CNBC morning program Squawk Box is gathered for a production meeting. A disagreement arises.]
Squawk Box producer Squawk Squawkerson: I know you want to, I’m just giving you my personal opinion. I don’t think it’s a good idea, that’s all I’m saying.
Squawk Box co-host Joe Kernen: Aw, c’mon, Squawk! People act like they don’t like hearing about Tebow, but everyone keeps talking about him and people keep listening. And we actually have the Jets’ owner, Woody Johnson, on the show this morning? This is a can’t miss!
Squawkerson: I’m not telling you not to talk about Tebow. I think you should mention Tebow. It’s just – I can’t believe I actually have to explain this – I don’t think asking the owner of the New York Jets about the state of Tim Tebow’s virginity on television will end well for any of us.
Squawk Box co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin: Yeah, I’m just gonna chime in here and say I’m with Squawk on this one. I think we have a good setup here – we talk some politics, we talk some Jets without the virginity thing, everyone’s happy.
Squawk Box co-host Becky Quick: I can’t believe you’re even thinking about doing this. Where am I? What’s going on?
Kernen: Unbelievable. Me against the world. I’m really the only guy around here who wants to have a little fun?
Squawkerson: We can have fun, Joe. Just… not about that one topic, is all.
Kernen: Everyone… the guy’s name is Woody Johnson. I can’t ask the guy whose name is made entirely of dicks about something sex-related?
Sorkin: I… I just don’t think that’s relevant in this case, Joe.
Kernen: Oh, shut up, Sorkin. You never want me to do anything awesome. And The Newsroom sucks.
Sorkin: I keep telling you, that’s a different guy named Sorkin who does that show. That’s not me.
Quick: Can we please not have the fight about The Newsroom again and just get to figuring out this segment? I’ll just say it right now: Joe, if you’re gonna actually ask about the virgin thing, I’m not going out there.
Squawkerson: OK, we really need to get this ironed out. We can’t just do the show without Becky, and –
Kernen: Oh, come on, she’s bluffing. And what’s with you constantly taking their side, Squawkerson? I don’t know how much I can trust you. In fact, I’m starting to think you lied about “Squawk Squawkerson” being your name, and just said it was because “Squawk” is in the title of the show and you thought I’d think you were a natural fit because of that.
Squawkerson: I never said that was my name. You know my name is actually Kevin O’Connor. You were the one who started calling me “Squawk” to begin with, and then everyone else followed you.
Quick: I’m not bluffing, by the way.
Sorkin: OK, Joe, I know you want to do this, but I’m telling you, this is a bad idea. Talk about anything you want besides that. Just… not the virgin thing.
Kernen: Fine! Be that way, everyone! You want to silence me? Well I hope you’re all happy, because I’m good and silenced! No virgin talk! Let’s move on so we can see what else you guys can ruin.
[Kernen briefly covers his face… hiding an impish grin. Fast forward to the show. Johnson is on. The Tebow subject has just come up.]
Kernen (to himself, in his head, before asking question): LEEEEEEROOOOOOY JEEEEEEENKIIIIIINS
[h/t Bob Glauber]