The Insane Follow-Ups To 5 People Who Memed Into Our Hearts
The internet is a fickle thing. One minute you're riding high on a viral video, the next you're getting arrested for public masturbation. Because the life expectancy of a meme is about half that of a mayfly, most people don't bother following up on your story. If they did they would learn ...
The "Rent Is Too Damn High" Guy Made An Amazing Music Video (And Probably Wasn't Paying Rent That Whole Time)
In early 2010, the New York governor's race was heating up. The incumbent governor backed out of the race, leaving Democrat Andrew Cuomo pretty much unopposed. He won easily. Did I say "heating up"? I'm sorry. I meant "boring as shit."
Normally, people would move on having never learned about any of the other candidates. (After all, how many crazies run for office all over America?) But then came Jimmy McMillan, the leader of the "Rent Is Too Damn High" Party, whose on-the-nose slogan, meticulously groomed mutton chops, and strange Victorian attire was pretty much a recipe for viral-dom. Once he was featured in an auto-tune video, that was that.
Sing it with me: "The-rent is too-damn HIGH!"
Of course McMillan lost the vote by a lot, but he knew he had something special. He ran for mayor in 2013, this time spending someone else's life savings on his own surprisingly competent hip-hop music video. The video opens with J-Mills watching the news, flabbergasted that the rent is still too damn high, goddamn it! It's as if all of his efforts were for naught! He gets so pissed, he takes it to the streets, and to a punching bag, all while wearing various combinations of suits and ties.
The fact that it is clearly professionally produced and isn't just crappy green screen is almost funnier.
After trying for the governorship again (and starring in his fair share of D-level commercials), McMillan supposedly quit politics and offered the party, trademarked slogan and all, for sale. Maybe the fame was getting to him, or maybe it was because shortly after he went viral it came out that, um ... he hadn't been actually paying rent for years. That would be like if the President went golfing his first month in office, after complaining that the previous President was golfing too much! Haha! See, 'cause it would be ironic!
Speaking of, McMillan endorsed Donald Trump for President, because a man who would never give a dime to a homeless veteran outside his own hotel was apparently "the only one" supporting veterans.
Yes, Jimmy. Yes you did.
Monkey Jesus Is Now A Soulless Tourist Attraction
Back in 2012, Cecilia Gimenez gained internet fame after she attempted to "fix" an old painting of Jesus called "Ecce Homo," only to completely bastardize the early-20th-century fresco into "Monkey Jesus."
After she became a laughingstock for her earnest attempt at amateur art restoration, Gimenez tried to stay out of the spotlight. However, the small Spanish village in which the painting sits is now a tourist attraction dedicated not to the historical significance of the piece, but to Gimenez's botched Beast-Messiah. Visitors pay a Euro to view the "painting" as it hangs behind barriers ...
Wouldn't want anyone to touch it.
... and afterwards are greeted by a gift shop that is about as soulless as it looks.
I guess if you were legitimately a fan of the original painting, you're shit out of luck for merchandise.
It seems the church said "eh, tourism money is tourism money" and put the "improved" image on everything from mugs to throw pillows in an attempt to raise funds. And it's apparently worked, since hundreds of thousands have flocked to see the Triple-Chinned Savior.
The church even built a history wall that appears to be at least 50 percent dedicated to Gimenez, which would be like adding a separate placard in the Louvre because someone sneezed on the Mona Lisa. Oh, and don't forget to take a pic in the cut-out and check in on Facebook.
And try one with the kids!
The joke got ridiculously out of hand, but luckily most of the money went to Gimenez and Church charitable funds (not to mention the tourism money coming in to surrounding communities). So if you look at it that way, Gimenez actually did improve the painting.
An Internet Meme Ruined A Taiwanese Model's Career
Once upon a time, a Taiwanese model named Heidi Yeh did a shoot for a plastic surgery company that she thought was a small job. The ad featured her and a "husband" posing with children with eyelids Photoshopped to be way thinner than the parents'. The copy on the ad said "the only thing you'll have to worry about is how to explain it to the kids." Obviously this appears to be racist as shit, but remember that in Asia it's common for people to get their eyes "westernized," which is exactly the service that the plastic surgery firm was selling.
I woulda just said "it's an Asian thing" but that somehow seems more racist.
The internet, being what it is, found the photo and reconstituted it into the meme below, then started spreading a rumor that the family was real, and that the "husband" sued Yeh after finding out that she had lied about getting plastic surgery. The whole thing pointed to a Chinese tabloid story as evidence of its truth, which you might as well take with a truckload of salt, driven directly up your ass.
You'd think the guy woulda caught on after the second kid.
