Someone Has Found The World’s Earliest Meme

Millennials might think they invented the wonderful artform that is the meme, but this magazine from 1921 tells a different story.

The illustrations below featured in Judge Magazine almost one hundred years ago, and compare how a man thinks he appears in a flash-lit photo versus how he actually looks:

Genuine LOLs, eh?

It was shared by Twitter user @YoRHaw and has quickly gone viral, which is only fitting really.

Of course, social media users have bloody loved this little discovery and have even been turning this meme into a fresher meme:

The word meme was first used in 1976 in Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene – he used it to explain how cultural information spreads. But it’s been since social media was created that the meme has really taken on a life of its own.

Some people have even gone on to make a lot of out being a meme – just look at Cash Me Ousside girl, aka Danielle Bregoli, who is now reported to be worth over a cool one million dollars and is a certified Gold Record holder.

Meanwhile, Drew Scanlon – the face behind my favourite meme, ‘Blinking Guy’ – said becoming a viral sensation was a ‘fun experience’.

He credits the shocking events of pretty much the whole of last year with making him become a surprise hit, telling Thrillist: “I think the pervasiveness of it also has to do with the fact that there are so many crazy things happening in 2017.

“If it was more of a calmer year maybe we wouldn’t see it as much.”

It was less of a good experience for poor Hide Your Pain Harold, real name Arató András said: “To see the first memes was a shocking experience.

“It took several years until I accepted the situation.”

Thankfully, he seems to be on board with being a meme now, although he added: “I’d like people to know that I’m more than a funny guy with a painful smile.”

Noted Harold… sorry, I mean, Arató.



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