me: oh yeah 2007, three years ago?— persephone (@couturetits) February 18, 2017
someone: ...10 years ago
my brain: pic.twitter.com/m3K9fijNuf
SF resident Drew Scanlon could never have known four years ago when he was participating in a video for the gaming site he works for, Giant Bomb, that a single reaction shot to his editor's lame joke would, in 2017, give birth to a meme. Yes, Scanlon is now known the world over as White Guy Blinking, and as you can see from the GIF'd reaction shot that's gone viral (if you haven't already seen it fifty times), Scanlon has a way with the blinks.
(card doesn't decline) pic.twitter.com/yXrO5UEoTH— Sean. (@Seantaneous) February 18, 2017
homeless person: could you spare some change?— maha (@wallahi) February 18, 2017
me: sorry i can't
homeless person: broke ass
Me: "I like you."— Booty Warrior (@avatarcmoney) February 18, 2017
Crush: "I like you too."
According to KnowYourMeme, Scanlon's pursed-lipped, wide-eyed blinking GIF has been going around since 2015, but only in the last week did it achieve peak virality.
The shot was cropped out of a group of talking-head boxes from a 2013 edition of Giant Bomb's series "Unprofessional Fridays," when Scanlon and some of his game-reviewing cohort would sit around and lob banter back and forth while watching a fellow coworker play a game.
BuzzFeed explains, via an interview with Scanlon, that the original reaction came in response to a joke by editor-in-chief Jeff Gerstmann, who was playing a game that involved having to grow crops, and he said, "I'm doing some farming with my hoe."
As Scanlon tells it, “When we’re recording these videos we always know we’re visible to the audience.You can kind of be yourself and be silly. [So] Yeah, I reacted. That was a total throwaway joke."
See the original clip below, with Scanlon at the top left.
He says it's a "weird thing" to become a meme, and “There is a little bit of a scary aspect knowing how big the internet is." He adds, "When [the meme] is so large I think people separate the real person behind it. I do feel fairly removed." And yes, the guy in the GIF has been mistaken for Dexter actor Michael C. Hall as well.
Scanlon, 30, still lives in SF and works for Giant Bomb all these years later he's actually been there for eight years and he has a modest following among gamers who know him for his reviews. He's now got 54,000 Twitter followers and counting, but he jokes to BuzzFeed that there are multiple White Guy Blinking parody accounts that have more followers than he does. (That actually doesn't appear to be true.)
Below, the recent tweet that seems to have started it all, which Scanlon says is a "really well-crafted tweet."
me: ill take a biology class, im smart enough for this just watch me— iniro🐔 (@eskbl) February 5, 2017
Previously: Local Journalist Covering BART Strike Receives Hirsute Fame