Minnesota Memes: Top 5 local contributions to the interweb

Local producer Gigamesh recently tapped into a modest amount of viral success by capitalizing on the "Double Rainbow" phenomenon and releasing a track that mixed snippets of dialog like "Double rainbow, all the way" and "Woah, oh my god!" into an original electro-dance jam. His timing was impeccable: Within three days of posting his remix, "It's So Intense," his video received 15,000 plays on YouTube.

In honor of Gigamesh's recent work with the "Double Rainbow" song, we wondered: What other Minnesotans have made a name for themselves on the interwebs?

Bam! I ruined your photo!
Bam! I ruined your photo!

5. The Squirrel Photobomb

The squirrel first made a hit when it jumped into a Minnesota couple's timed photo at Banff National Park. The couple submitted it to National Geographic's "Your Shot" photo contest, and it went viral. Gawker picked it up, someone made an online Squirrelizer where you can add THAT squirrel to any photo, and suddenly Michele Bachmann was showing up in photos with the squirrel. How's that for nuts?

4. Kittens Inspired by Kittens

On September 1, 2008, Maddie Kelly of Edina gave the world "Kittens Inspired by Kittens," a video in which the six-year-old thumbed through a picture-book of young cats, voicing their inner thoughts. The result was a viral video so cute that the cuteness collapsed in on itself, exploding back outward in a devastating cuteness supernova. It was a strong showing for Minnesota, even if it made our teeth hurt. Like any good viral video, it also launched a thousand YouTube remixes, including Kittens Inspired by Barack Obama and Tila Tequila Inspired by Kittens Inspired by Kittens.

3. Tron Guy

Jay Maynard, A.K.A. Tron Guy lives in Fairmont with his furry roommate, and became internet-famous when he went all out to win a sci-fi costume contest. On the one hand, his skin-tight Tron suit looks like it was constructed by a committee of blind third-graders. On the other hand, the pudgy sys-admin has the big brass balls necessary to appear at conventions all over the country in a get-up that highlights every bulge, crease, and lovehandle. We think so highly of Maynard that we profiled him in this revealing look at Tron Guy two years ago.

2. JK Wedding Entrance Dance

So many weddings are staid processions put on for family members, a march down an aisle as predictable as it is heartwarming. No wonder St. Paul couple Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz's video of their dance down the aisle to the tune of Chris Brown's "Forever" resonated across such a wide swath of America--this wasn't a group trying to prim up for grandma, but true revelers getting goddamn jiggy with it.

1. Tay Zonday and Chocolate Rain

Adam Nyerere Bahner took YouTube by storm in July 2007 when he unleashed his impossibly-deep croon: "Chocolate Raaaaiiiiiinnn."

Between each wail of the iconic chorus, Zonday trips through the kind of lyrics you'd expect to see scrawled in a high school notebook:

Some stay dry and others feel the pain
A baby born will die before the sin
The school books say it can't be here again
The prisons make you wonder where it went

There's also the wonderful moment when he pulls away from the microphone to take a breath, and actually explains what he's doing in a subtitle as if it's a pro tip: "i step away from the mic to breathe in."

Zonday was happy to play along with the insta-fame, appearing on everything from VH1 to Jimmy Kimmel. He was also immortalized in a South Park episode. In February 2010, he starred opposite Beyonce in a Superbowl commercial.

Looks like the joke's on us: Tay Zonday is making a go of it as a singer. That ain't chocolate that's raining.

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