In late January 2012, an elementary school yearbook photo was posted to Reddit and a meme was born. This Friday the 13th tribute is just for you, Bad Luck Brian.
His real name is Kyle Craven and when pal Ian Davies created the first Bad Luck Brian image macro with the caption, ‘Takes driving test … gets first DUI’, he instantly made his friend internet famous.
Hundreds more unfortunate cases of bad luck followed, though Craven has not had to suffer for this art.
According to a recent profile in The Washington Post, Craven has welcomed his internet superstardom with open arms and enjoys visiting conferences such as VidCon and Indy Pop Con to sell T-shirts and pose for photographs with fans in a variety of sweater vests.
And Craven isn’t the only one to do well out of this appropriation of his image. Wal-Mart and Hot Topic have sold T-shirts with his face on them, and his braces-laced smile has appeared on lots of merchandise, from paperweights to stuffed toys.
But, while Craven is the real face behind the meme, the name ‘Bad Luck Brian’ (an alliterative decision from Davies) evokes an alternative theory as to who the ‘original’ really is.
And so, what better day to celebrate this run of good bad luck than Friday the 13th. We salute you, Bad Luck Brian, and all your misfortunes.