This Day In Internet History – November 2, 2010: Keyboard Cat Goes Mainstream

(Keyboard Cat/YouTube)

Greetings, internet historians! Let’s take a look back at a significant occurrence from seven years ago, when everyone’s favorite chill meme, Keyboard Cat, hit the paydirt. We caught up with the Keyboard Cat’s owner for an interview (seriously). But first…

The Main Event

On November 2, 2010, a 15 second ad featuring Keyboard Cat aired during the World Series. Oddly enough, it was for pistachios. Pistachios are not necessarily what I think of when I think of hugely lucrative businesses, but, according to Keyboard Cat creator Charlie Schmidt, “it’s been very profitable.”

The year 2010 saw Keyboard Cat at her absolute zenith. She had struck gold. But, oh, how quickly our idols come undone. In the ensuing years, Keyboard Cat has all but disappeared. Who knows where she is now? Well, I do. And I’ll tell you! We caught up with her owner Charlie Schmidt for an exclusive interview. But first, a brief history.

A History of Keyboard Cat

The internet has always been crazy for cats, but this cat was special. This cat was a musician. This cat wore a blue shirt.

The original Keyboard Cat was a cute little feline lady named Fatso, who tickled the ivories way back in 1984. About 23 years later, a video clip of Fatso found its way onto My Damn Channel, where it was appended to humiliating blooper clips (“An old man kicked in the groin? LOL play him off, Keyboard Cat!”). More recent incarnations, including the pistachios ad, feature (imposter alert!) a cat named Bento.

Before she threw away all her lo-fi punk rock integrity to star on broadcast television, Keyboard Cat was a bona fide internet sensation. See for yourself.

Man Falls Off Treadmill (Play him off, Keyboard Cat!)

Miss Teen South Carolina Doesn’t Know Geography (Play her off, Keyboard Cat!)

Ron Livingston Parodies Keyboard Cat (Play her off, guy from Office Space!)

The current incarnation of Keyboard Cat lives in Spokane, Washington, with inventor, artist, and cat trainer Charlie Schmidt. I tracked down Charlie to ask a few questions about his most famous protégé.

Mark: What was your opinion of the pistachios commercial?

Charlie: Killer.

Mark: Do you think Fatso would have liked it?

Charlie: No doubt it would have made her purr.

Mark: What was the process like?

Charlie: Trying to recreate random on purpose is no easy task. About as hard as recreating on purpose randomly.

Mark: What are some of your favorite reactions to Keyboard Cat?

Charlie: The first time babies laugh while watching KBC, junkies getting clean with motivation from KBC, so many people really appreciating momentary happiness.

Mark: How does/did Keyboard Cat deal with fame?

Charlie: There have been ups and downs, kind of like Brian Wilson. There are a few videos about his struggles. He lives here with 3 other male cats. There is definitely animosity about it all. Bottom line is he is a true professional when the camera is rolling.

Mark: What does Keyboard Cat want from us?

Charlie: Keyboard Cat wants you to smile and create and be nice. Seek your Inner Radish.

(Charlie Schmidt)

There you have it, folks. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that you can hit it big by being an iconic cat. So remember this day as the anniversary of the world wide web’s greatest feline talent abandoning all artistic integrity to score a huge paycheck — and to, uh, seek inner radish. Play yourself off, Keyboard Cat!

Check out Charlie Schmidt’s store at https://www.zazzle.com/charlieschmidt. Treat yourself to a cool t-shirt.

Son Surprises Ailing Dad With Tickets To College World Series

Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate your old man, and show him how much you appreciate the role he’s played in your life all these years. Especially since, as we get older, our dads do too, and they may not have many Father’s Days left.

Matt Lea recognized that this Father’s Day, and so went out of his way to make it a memorable one, for both him and his father, both former college baseball players who bonded over the game as Matt was growing up.

Matt’s father Billy suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and the symptoms have been accruing rapidly. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for more memories, and Matt used the latest Father’s Day as an opportunity to do just that. The 36-year-old drove 12 hours, from Florida to Mississippi, and surprised his parents at their doorstep on Sunday.

He was bearing gifts as well, bringing his dad the jersey of his favorite baseball team, Mississippi State. But that wasn’t all. Matt brought tickets too, to see the College World Series in Omaha in person.

In video of the exchange that Matt posted on Twitter, his dad was clearly taken by surprise.

“I figured it’s probably not good enough just for us to watch the game here,” Matt says in the video as he produces the tickets. “How about we go to Omaha? Do you want to go up to Omaha and watch the College World Series together?”

“Golly,” an emotional Billy responds. “You’re gonna break my heart, here.”

Matt’s gift for his dad received a rapturous response from Twitter, where it’s been liked 46,000 times and retweeted 11,000 times.

Matt seemed as surprised by the response as his dad was by the gift, as everyone who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday knows, there’s nothing better than sharing meaningful memories with your dad, which is exactly what Matt did. An article on Omaha.com details Billy’s baseball past, the initial diagnosis of his Alzheimer’s, the VIP experience Matt treated him too over the weekend.