The rumor spread so far that Yeh's family started asking her about it. She claims her (real) boyfriend broke up with her over the embarrassment and companies stopped giving her work because they thought she'd actually had surgery, which for the record, she hasn't. She sued the ad agency for breach of contract.
I get that it's hard to sympathize with a model who, if we take her word for it, lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars, but no one should have to suffer for a meme. Unless you're Scumbag Steve.
The Story Behind The Kangaroo Puncher Is Actually Really Sad
Last December the internet lost its mind over footage of a man from Australia punching a kangaroo in the face to save his dog. It had everything: an amazing video, adorable animals, and a genuinely debatable moral quandary (right up there with "was it OK to kill Cecil in order to raise money for conservation?" and "was that dress blue or black?"). Regardless if sucker-punching a kangaroo in the noggin' is socially acceptable, the video was incredible, and racked up 40 million deserved views on YouTube.
Sorry PETA, this never gets old.
This video sure was hilarious, but the story behind the video is actually pretty sad. Apparently in June 2016, a bunch of Aussies went on a boar hunting trip because it was the dying wish of one of their buddies, Kailem Barwick. After getting the footage, they sold it to a YouTube channel who published it six months later. Unfortunately, Barwick had succumbed to his cancer that month -- the poor guy died mere days before his final wish went viral. His only solace is that he got to witness this in person.
Barwick is third from left, standing next to the legend himself.
As for the puncher, he was actually a freakin' zookeeper. Not sure if they have to take some kind of oath upon employment, but I would imagine at least two of the ethics points involve not punching the animals in the goddamn face.
The Creator Of Prancercise Is Ridiculously Paranoid About The World Stealing Her Idea
It all started with Joanna Rohrback's Youtube video. In it, she demonstrates how to Prancercise, a sort of equestrian-like jogging that is about to take the world by storm. It looked ridiculous. Blend in some cheesy rock chords sprinkled with prominent camel toe and you've got a one-way ticket to viral town.
"BRUTALITY NOW BECOMES MY APPETITE,
VIOLENCE IS NOW A WAY OF LIFE,
THE SLEDGE MY TOOL TO TORTURE,
AS IT POUNDS DOWN ON YOUR FOREHEAD."
Prancercise taking off became a blessing and a curse for Rohrback. While she spent the the better part of the last few decades trying to find success with Prancercise, she couldn't help but think the world was out to steal her brilliant idea.
In a write-up in the Miami New Times, Rohrback insisted that the trademark symbol be used after every mention of Prancercise (legal disclaimer: just pretend they're in this article too, I'm not doing that crap). When a British TV show came to town, she wouldn't even explain her various prance movements on camera, which include gems such as "The Prancewalk," "The Prancegallop," and "The Prancetrot." Because no one could possibly figure out the secret to galloping around like a horse with two broken legs from the YouTube video.
In her mind, an army of Chinese copyright infringers are breaking this video down frame-by-frame as we speak.
Her friend told the paper that " was always worried about people stealing it ... She had the keys to the Hilton Gym and only came in early and late." Though, would seeing a 60-year-old woman trot around like a lunatic even turn heads in Florida? When she decided to write a book, Rohrback hired a photographer on Craigslist (as you do). During the meeting (in a public Dunkin' Donuts), she made him sign documentation saying he wouldn't steal the idea. He signed it, despite feeling, in his words, "dumbfounded" at how strict she was being. But hey, when you're a Craigslist photographer, a gig's a gig. She even believed the bad reviews on Amazon were the work of jealous competitors, like Zumba and Jazzercise, as if they actually saw her as a threat.
This appears to all stem from the fact that she wasn't quite in on the joke. For example, John Mayer was such a fan he made her the star of his music video for "Paper Doll." After it was released she claimed she was "unhappy" with how it was edited, which is an amazing statement given that the entire video is her Prancercising for four uninterrupted minutes in one long cut. One time she was invited to judge a drunken Prancercise competition at a casino, which was only disappointing because no one had the balls to explain to her that the whole world just thought her dance was silly.
Yes, Joanna. John Mayer, the world-famous singer-songwriter, definitely wrote this about you.
But alas, her paranoia stems even further back -- decades back in fact, when she first had her "Eureka!" moment and came up with the routine. This was a great, historic achievement that just needed 20 more years to ferment. But how would she keep all those leeches from taking her idea until then, pre-YouTube?
Why, you just file that shit in the Library Of Congress, apparently.
Chris has a party game called Cheer Up! that you can download for free. Check it out on Facebook, too.
For more check out 5 Viral Stories That Had Insane Twists After We All Moved On and 7 Viral Videos You Didn't Know Were Staged (and How They Did It).
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