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There's Tron, And Then There's 'Tron Guy'

This article is more than 7 years old.
Jay Maynard, otherwise known as Tron Guy, at ROFLcon (Nate Goldman/WBUR)
Jay Maynard, otherwise known as Tron Guy, at ROFLcon (Nate Goldman/WBUR)

In an intimate back room at The Asgard Pub in Cambridge on Friday night, a group of Internet aficionados and viral superstars gathered for the ROFLcon pre-party. And just when I thought it couldn't get any louder in the room, from behind me a man lifts his arm, points excitedly and yells, "TRON!"

As one does in that situation, I whipped myself around only to see to see this man:
Jay Maynard at ROFLcon Pre-Party
For those of you who hopped on the meme-train early, you may recognize him as 'Tron Guy" (seen in the header image). As soon as his presence is announced, a swarm of fans, both young and old, surround him to shake his hand and take a picture. Mr. Maynard is nice enough to let me get in a few questions.

Here are some highlights from my conversation with the Internet legend:

Nate Goldman: How did you come to be 'The Tron Guy'? 

Tron Guy: I decided to go the science fiction convention, saw a masquerade and thought it would be pretty neat to do that! So next year I made a costume from the movie Tron and put pictures of how I made it on the Internet and it became one of those things that everybody sent to all their friends - "Hey you gotta check out this website" - and then before I knew it, it exploded

How long after you put it out did it blow up?

Well, the masquerade that I showed it at was at 7 o'clock Saturday night, I submitted it to the editors of Slashdot at about 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Immediately after I did that I took a friend to the airport, so an hour or so later I got back to the hotel to discover that I was famous. It really went that fast.

What'd you learn from this experience with micro fame?

I learned very quickly that there is no way to take yourself off of the internet - and I learned this lesson from Star Wars kid, so I decided pretty much immediately, okay fine, so I'm sitting on this tiger. I can either jump off and hope he doesn't turn around and eat me or I can grab his ears and try to enjoy the ride.

What're you looking forward to out of ROFLcon?

I went to the first ROFLcon and one in NYC a couple years ago. For me, this is a vacation - I get to spend the next two days being Tron Guy. I will be wearing the costume both days. And getting it through TSA was no fun, let me tell you.

Be sure to follow @NateGoldman and @Aayesha for more ROFLcon updates.

This program aired on May 5, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Nate Goldman Twitter Social Media Producer
Nate Goldman was formerly a social media producer at WBUR.

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