Most of us share memes all day long without thinking much of it, and some of these memes contain photos of real people. In many cases, those memes are shared for a few days and then fade away, but some of them become iconic, and are used for years to describe a certain perspective.
One of those iconic figures in meme lore is the “blinking white guy,” who has become a universal symbol for surprised confusion. His real name is Drew Scanlon, and in 2017 he became a viral sensation, seemingly out of nowhere.
The footage that inspired the meme was actually filmed in 2013, when Scanlon was making an online video game show called “Unprofessional Fridays.” During a conversation on the show, one of the hosts said, “I’ve been doing some farming with my hoe here,” and Scanlon reacted with his now-iconic raised eyebrows followed by a series of blinks.
Those who were watching the show and able to catch his reaction in the corner of the screen probably got a laugh out of it, but not many people took notice until several years later when his reaction was turned into a GIF.
Recently, Scanlon has been using his accidental platform to raise money for MS research and treatment, because he has witnessed many family and friends suffer from the disease.
Hi Internet! I'm Drew and THIS IS MY FACE.
If this GIF has ever brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to consider making a donation to the National MS Society. It would mean a lot to me and to those I know affected by the disease!
— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) September 19, 2019
Scanlon has been using his large Twitter page to promote for “Bike MS,“ a national biking charity that raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis research.
You're amazing, Internet. Your response has attracted news outlets around the world, giving us incredible reach!
Without you, we wouldn't have just hit TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!
— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) September 23, 2019
First, Scanlon posted that he had already raised over $25,000 through his online network, then he later announced that he crossed $32,000.
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“I’m not usually one to toot my own meme horn but in this case I’ll make an exception. You see, two close friends of mine and members of their families suffer from MS, a debilitating disease of the central nervous system that interrupts communication between the brain and the body. If a fraction of those who have seen my goofy face donated to MS research, I have a feeling we could kick this thing in no time!” Scanlon wrote on his Bike MS page.
Scanlon finished his ride on September 22, but the charity is still accepting donations for another month.