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