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  • Everyone knows that Chocolate Rain, Hide Yo Wife Hide Yo Kids, and Grumpy Cat are top

  • tier memes- but have you ever considered what happened to the subjects of this accidental

  • internet fame?

  • Stay tuned as we go turning over rocks to look under them for the whereabouts of some

  • of the greatest meme stars of all time, and by all time we mean like the last fifteen

  • years or so of human history.

  • 8.

  • Success Kid In the year 2007, an 11-month old kid by the

  • name of Sammy Griner was on a beach with his parents.

  • At some point he picked up a fistful of sand and shoved some of it in his mouth.

  • He then clenched his fist and looked determinedly into the camera.

  • The camera wentclick”, and the kid became immortal.

  • His parents, well, they didn't know it then, but that shot would make them a lot of money.

  • His mother, Laney Griner, later uploaded the photo to Flickr, and there it stayed mostly

  • unnoticed for a while.

  • But Sammy's image didn't stay hidden away for too long.

  • How could it, it was one of the most eye-catching infant photographs ever taken.

  • As time passed, the mother sold the image to multiple advertisers, and in 2013 Barack

  • Obama even used it in one of his campaigns.

  • Sammy had become one of the most noticeable faces on planet Earth, with meme after meme

  • of Sammy in various languages being spread around the web.

  • Fast-forward to the year 2015, and Sammy's father, Justin, would become very glad that

  • Sammy had made that unique facial expression.

  • That's because Justin fell ill and that year he required a kidney transplant.

  • A GoFundMe campaign was started to raise money for Justin's transplant, and in part because

  • of Sammy's meme fame, the cash was raised and Justin had his operation.

  • So, what happened to Sammy?

  • Well, we know as he got older he got into skateboarding.

  • We also know that he enjoyed sketching, and from what we can see, he is pretty good at

  • it.

  • He wasn't so popular with his teachers, though, due to his behavior.

  • When he was ten years old his parents pulled him out of school and educated him at home.

  • The thing is, the fame got to him as he grew older.

  • In an interview he once said, “They only want to talk to me about Success Kid, but

  • I'm not just that!”

  • He said that being the Success Kid became something of an embarrassment to him, and

  • he wanted to be known as an artist and not just the kid that defiantly ate sand when

  • he was an infant.

  • What really bugs him is when people ask him to look like Success Kid so they can take

  • a photo of him.

  • He said in an interview, “They ask me for the freaking pose and stuff…I'm tired

  • of it.”

  • He is serious, too, about this bugging him.

  • He could have got more famous by appearing on a TV game show in which contestants have

  • to guess what you're famous for, and Sammy said no, no way, he wasn't going to be the

  • Success Kid any longer.

  • He does accept, though, that he's made some money from the meme, well, the family has.

  • They've even hired a meme manager, the same guy who manages the Grumpy Cat and Scumbag

  • Steve memes.

  • We'll get around to those soon.

  • Some folks have criticized Sammy's mom for exploiting her child, but she doesn't think

  • anything like exploitation went on.

  • She once said, “It's just a picture, we get paid for it.

  • I just took a picture and now I get paid for it, I don't think many people wouldn't

  • do the same.

  • It's his future and his present that it pays for.”

  • As for Sammy, he's just happy that he was able to help his father in his time of need.

  • In his own words he said, “I'm really happy that I'm famous because I'm glad

  • that people like it, I'm glad it makes people happy when they're sad.

  • I'm also really happy that I still have a dad.”

  • The last big news around Success Kid came in 2020 when Laney sent a cease-and-desist

  • order to the Republican Steve King after he'd used the meme.

  • She called himvileand said he didn't have permission to use the Success Kid meme

  • in his campaigns.

  • So, one thing we can tell you is that memes have legs.

  • A photograph of a kid of a beach in 2007 is still a hot meme today.

  • 7.

  • Grumpy Cat Who was the grumpy cat?

  • Was she really all that grumpy in real life?

  • Ok, so first of all, grumpy cat, real name Tardar Sauce, looked like that not because

  • she was sick of life's travails or hadn't gotten enough fish that day, but because the

  • animal suffered from a type of dwarfism.

  • Grumpy cat wasn't emotional, she just had a medical condition.

  • That condition, though, turned Arizona waitress Tabatha Bundesen into a millionaire.

