If the RIAA issued platinum certifications for web shows, the offices of Know Your Meme would be decked out with some serious bling. Originally conceived by Rocketboom producers way back in December 2007, the spin-off series and its accompanying website have gained some serious traction as a resource and discussion board for the study of online, cultural phenomena.
Know Your Meme‘s informative, sporadic installments document the discovery, dissemination, and decline of internet memes. To the uninitiated, that might sound like a small, nerdy niche, but then you hear the numbers and accolades: the website’s traffic chart looks like a hockey stick with well over half a million visitors a month (and growing) and TIME called it one of the top 50 best websites of 2009.
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“We were contacted by Davis Cox from Apex Exposure, who was promoting Al’s new best-of album,” say Know Your Meme stars and producers Kenyatta “Yatta” Cheese and Jamie “Dubs” Wilkinson. “Davis was already aware of both the show and the community that our viewers had built around Know Your Meme and thought it’d be a perfect fit.” He was right.
In the latest T-Pain approved episode of Know Your Meme, Weird Al joins the professors as a guest lecturer on the subject of Auto-Tune. From exploring the proprietary audio processor’s “esoteric mockery to legitimate parody,” he lays down the kind of insight that only someone with 25+ years in the parody profession can provide.
Yatta and Jamie Dubs tell me, “We’ve had plans to expand the show to include guest appearances of all kinds including internet stars, relevant real-world celebs, and the creators of memes themselves. We were just waiting for the right opportunity.” Weird Al is definitely that right opportunity. He’s our collective consciousness’ platonic ideal of a D&D dork or a tech nerd, and also a champion for those communities. He’s made a career out of mocking popular culture and been accepted by the mainstream both in spite of and because of being nerdy. Clearly, no one is better suited for a celebrity cameo on a web show that scientifically examines one of the highest forms of geek – internet ephemera.
So, where do you go from Weird Al? More celebrity appearances. Yatta and Jamie Dubs say, “With the success of this episode and the show’s increasing popularity, we’re hoping to do more of these for the 2010 season.”