Chris Carlson/AP
Jeff Labrecque
June 22, 2012 AT 08:56 PM EDT

Washington Nationals teen sensation Bryce Harper has proven advanced beyond his years, ever since he earned his GED after his sophomore year of high school so that he could accelerate the timetable for being drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Now 19, he’s hitting .287 with seven home runs for the first-place Nats.

But it’s not only on the field where Harper is making an impact. Last week in Toronto, a local reporter asked Harper if he planned to take advantage of Canada’s 18-and-over drinking laws to celebrate a big home run. Harper, a Mormon from Las Vegas, smirked and dismissed the scribe with, “That’s a clown question, bro.”

The slam quickly went viral online, with such speed and penetration that it was soon recycled by Sen. Harry Reid during a Washington press conference and a Denver brewery announced plans for a Canadian lager, branded Clown Question, Bro.

Watch Harper’s original exchange below:

Proving once again that he’s ahead of the game, Harper has trademarked the phrase and Under Armour is plastering it on new T-shirts, according to Comcast Sportnet in D.C. (It’s unclear how the Clown Question beer will be affected, and I’m afraid to ask, lest I be slammed with the punchline.) In fact, according to a photo of the filing posted by sports-business journalist Darren Rovell, Harper’s paperwork was filed the day after he first uttered the phrase. No sneaking a fastball past this kid!

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