  • That's because in 2012 her brother took a photo of her rather fed-up-looking feline

  • and posted it to Reddit.

  • The image almost instantly became a big hit and had over one million views within 48 hours.

  • After a year or so, Grumpy Cat became arguably the most famous cat in the world, propelling

  • her to stardom and banking a lot of cash for Tabatha.

  • When talking about this meteoric rise to internet fame, the brother said in an interview, “We

  • knew she was extremely unique, but we didn't know she would be this magnitude of special.”

  • The cat became so well known that its second birthday party was something of a big deal

  • and the cat food brand, Friskies, paid for it.

  • Grumpy cat got into modelling, advertising; had book deals, and did paid appearances on

  • TV.

  • Tabatha said her phone never stopped ringing.

  • All this amounted to her making a lot of money, perhaps as much as $100 million.

  • We don't know exactly how much since Grumpy Cat's earnings haven't been made public.

  • As for where Grumpy Cat is now, she's in cat heaven.

  • She died from a urinary tract infection at only seven years old.

  • And that's why it's important to clean your urinary tract regularly.

  • 6.

  • El Risitas You'd most likely never seen or heard about

  • a man named Juan Joya Borja before, but after he did an interview in 2007 he became a household

  • face.

  • In his native Spain, he's also sometimes referred to as El Risitas, which translates

  • to English asThe Giggle.”

  • What's so funny about the video-meme is the fact that Juan has a really infectious

  • laugh.

  • He's actually telling a story about when he worked as a dishwasher and how he lost

  • a bunch of pans, but if you didn't speak Spanish, well, you could believe whatever

  • the subtitles tell you.

  • This playing around with a video and adding English subtitles has been done a few times,

  • notably with Adolf Hitler in the 2004 movie called, “Downfall.”

  • But we believe that Juan deserves a place on this list just because he's so funny,

  • never mind if you speak Spanish or not.

  • It was in 2015 when he really shot to fame, gaining millions of views on YouTube for being

  • subtitled as a designer for Apple.

  • He wasn't of course.

  • You might still see his face these days, especially if you use Twitch where he appears as an emote.

  • From what we can see, Juan is alive and well and still working as a comedian.

  • 5.

  • Distracted Boyfriend

  • This image is sometimes called Distracted Boyfriend, but you might also see it being

  • called, “Man Looking at Another Woman.”

  • The question is, who took the shot and who are the people in it?

  • The shot was taken in 2015 by a photographer named Antonio Guillem.

  • He then uploaded it to a photo stock site and it wasn't until a couple of years later

  • that it became a meme.

  • The focus of the meme is always the same.

  • The man has one thing, but favors another thing.

  • For example, in one case the girlfriend is capitalism, and the girl he's looking at

  • is socialism.

  • Ok, so, Antonio Guillem is a 48-year old Spanish photographer.

  • When he was interviewed in 2017 and asked what he thought about his image turning into

  • a meme he said when he took the shot he didn't even know what a meme was.

  • He was as surprised as anyone that he'd taken a photo that went viral.

  • He said that he'd been working with those same models on many shots, but it was the

  • distracted man photo that broke the internet, so to speak.

  • He also said that he was a bit bugged about people taking the image and not paying for

  • the use of it, something he said was illegal.

  • He said that he and the three models were all a bit annoyed about the photograph being

  • used in a way that it insulted the models.

  • He said he never made much money from the image, simply because people didn't pay

  • for it.

  • Just to let you know, the male model, who is namedMarioin the mediawe don't

  • think that's his real namehas said he'd never look at a woman that way, and

  • especially if he was with his girlfriend.

  • Two of the models in that famous shot are still working for Guillem, but he didn't

  • say which ones.

  • Even though he hasn't been paid much for the image, he still admires some of the memes

  • that appear online.

  • He said in one interview, “Regarding what I think about the photo has gone viral, I

  • think the image was a good foundation to whoever had the great idea to turn it into a metaphor

  • that works for almost everything.”

  • Ok, now for something a little stranger.

  • 4.

  • Ermahgerd

  • This photo of a girl named Maggie Goldenberger is perhaps one of the most arresting images

  • in the meme-world.

  • Maggie, we're sorry, but you do look awfully weird in this shot.

  • When Maggie was 23 and travelling around India in 2012, that's when she found out that

  • her 11-year old self had become an Internet meme.

