"Joe is totally harmless," Rich says.

on Jul 19, 2011 - The Dish

Joe Gorga of The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Watch What Happens Live
You can't say Rich Wakile doesn't know how to take a joke.

After this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Melissa and Joe Gorga hung out in the Bravo clubhouse to toast Watch What Happens Live's second anniversary. But when a fan called into the show asking Joe for his thoughts on Rich's threat to "burn the [bleep] house down," things took a you-can't-say-that-in-public turn.

"Let me tell you about Rich, he's part ar-Qaeda," Joe told Andy Cohen. "Al-Qaeda?" the Bravo honcho clarified.

Going further, Joe added, "You gotta watch! He's Arab!"

Awkward. During our exclusive live After Show, Joe explained his comments, saying, "It was a joke. I love him."

Luckily Rich gets his cousin-in-law's sense of humor and assured fans there's not another Gorga family feud brewing. "I hope no one got offended by Joe Gorga's comment about me last night on WWHL," Rich, whose family is Lebanese, wrote as a Facebook note. "Joe and I have a wonderful bond and we are always joking around. Joe is totally harmless and to be quite honest was clueless about what he said until he and I spoke on the phone this morning. I pointed out to Joe that even though I know his comment did not come from a bad place as an Arab American I can see and understand how others may be offended by his comment."

The politically incorrect jab is already water under the George Washington Bridge for the two. "Please do not make a judgment call against Joe based on his comment. Boys will be boys and gentlemen will be gentlemen," Rich continued. "As Gentlemen Joe and I will move forward and I hope you will all do the same."

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