When the gorilla Harambe was tragically killed in May at the Cincinnati Zoo, it’s likely nobody could have ever predicted he would become an odd cry for help or meme across the world just a couple months later.
The gorilla has now made an appearance on a restaurant chain’s earnings call. That’s right, during Ruby Tuesday’s second-quarter earnings call on Thursday, someone asked Michael K. Ellis, the company’s chief development officer, if Harambe’s death had affected the fast-casual chain.
Operator: “Our next question comes from Buddy Fox with Geneva Roth Holding Corporation.”
Buddy Fox: “I just have one question. Do you think your revenues are negatively impacted by Harambe’s death and if yes, do you have any plans to mitigate it?”
JJ Buettgen: “Excuse me, can you repeat your question please? Impacted by what?”
Fox: “By Harambe’s death and if yes, do you have plans to mitigate it?”
Buettgen: “I am sorry. I don’t know we have a bad connection. I couldn’t quite hear the question.”
Operator: “He has lost connection.”
Of course, the caller didn’t just ask about Harambe. He also added to the absurdity by naming himself after Charlie Sheen’s character from Wall Street, Bud Fox, when posing his question about any sort of connection between Harambe and Ruby Tuesday’s revenues.
To push the prank a bit further, the caller was about to take part in the earnings call by saying he worked for Geneva Roth Holding Corporation, a fake company in Wall Street. The screener really messed that one up.
Once again, Harambe was a gorilla living at the Cincinnati Zoo who was shot after a young child fell into its habitat. Harambe was not a frequent customer of the casual dining chain, but instead is now a popular meme.
— CCTV (@CCTV) August 3, 2016
Usually earnings calls are mostly full of banking and Wall Street analysts, along with media, asking the CEO about corporate quarterly results and plans for the future. This time around somehow, a prank caller not only took the time to find the call and join it, but also made a joke out of the proceedings.
This isn’t the first time a prank calling analyst has taken advantage of a quarterly earnings call. During an October 2015 American Airlines quarterly earnings call, one analyst dropped a Mariah Carey reference.
“Doug, I think it’s only appropriate that you dedicate Mariah Carey’s hit single Fantasy to Scott as it was the Billboard number one on this day back in 2005,” analyst Jamie Morgan said during the call.
It’s surprising that an analyst named “DEEZ” hasn’t popped up in one of these calls yet.