This Day In Internet History — January 23, 2012: Bad Luck Brian Blows Up

(Know Your Meme)

Six years ago on this day, a photo that was deemed “too bad of a picture for the high school yearbook” caught the attention of the Internet, where it has since resulted in, one assumes, at least a billion ROFLs.

This is the story of the meme called Bad Luck Brian.

The Main Event
On January 23rd, 2012, the picture of a gangly, ill-dressed sophomore was submitted to Reddit with the caption, “Takes driving test . . . gets first DUI.” The post wasn’t immediately a hit. It didn’t even receive 5 up votes.

The first ever Bad Luck Brian meme | Buzzfeed

But, like so much exquisite art, it inspired creativity in others. A few hours later, someone had recaptioned the photo, “Tries to stealthily fart in class . . . shits.” The pants-pooping joke caught a bit more traction than the DUI joke, receiving over 3,000 up votes.

KnowYourMeme

In March, meme-sharing website 9gag got ahold of Bad Luck Brian, where it finally blew up, garnering more than 48,000 likes in under 24 hours. In a matter of days, it was all over Pinterest, Buzzfeed, and Funny or Die.

MemeExplorer

The Internet absolutely loved memeing Bad Luck Brian with “embarrassing and tragic occurrences.” The image quickly became a template on Quickmeme, with over 100,000 interactions in just a few weeks. It was truly a meme for the people, by the people.

Smosh
The Rhetoric of Memes
MetalInjection.net

The Story Behind Bad Luck Brian
Who is Bad Luck Brian? And just how awkward is he, really? Bad Luck Brian is actually named Kyle Craven. He’s a full-grown man with a job in construction, a family, and a dog, living in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Surprising, huh? You thought he was just some dweeb in a picture who maybe crapped his pants in school, but no. He’s a real dude. And even more surprising? He’s not awkward at all.

Look, he’s a parent like you! | All-That-Is-Interesting

Craven says the yearbook photo was meant to be silly from the very beginning. “I took the picture as a joke back in the day,” Kyle tells All-That-Is-Interesting.com. “I didn’t really look that awful. I rubbed my eyes, made the goofy smile, wore the vest and all that.”

But his mischievousness rubbed the authorities the wrong way. The high school principal called him out of class to reprimand him for ruining his own yearbook photo. “She pulled me out of class and told me to go to retakes,” says Craven. Apparently, “it was too bad of a picture for the yearbook.”

It’s plain to see that Kyle has the spirit of a jokester. There’s enough evidence in place to believe his story about being in on the prank. Check out these silly photos from around the same time.

Alright, Kyle. We believe you. | All-That-Is-Interesting

Luckily, his friend, Ian, uncovered a copy of the rejected yearbook photo a few years later, in his early twenties. Realizing he had a gem on his hands, he uploaded it to the Web and called Kyle right away, reportedly telling him, “Hey man, no big deal, I just made you Internet famous.”

Good Luck, Brian
Kyle Craven is cool with internet fame. He’s even tried his hand at merchandising, but admits that T-shirts and stuffed dolls didn’t turn out to be the cash cows he had hoped. Ultimately, he has decided to just be satisfied with being a recognizable character online, while focusing on his job and family in real life.

He says his favorite versions of the Bad Luck Brian memes aren’t the poop references or crass jokes, but the ones that present a clever story with economical language. Here’s his number one:

QuickMeme

Let’s close it out with a quote from Kyle about the nature of celebrity in modern times.

“You think back 30 years ago to who was famous and they are movie stars or the president. [Younger generations] love social media and Internet content. It’s amazing how many younger people you talk to are talking about Instagramers and YouTubers. It’s broadening the category of being a celebrity today.”

(Quote from All-That-Is-Interesting.com.)

Happy anniversary, Bad Luck Brian!

 

BEHOLD! LEGO NES Building Kits Revealed

Lego NES Set
(LEGO)

Yesterday we got a tantalizing glimpse at LEGO’s exciting new Nintendo set, which is set to work in conjunction with the interactive Super Mario LEGO set we told you about a few months ago.

Well, now we have the official announcement of the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System Building kit, complete with a collection of photos showing us exactly what we’re in for on August 1, when it hits the market.

The kit includes a game controller and a retro TV set and it looks amazing.

“Super Mario has been a cherished figure in the gaming world for over thirty years now,” said Maarten Simons, Creative Lead on LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, the LEGO Group, as part of today’s announcement. “Many adults still fondly remember that first time they saw Mario leap across the small screen, even if the graphics were a lot simpler than they are today. With the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, we’re letting them truly indulge in that nostalgia, recreating one of the most-loved consoles of all time so they can see the Super Mario from their childhoods once again – and even to share the experience of gaming in the 1980s with their own children.”

