People Behind The Parodies: A Fascinating Chat With The Creator Of The Popular ‘WWE Creative Humor’ Twitter

by 2 months ago

Welcome to People Behind The Parodies, a recently added feature where we will be interviewing and going behind the scenes with the owners and operators of some of the most followed and most entertaining parody Twitter accounts on the internet.

Today’s chat is with the creator of the popular “WWE Creative Humor” parody Twitter account (@WWECreative_ish).

“Still using our superior genius to create the longest running, action-adventure programming, just not officially.” reads the description of the account, which has become the most-followed WWE parody Twitter account on the web with, as of this writing, almost 240,000 followers.

(Edited for conciseness.)

Tell me a little about yourself – as much or as little as you’d like. For example, what’s your real name? How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

My name is Robert Karpeles. I am 37 years old (I’m getting to the point where I need to actively remind myself how old I am). I was born in New York but spent most of my life in South Florida. I currently live in Boca Raton, Florida.

So what do you do for a living or what industry are you in?

I am an attorney currently working as in-house counsel for Citrix. Before that I spent 8 years as the associate general counsel for the Florida Panthers. Before law school I spent two years working for the WWE.

Another lawyer. That makes two out of the three I have interviewed.

Will Applebee is one as well.

Do your friends and/or family know that you run @WWECreative_ish? What do they think?

When I started the account, it was anonymous. Being a wrestling fan can be a very lonely experience. Wrestling had it’s big heyday in the 80’s with Hogan, but then it waned until the Monday Night War era with the nWo and Steve Austin. So there was a period of time where admitting you watched wrestling was not going to do you any favors in school.

It wasn’t something my friends necessarily loved, but I’ve come to find over the years that being a wrestling fan is like being in a secret society. And that almost everyone at some point in their life was a fan. And more often than not – after they look around to make sure no one is in earshot – they tell me that they still are fans. I’ve had this experience with law school professors, hockey players, lawyers, doctors, business executives.

The account sprung up from jokes I would make with other writers when I was on the WWE Creative Team. After leaving the company, I’d watch RAW and SmackDown and, much like George Costanza, I’d make interesting comments during the show.

With Twitter, wrestling fans congregated around the platform and were free to connect with other fans. The cheap way to get followers would have been to throw up a flashing red light and say “I once worked for Vince McMahon, come follow me!” Instead I just started posting the jokes on here without any idea of who I was or where I once cashed a paycheck.

Eventually, when the account ballooned past 100 people, I shared it with my wife who was just happy I had a creative outlet. As it got bigger, I was a little more open about what I’ve been doing. My friends and family get a big kick out of it. My father still can’t fully fathom that a quarter of a million people want to read a joke I might come up with about pro wrestling.

That’s fantastic. How did you end up working for WWE of all places? And how does one go from WWE creative to lawyer?

When I was little I had a list of three things I wanted to do when I grew up: I wanted to be a lawyer (it was doctor or lawyer and after a 10th grade fetal pig dissection I realized that law was my career of choice), I wanted to write a comic book and I wanted to work for the WWE.

I was a wrestling fan since I was about 5 years old, but I knew that the idea of being slammed wasn’t all that appealing. So I set my goal on working for them in a behind-the-scenes capacity. I was told by my guidance counselor that “there are maybe 5 people who have that job”, so I said then I’ll be the sixth.

I majored in telecommunication production at the University of Florida (Go Gators) partly because I wanted a major that would help me be a better lawyer (if you can create content, streamline it and disseminate it to the masses then odds are you’ll be able to use those skills when it comes time to write and negotiate a contract) and partly because I wanted to work for the WWE.

I applied for the job but they get thousands of applicants. If you called their corporate office and asked to speak to HR, you get a recording. I found a book at Borders (yes, this is how old this story was) that had a list of internships and the WWE was listed. Even better, there was an actual contact person. I called the WWE offices, asked for Jennifer (she’s not there anymore kids) and she was so impressed with my detective skills that she decided to look at my resume. And the rest was history.

Amazing. So is Vince and/or his family aware of your Twitter account? Or for that matter, do any wrestlers follow it?

I’m not fully convinced Vince knows what Twitter actually is. The WWE is aware that the account exists. Years ago they actually attempted to shut it down (at the time my name on here was WWE_Creative and they argued that people thought I was an official WWE account. Reading ANY of my tweets would have probably cleared that up) so I changed it to fit the parody rules of Twitter.

Early on when the account was first building up, my Twitter stream was open on computers in the production truck and in the Gorilla Position [where the wrestlers enter the arena], as well as with some in the locker room.

For a small time wrestlers were discouraged from following me (as was told to me by someone who was within the company at the time), but that’s relaxed greatly. A number of wrestlers do follow me and they love it. Those that don’t get that it’s all good natured jokes (like “Weekend Update” on SNL) will block me. Thankfully most of the current generation of wrestlers understand and appreciate what I’m doing, and they’re savvy enough about social media to see it as an advantage. If I’m talking about you or joking about you, then it means you’re doing something relevant.