Matt’s Twitter account showcased the rest.

Happy Father’s Day!

Amazing Street Artist Uses Everyday Objects As His Canvas

(Twitter/tombobnyc)

Artist Tom Bob doesn’t see the world like other people. Where you and I might see sewer grates or metal pipes, he sees ghosts and saxophone players.

Check out some of the amazing ways he’s transforming parts of New York City into works of art.

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Check out more of Tom Bob and his unique artwork here.

Father Figures: Heroes

“On February 2, 2011, my daughter was born. The whole thing started pretty normally about 2:30 am or so, my wife woke me up and said, ‘Honey, it is time to go,’ so we went to the hospital in a snowstorm.

That was the easy part.

When they put the belly monitor on her they noticed that the babies heart rate would drop to low whenever my wife would have a contraction. She needed emergency C-section, but the doctor could not make it due to the storm, and when he finally arrived it was rush rush rush!
Well when my daughter Emily did arrive, she had internal bleeding throughout her body, which included two grade 4 brain bleeds. We could not touch her because she would bruise and start bleeding.
They had to life-flight her to the university, where she spent 5 1/2 weeks in the NICU, which left her (you may want to sit down) deaf/blind, with hydrocephalus, a shunt, cerebral palsy, and seizures (at age 6, she needed a baclofen pump because her CP got too bad to handle without it). She is doing great today. She is happy, loves life, and everyone who meets her says that she makes their day and she is beautiful.
To pay back our little community, I became a first responder, mostly a firefighter, but I did help with EMS. Never got my certification, but that is where I found out that in the U.S. we do not have any training for first responders to deal with children with special needs.
I have made it my personal mission to teach first responders about kids with special needs.
I have taken to Emily to every EMS/Fire station in the five counties around me. I have taken her to the police and sheriff’s departments to train them, and now I have a waiting list to get trained.
I don’t know if I am the hero here, but I needed to tell the story.”

– Mike Kuyper

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Low Cost Cosplay Guy Makes The World A Better Place

(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Anucha “Cha” Saengchart, the genius behind “Low Cost Cosplay,” has amassed millions of followers with his incredible reimaginings of famous fictional characters.

Whether you’re planning on portraying your favorite anime character or a Marvel superhero, this guy can show you how to do it effectively and on a string budget.

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Can’t get enough? Check out more creative cosplay on his Facebook page.

Dad Turns Photos Of Daughter Into Kickass Album Covers

(Instagram/rfosterdesign)

When graphic designer Ryan Foster spotted a somber, black and white photo of his daughter, Harper Lou, it instantly reminded him of a blues album cover. He couldn’t help but throw some graphics onto the image to create her first “album” cover himself.

This has led to a series of album covers featuring Harper Lou, many of which look pretty damn legit. She may not be making actual records yet, but her dad will definitely be ready when she does.

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You can find more awesome album covers as well as other design projects by Ryan on his Instagram.

The 5 Hottest Father’s Day Tech Gifts Your Dad Will Ask To See The Receipt For

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Mother’s Day is in the rearview and our annual celebration of everything Dad is fast approaching. Sure, he loved those grilling tongs and Three Stooges boxsets you got him last year. But if there’s one things all dads love, it’s being assured that they’ve genetically passed on their cheapness. Here are 5 Father’s Day gadgets your dad is definitely going to demand the receipt for.

1. A smart speaker

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Source: Amazon

These have become relatively expensive in recent years. This, of course, isn’t going to stop your dad from assuming it set you back several thousand dollars. Your dad just figured out how to make a Facebook profile. He’s gonna need a minute on talking AI servants.

2. A streaming stick

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Source: Roku

“So yeah, you just plug this Roku stick into the TV and you can pretty much watch anything you want.” That’s you. That’s you telling your dad you just spent a boatload of money on a piece of technology. “Instant access to every movie ever made” is your dad’s cue to ask you to retrieve the Best Buy receipt crammed in the console’s cupholder.

3. A dashcam

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Source: Amazon

These are great to have in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, your dad is still under the impression it’s 1999 and all digital cameras cost ten million dollars. Be sure to keep this receipt in your wallet, because this thing’s going right back to the store if it ran you how much he thinks it ran you.

4. An e-reader

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Source: Amazon

What a lovely thought. Your dad, sitting up in bed, every book he could possibly want at his fingertips. What will he read first? A book about World War II? The biography of Henry Ford? The answer is, of course, the receipt for this fancy reading tablet that probably set you back three mortgage payments.

5. A yearly-subscription to a music streaming service

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Source: Spotify

You just want him to be able to listen to the Doobie Brothers whenever he wants. But by his math, if buying a single song on iTunes costs $1, and Spotifly, as he calls it, gives you access to over four million songs, you’ve essentially just bankrupted your family. Good job. Be sure to keep that receipt handy to prove to him that he can still see his grandkids attend college one day.