Check out the video trailer and all the awesome images:

Images:

(LEGO)
(LEGO)
(LEGO)
(LEGO)
(LEGO)

Mythbusters Co-Host Grant Imahara Dies Tragically at Age 49

Grant Imahara
(Getty Images/Albert L. Ortega)

He was an electric engineer and a roboticist, but the thing Grant Imahara will be remembered most for is as a co-host of the beloved science show “Mythbusters.” Imahara’s life was tragically cut short Monday by a brain aneurism at the age of 49.

Imahara also hosted a “Mythbusters” spin-off show for Netflix called “White Rabbit Project” that ran for 10 episodes. There’s no question he packed a lot into his time, as prior to his TV career he worked for Lucasfilm in the THX and Industrial Light and Magic divisions.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Imahara’s career involved working on some of the ‘most iconic characters in screen history’, ranging from R2D2 (he worked on all three Star Wars prequels) and the Energizer Bunny. On Mythbusters, he did everything from skydiving to driving stunt cars.

Everyone that worked with him was flooding social media with tributes.

Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage said on Twitter working with Grant was so much fun.

“I’m at a loss…Grant was truly a brilliant engineer, artist, and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON.”

His other co-hosts also posted tributes, and other celebrities echoed the gravity of the loss.

A spokesperson for Discovery said they were heartbroken about the news.

“He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Hasbro Releasing ‘Top Gun’ Transformer Complete With Volleyball

Top Gun Transformer
(Hasbro)

There was a time when toys were just for kids. When studios collaborated with toy companies to promote blockbuster movies with new toys, they revolve around kid’s movies like Disney and Pixar and superheroes.

Nowadays, neither toys nor superheroes are for kids, and adults are better off than ever. A few months ago, Hasbro teamed up with the people behind Back to the Future for a Delorean Transformer named Gigawatt. Now they’ve turned to an upcoming movie. Top Gun: Maverick was supposed to hit theaters this summer, but COVID derailed that. We have yet to see Tom Cruise reprise his role as the daredevil pilot. But we can play with a Transformer based on it!

According to Nerdist, the Transformer turns onto a fighter jet, and comes with a “screen-inspired miniature motorcycle accessory” The toy also features fold-up wings and a helmet designed to look like Maverick’s gear in the new movie. Most importantly though, it’s ready to be your wingman should you find yourself in need of a beach volleyball partner with “two alternate hands that can hold the included volleyball accessory.”

 

Volleyball Top Gun Transformer
(Hasbro)

The box is even on-theme, built to look like an aircraft character.

The Transformer will run you $50 if you can get to it. Hasbro says it’s available for a limited time only!

Better get to it before the pattern is full!

Father Figures: Proved Everyone Wrong

“In 2011, my husband he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall from a bicycle.

At first I was told he might not survive, then I was told he might be a vegetable the rest of his life, then we were told that he probably wouldn’t return to the career he loves. He was in a coma for 11 days, a rehab hospital for 14 days, and went through months and months of outpatient therapy.

And then he defied all of those predictions.

Through hard work he returned to his career and he found a love of running. This man who proved everyone wrong now competes in Spartan obstacle course races with our oldest daughter.

I am so proud that he found the strength to return to us.”

– Sharon Cullen

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Charleston School’s ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ Teaches Boys Important Lessons

Charleston School’s ‘Gentleman’s Club’ Teaches Boys Important Lessons
(Youtube/truly)

It’s no secret that kids are information sponges. They spend every waking moment exploring, experimenting and learning about the world around them, as well as their role in it. Kids learn an enormous amount from their parents and role models at home – they learn how to behave, how to interact with other people, how to cope with stress and so many other aspects of everyday life. For some kids, however, tough home lives mean that they may not have the guidance they need to effectively navigate this complex world. Raymond Nelson, the student support specialist at Memminger Elementary in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina realized that several of his students didn’t have male role models at home. So, he decided, he could be the one to help guide them towards being the best versions of themselves.

Nelson works with many at-risk children, and keeping them on the right path is both an important part of his job and important to him personally. Nelson started a Gentlemen’s Club at his school to instill young boys with a sense of confidence, and, well – to help them act like little gentlemen. Every Wednesday, 60 of Nelson’s 5th graders show up at their elementary school dressed to the nines. Dozens of little tuxedos and suits can be spotted throughout the school, worn by these self-assured young men.

“I was thinking maybe if I have the boys dress for success,” Nelson told WCSC-TV. “When was the last time you saw someone fighting in a tuxedo?”

The Gentlemen’s Club’s motto, “Look good, feel good, do good,” helps instill in young boys just how valuable they are, and just how much their actions matter. The boys learn lessons like how to treat female peers (who, according to some of Nelson’s students, still have cooties), which helps them be more productive members of their school community.

