Bob and the Subgenius

Bob and the Subgenius

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Updated May 08, 2010 at 06:00AM EDT by Tomberry.

Added Dec 08, 2009 at 06:03AM EST by Memevore.

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The Church of the SubGenius is a parody religion that promotes slack, while in a meta-commentarial way, satirizing religion, conspiracy theories, UFOs, and popular culture. Originally based in Dallas, Texas, the Church of the SubGenius gained prominence in the 1980s and 1990s subculture, mainly in U.S. universities and colleges, and maintains an active presence on the Internet. Publicly accessible cited figures from 1988 indicated a membership of 3,500, “more than 5,000” in 1990 and “close to 10,000” by 2003.

The central figurehead and symbol of the Church is the smiling, pipe-smoking face of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, an image based on a 1950s-styled clip-art. The Church claims that “Bob” founded the Church after he saw a vision of JHVH-1 (or “Jehovah-1”, or “God”) on his homemade TV.

“Bob” was killed in San Francisco in 1984. Since that time, he has been killed and subsequently returned from the dead many times through a process known as teledeportation. The Church, however, denies any similarity between this claim and the Biblical account of Jesus’s resurrection.

The Church guards the trademark and copyright on “Bob’s” image, though his face has been used by many artistic figures, showing up on such places as albums by the rock band “Sublime” and George Clinton; in the movie “The Wizard of Speed and Time” by Mike Jittlov; in the graphical character set of the Atari ST computers; printed on CDs for Slackware Linux (prior to Version 3); on the set of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, in British comic “2000AD”, inside the strip “Robo-Hunter”, and in Devo’s video for the song “Love Without Anger”. “Bob” also made an appearance in the comic The Badger, his form having been taken by a demon who commented at one point “Do? I’m going to beat you to death with this pipe.” He also made a brief appearance in Marvel Comics’ “Slapstick” as a coffee store clerk.

Nothing is more central to “Bob” than his pipe, which is said to be filled with the mysterious substance known as “habafropzipulops” or “frop” which may contain either mystical, hallucinogenic, or divine powers.

The website of the Church ( has been filled with fan-contributions for a very long time. They mainly consist of thousands of funny drawings of Bob’s head, in every possible configuration, such as: Bob’s head painted on the walls of a prehistoric cave, Bob’s head with the green skin and antennas of an alien E.T, Bob’s head with his skin the colors of a rainbow, Bob’s head with Hitler’s mustache and hair, Bob’s head with a “mystical” third eye in the middle of his forehead, or Bob standing and shaking hands with celebrities, and so on. Other fan-contributions are animated GIFs or ray-tracing images, or videos on Youtube.

Most of this article has its source from Wikipedia.

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Top Comments


Bob(Slack Be Upon Him) is a lot more meme-like than a lot of so-called “memes” which are just photo collages with funny captions, which I do really enjoy, but a meme as originally conceived by Dawkins, a “unit of cultural transmission” is exactly like Bob. As the KYT preamble states, Bob has been slain many times, but each time He is resurrected. He is an internet virus, and also crucially a Mind virus, which existed before the Internet was in public use (see Robert Crumb’s Weirdo Comics (#1 I think)from 1981, so probably pre-dates this to possibly before the Human race, and even before the beginning of Time itself. )


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