  • There she was heading to Rajasthan when her friend told her that she might want to check

  • out a photo that had become viral.

  • After she had checked into an internet cafe, Maggie was seriously shocked to see the world

  • was laughing at her, sharing a photo of her with a wide-open, retainer-filled fish-mouth,

  • wearing ridiculous pigtails, and dressed in ugly clothes.

  • Her first thought was, how the hell did someone get that photo and why on Earth is it being

  • shared from Miami to Manchester to Mumbai.

  • She later said in an interview, “I just can't believe this is my 15 minutes of fame—I

  • was hoping it would come in another form.

  • But I guess you have to take what you can get.”

  • We now know that the image was submitted to Reddit in 2012 and since that time it's been

  • viewed at least 5.6 million times.

  • Maggie later admitted that she and her friends used to dress up, and in this particular shot

  • she was trying to look asdorkyas possible.

  • The image was uploaded to Maggie's friend's MySpace page, but then somehow later made

  • its way to Reddit.

  • Maggie has no hard feelings about the photo, and actually thinks the fact it's a meme

  • is quite funny.

  • From what we can see, she's a nurse in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • We checked her out on Facebook, but she hasn't left much information public.

  • 3.

  • Roll Safe

  • This is one of the most shared memes in the history of memes, but the British actor and

  • writer who stars in it, one Kayode Ewumi, has said he'd rather be famous for his talents,

  • not the meme.

  • In fact, he one said in an interview, “I didn't go to uni or study my craft to become

  • a meme.”

  • The image is taken from a satirical documentary called theHood Documentary”, which was

  • about young Londoners living in their so-called Hood.

  • Kayode didn't make any money from the meme, but after filming the Hood documentary he

  • went on to write and star in more TV shows.

  • In 2020, he was asked about the meme and the fact it has such staying power, to which he

  • replied, “I don't really think about it, because I wasn't on socials to look at it

  • and see it and I never really retweeted that meme and I didn't pay any attention to it.”

  • 2.

  • Scumbag Steve

  • The image of Scumbag Steve was first published on MySpace and was an album cover for a Boston

  • rap group called Beantown Mafia.

  • That image later went on Reddit, and from there it went viral.

  • The guy in the image is named Blake Boston, and he said that the photographer who took

  • the shot was his own mother.

  • At the time of the photo he was just 16-years old.

  • But how does Blake feel about being portrayed as a loser?

  • Well, in an interview in 2012, he said this: “Everyone has their scumbag moments.

  • Even before Scumbag Steve happened, I maybe had a couple too many drinks.

  • But right now, it's more about Scumbag Steve as a character.

  • With the whole persona of the CD, yeah, I'm going to sing about scumbag stuff to do.”

  • His mother wasn't too happy about the meme, since many of them mocked her son for his

  • apparent bad life choices and sketchy ethics.

  • She didn't want Blake becoming the poster boy of bad behavior.

  • Well, Blake has now grown into a man, and from what we can see he's very busy on social

  • media, posting on the matter of politics a lot.

  • He seems pretty settled down right now, and has a partner and a couple of kids.

  • As for cashing in on Scumbag Steve, it seems he's earned in the region of $1 million.

  • Call him names if you like...he probably doesn't care.

  • 1.

  • Skeptical Child As facial expressions go, we don't think

  • anything beats how this kid is looking at the lady who's talking to him.

  • So, who is this kid and who is the woman?

  • Well, we know that the image was posted to Reddit in 2012 and we know that it was a man

  • from Texas that did it.

  • We also know that he claims he just saw the image on Facebook, but we don't know who

  • actually took the photo.

  • The woman in the image is named Heena Pranav, and back in 2012 when she was a 25-year old

  • medical student working in Uganda, someone took the shot.

  • She's now back in the USA, and a few years ago she was approached and asked about the

  • kid.

  • Her reply was, “I was with a group of other medical students at the time, we were walking

  • around and I saw this little boy, he seemed really sweet.”

  • She said he was great to be around and he was really animated, which we can see in this

  • photo.

  • She also said that he didn't speak English, so she didn't really communicate with him.

  • At the time she had no idea anyone would ever look at the image, never mind it being shared

  • countless times over the Internet.

  • For some people, the fact the image went viral has annoyed them, seeing </