The first big boost to my account was when John Cena replied to a tweet of mine. I saw my followers jump from 100 to 1,000 overnight.

Oh, I remember when WWE “discovered” Twitter. It was all the announcers talked about. “Trending worldwide!”

This is the same company that “discovered” Tout.

I also remember when you changed the name of the account. How long have you been doing this?

December of 2010. Which means I’m coming up on 10 years, which is kind of crazy.

Do you remember your first tweet or for what event you began doing this?

I don’t remember the first tweet, and I’m sure the earliest ones on here were cringe-inducing. It took me a little bit of time to find my rhythm and to adjust the account how I wanted it to be. While the content itself might be funny, I do take it seriously. I brand each day with a different “theme” and I won’t write and post something just to post it. I’ve been told by actual comedy writers that I have the chops to cut it in their world, which is the highest compliment I can get.

Nice. Do you have any all time favorite tweets? Or tweets that just blew up?

I’ve had a few that absolutely blew up. There was one after the last Saudi Arabia show where Goldberg, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar all won over younger stars in pretty decisive fashion so I made a joke about it (I tend to avoid making any reference to the Saudi shows because they are a political landmine that I’d rather sidestep). The tweet got several million impressions and got a response from Macaulay Culkin who said he was cancelling his trip to WrestleMania.

I also had a tweet blow up when I made a joke about Roman Reigns and The Rock and Rock replied “That’s f***ed up. Funny as hell, but f***ed up.” That was a nice little endorsement from The Great One.

I also liked the one I did that led to Hulk Hogan blocking me. It’s when his sex tape came out and I said that “The Hulk Hogan sex tape ends like you would expect, with a big boot and a leg drop”

The most recent one that “blew up” was when Becky Lynch announced that she was pregnant and I said something about how Seth Rollins got her with the small package.

That is a good one. So, do you make any money doing this? Or is it strictly for sh*ts and giggles?

Monetizing a Twitter account is very tough. Not to stick my head TOO far up my own ass but there is an integrity to the page. People would unfollow – no matter how good the content is – if the account was flooded with ads. So I never really went down any avenues for direct monetization. I do have a Pro Wrestling Tees store which has been a lot of fun to design. And I have twice worn one of my own shirts and had someone recognize the account.

The account is mainly for sh*ts and giggles. A chance to connect with wrestling fans and, unlike my actual time with the company, have a voice about what’s on TV. It also let me meet and become friends with people I never would have before, and experiences I probably never would have had otherwise.

Okay, so I would be completely remiss if I didn’t ask you to share at least one good behind the scenes story, preferably involving Vinnie Mac. Shane or Stephanie would be okay too.

I wish I had a truly great Vince McMahon story. Something that struck me as odd would be his sense of humor. One time we were all boarding the corporate jet to fly to a TV taping and I had the latest drafts of the show. I didn’t want to just show up with a stack of papers so I put them in a plastic bag I had in my car. Vince sees this and starts to roar with laughter and asks if that’s my luggage. Then says that it’s the kind of luggage Mick Foley would use (Mick in his autobiographies wrote about how he was frugal on the road) and Vince kept going on and on about calling this bag Foley’s luggage. He brought it up to me more than once during the day. I guess it’s better than being anonymous.

I interviewed with Stephanie and she was beyond sweet. Our interview quickly turned into who had the shittier dorm room in college. She gave me a surprising run for my money considering her father is a billionaire.

Well, this turned out WAY different than I expected. I could literally ask you a million questions now.

What were you expecting?

Well, I had no idea you actually worked for WWE, so that took this in a completely different direction. I assumed you were just a fan. Little did I know you had connections to the Mean Street Posse.

Ah, yeah. Though, like I said, my lasting impression on wrestling will probably be this account WAY more than anything I contributed when I actually worked there.

Okay, one more. Why did you leave WWE?

I never intended for WWE to be my “forever” home. I always planned on going to law school. My time there was a chance to live out a “boyhood dream” in a lot of ways, even if it wasn’t exactly what I had pictured in my mind. So now it’s one of those fun little anecdotal things I can share at cocktail parties.

Nice reference there, HBK.

“I left the WWE because I lost my smile.”

Well, I sure do appreciate you doing this interview. It was, like I said, not what I expected at all. I am a big fan and think what you’re doing is great.

I appreciate that, thank you. Doing this account is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. And is creatively satisfying.

Previously…
People Behind The Parodies: An Interview With The Creator Of The Popular ‘Stephen A. Smith Burner’ Twitter

People Behind The Parodies: A Chat With The Creator Of The Popular ‘NotSportsCenter’ Twitter

Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.

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