When Nelson was a young boy, his mom encouraged him to join a similar type of club. To this day, Nelson sees the lasting impact those early lessons had on him. Nelson’s program has had such a deep impact on the behavior and self-confidence of his students, he and another man named Kenneth Joyner (a 5th-grade teacher at Nelson’s school) even started a nonprofit organization called “Boys With a Purpose”. The organization helps empower other young boys in the Charleston area to “Look good, feel good, do good” – which, to be honest, is a lifestyle we could all stand to embrace.

Interactive LEGO NES Console Set Coming In August?

NES Lego Console
(Lego/vjgamer)

When I was a kid and my older brother was about to leave for college, I sold his Nintendo system at a local tag sale. When he found out, he was very upset, because it was his and he wanted to take it to school with him, and also because I only got twenty bucks for it. I was unable to make it up to him at the time, but with some news that just came out, I might be able to soon!

A few months ago, we shared the news of LEGO‘S collaboration with Nintendo for an interactive LEGO Super Mario. Now there’s a full-fledged LEGO Nintendo set that will work with the Super Mario.

LEGO tweeted a video today, with a tantalizing tease.

The reaction to LEGO Super Mario has been incredible,” said Jonathan Bennink, Digital Design Lead on LEGO Super Mario, via ComicBook.com when the full product line was revealed. “Super Mario is such an icon – and fans have been highly anticipating the release of the full details of the product line. Our entire range – from the Starter Course to the Power-Up Packs, through to the Expansion Sets and Character Packs – have been built to bring Super Mario, his friends – and his enemies – to life. We love how creative Nintendo and LEGO fans are, and can’t wait for them to unleash their imaginations in how they interact with Super Mario in the real world.”

Pictures have been leaking of the LEGO set, which will retail for around $250 and include 2,646 pieces. Rumors say both the LEGO Super Mario and the LEGO Nintendo will be available on August 1st.

Just in time for my brother’s birthday!

Toddler Feeds Baby Cow

“The Empire Strikes Back,” Again, Becomes #1 Movie in America

empire strikes back is # 1
(Disney/Lucasfilm)

In a bizarre twist even the most devoted Star Wars fan couldn’t imagine, a Star Wars movie was #1 at the box office this weekend. That isn’t crazy. What is unusual is that it’s a Star Wars movie that was released nearly four decades ago, as “The Empire Strikes Back” was the #1 movie in America this week.

Obviously, this summer is a little unique compared to most, mainly in the fact that the movie industry (like numerous others!) has been completely and utterly wrecked by COVID-19 and shutdowns around the nation. One business that has seen a big jump in biz, however, is drive-in movie theaters.


With real movie theaters shut down, and with the need for social distancing, people have been acting like it’s the 1950s again and flocking to drive-in movie theaters. It’s one of the only widespread entertainment options available at the moment, and families are taking advantage of them.

Naturally, many of these theaters show classics, such as “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Ghostbusters” and “Jaws”, all of which have seen modest box office returns lately. Even with a final tally that’s literally a fraction of what a normal summer box office winner would bring in, and with the biggest COVID asterisk you can put next to it, it’s still the #1 movie in America. This is the third time for Empire after its original release and the re-release in the late 90s.

There have been nine Star Wars movies, and I think we can all agree, as reasonable people, that “The Empire Strikes Back” is far and away the best of them. So it’s cool to see it get another brief moment in the spotlight, even as the movie industry crumbles around it.

Man Paraglides While Sitting on the Sofa Watching TV

(YouTube/ Hasan Kaval)

Ingenuity has been off the charts in recent months. From Nintendo Switch TV frames to dinosaur jungle gyms, there’s never been a better time to roll up your sleeves, hunker down in the garage, and build something that until then had only existed in your imagination.

Meet Hasan Kaval from Izmir, Turkey, the da Vinci of our time.

(YouTube/ Hasan Kaval)

By now we’ve all surely grown bored with our couches. Hasan, however, has literally taken that lethargy to new heights by turning his sofa into a paraglider, complete with a footstool, lamp, and working TV.

Here you can see some fellas securing the bottom with a custom metal frame.

(9GAG/ Hasan Kaval)

Hasan paraglides professionally, working as a pilot and instructor. But lately, you can catch him sailing above the Fethiye district in Southwest Turkey on his cherry-red sofa chair, slippers on, a bag of chips and pop in hand, watching some Tom & Jerry.

To initiate flight he just sort of… has his buddies push him off a really high up ledge. It’s bananas. You can watch the couch-glider in action in this video from his YouTube channel.

So rad. Kind of a bummer that “couch surfing” is already a much lamer thing.