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Brent Rambo is a child model featured in a promotional video for Apple’s desktop products in the early 1990s. On Reddit, the animated GIF of Rambo giving a thumbs up gesture in the video has been paired with humorous and suggestive clips as a seal of approval, in similar vein to the use of Approval Guy on 4chan.
In the early 1990s, Apple Inc. released a promotional video for their Macintosh and Apple II products. In the video, a young boy identified as Brent Rambo is shown nodding at a computer monitor while narrating a letter to Apple CEO John Sculley (shown below).
Brent Rambo: “Dear Mr. Scully,
Mac rules the world.
Your Mac friend,
On March 25th, 2013, Redditor ToadLicker93 submitted a post titled “Have an upvote!” to the /r/funny subreddit, which featured an animated GIF of Brent Rambo nodding approvingly from the Apple promo video (shown below). Within the next two months, the post garnered upwards of 13,000 up votes and 130 comments.
On March 28th, 2013, Redditor DapperJules submitted the same GIF in a post titled “MRW I see boobs on the front page” to the /r/reactiongifs subreddit, receiving over 3,400 up votes and 35 comments within the first month. On April 3rd, IGN Forums member bibabo posted a thread asking for the origin of the GIF. On May 1st, Redditor HotelWomb submitted a GIF of Rambo watching a video of a woman eating cereal out of a bathtub filled with milk (shown below) to the /r/gifs subreddit. Within 24 hours, the post gained more than 11,900 up votes and 430 comments.
The same day, the /r/BrentRamboApproves subreddit was created, featuring various edited versions of the GIF with added scenes from other videos. In the same time frame, the subreddit received over 670 subscribers. Also on May 1st, the Internet humor blog PandaWhale posted about the animated GIF series, which outlined its spread on Reddit and linked to a Facebook page of man named Brent Rambo.
On July 12th, 2013, Redditor VenusBlue submitted a link to an episode of Command Center, a TwitchTV web series that focuses on the the massively multiplayer online first person shooter game Planetside 2, to /r/BrentRamboApproves in a post titled “Brent Rambo works for [Sony Online Entertainment], and on Planetside 2. Here he is on the ‘cribs’ portion of this week’s episode of Command Center.” At about 22-minute mark in the episode, Rambo can be seen recreating his signature thumb-up gesture (shown below).
That same day, Redditor dong_lover submitted a GIF pairing the younger Rambo’s gesture with the grown-up version to /r/BrentRamboApproves. On July 13th, Brent Rambo (TheRealBR) responded in the comments section of the post, confirming that he works as a developer for Sony Online Entertainment and still remains an avid user of Mac computers and devices.