Keanu Reeves Reveals the Real Story Behind ‘Sad Keanu’ Meme
Eleven years later, Keanu Reeves finally revealed the story behind the "Sad Keanu" meme.
While appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the actor explained the actual circumstances behind the 2010 photo of him seemingly sulking on a park bench that went viral over a decade ago. When asked if he was actually sad at the moment the gloomy-looking paparazzi snapshot was taken, Reeves revealed that no, he wasn't actually sad.
"I'm just eating a sandwich, man!" he explained to the late-night host, laughing.
When Colbert then questioned, "So, you're not actually sad in 'Sad Keanu'?," Reeves quipped, "I was thinking. I had some stuff going on. I was hungry."
Colbert noted that the meme was featured in Reeves' debut comic book, BRZRKR.
"I didn't know he [co-author Matt Kindt] was going to do that, but that's what he did," Reeves shared. "So, I think it's kind of meta. That's life in art."
When Colbert asked why the actor is so "memeable," Reeves admitted that he has "no clue."
Splash News photographer Ron Asadorian captured the photo in May 2010. According to Know Your Meme, the first "Sad Keanu" meme Photoshop thread first popped up on a film and television discussion board on Green-ovale.net. Reddit quickly picked it up before social media platforms joined the challenge of Photoshopping Reeves into unique situations.
A website dedicated to Photoshops of the meme was created but later taken down due to a DMCA notice from Splash News. Because of this, the internet created "Cheer Up Keanu Day" on June 15, 2010.
Reeves' appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert was to promote the fourth installment in The Matrix Franchise, The Matrix Resurrections. The film will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22.