WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEME?
Before Success Kid, LOLcats and Condescending Wonka – before the internet even – the image now credited as the first meme went viral. Published in a 1921 edition of satirical mag Judge, (taken from student publication The Wisconsin Octopus) it is a cartoon showing two images. One is what a man thinks he looks like when a photo is taken, all dapper and smart, while the other is what he actually looks like, a goofy looking boy. It’s the original Expectation versus Reality.
A similarly themed comic appeared in an earlier edition of The Octopus, so surely that’s the first meme? Well, a meme has to be spread and developed, so in our book this one gets the ruling.