In an election driven largely by online content, Ken Bone was a brief shining light. On October 9, 2016, he asked a question at the second presidential debate. By the next morning, he had become a meme. Maybe it was his sweater that did it. Maybe it was his mustache. Or his, frankly, ridiculous last name. But as quick as Ken Bone rose to stardom, he faded away. Rumors about him spread quickly, and it wasn’t long before the election moved onto its next meme.
Ken Bone At the Debate
Not much is known about Ken’s personal life. At the debate, he introduced himself as a power plant operator, which probably influenced the question he chose to ask the candidates at the debate:
He asked about what the energy policies were, and how they would be environmentally-friendly. He also wanted to know about potential job loss that would result for fossil power plant workers.
Presumably, the candidates gave answers, but everyone was far too focused on Ken Bone. The soft-spoken man was visually stunning throughout the debate, but it was his red sweater that drew the most attention. An IZOD quarter-zip, the jumper combined with Bone’s mustache to reinforce his demeanor as an average American. In later interviews, Bone revealed that he had initially planned to wear a suit, but changed his outfit after splitting the bottom of his pants earlier in the day.
Ken Bone the Meme
The debate wasn’t even over before Ken Bone was a meme. Parody accounts were set up on Twitter and Facebook. New York Magazine ran an online piece. Pundits debated whether it was his red sweater or his mustache that made him the perfect storm.
Over the next day, Ken Bone was a topic on lots of late night talk shows, and was even interviewed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The adult website CamSoda offered Bone $100,000 to ‘talk’ to their site for an hour. Online retailers created merchandise. There was even a “Sexy Ken Bone” Halloween costume. Saturday Night Live lampooned him for a skit.
What’s Ken Bone Doing Now in 2017- Recent Updates
On October 13, 2016, Ken Bone did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, where he invited users to “step into the Bone Zone.” He used his normal Reddit username, which led to people investigating who Ken Bone is, behind the meme.
As it turns out, that was a stone that could have been left unturned. In his comment history, he revealed he considers himself a “bad guy” for looking at Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked nude photos, that he fetishizes multiple ethnicities and pregnant women, has committed insurance fraud, and that he thinks George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin was justified.
The backlash quickened the death of the Ken Bone meme, which was already on its way out. Now, people are left wondering what Bone is doing. Recently, he did a stand-up comedy routine in Chicago, at the Bellhop. Check out the video below.
As a whole, Ken Bone was a remarkable microcosm of the election. A person asked how politics, frequently limited to discussing only the big picture, was going to affect his job. His identity was reduced to something less than a soundbite, and we promptly forgot that he was a real person concerned about his livelihood.