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How “Keyboard Cat” Blew Up and Made Money Off of a Meme

As far as Internet memes go Keyboard Cat has to be near the top of the G.O.A.T. list. You might laugh, but consider the money generated from 30 million YouTube views, TV appearances and ad deals. Or, you might be pissed since its creator, Brad “Keyboard Cat Guy” O’Farrell, has been behind a general “procrastinating on the ‘net trend that has probably cost you more hours of productivity than you’d care to admit. Vice’s “My Life Online” series sat down with O’Farrell to learn about how “Keyboard Cat Got Famous,” changed his life, and the surprising brotherhood that’s developed among some of the best known real-life internet meme generators.

Once the fail video-backing keystroking kitty went viral parodies started popping up, unprompted. Even some along the foul end of the spectrum. “A lot of these videos that it got put with, you almost don’t know if it’s like right to laugh. It could be the most awful thing that you’ve ever seen and if you put ‘Keyboard Cat’ at the end of it then you can smile,” says O’Farrell’s manager — yes, “Keyboard Cat Guy” has a manager — Ben Lashes. While O’Farrell says he doesn’t care about “Keyboard Cat” anymore, the video has cameos from a few one clip wonders who are more than happy to keep chasing that online notoriety.

ben o'farrell is the keyboard cat guy

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