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Hungry Kim Jong-Un is an advice animal image macro series featuring photos of the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un. The captions typically show Jong-Un longing for various food items, or confusing inedible objects with food. The series began as a reaction to the death of Jong-Un’s father and former North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Il in December of 2011.
On December 19th, 2011, Redditor GunnieGraves submitted a post titled “Kim Jong Un looks….hungry”, which included a photo of Jong-Un pointing at an object with the caption “Ok so…can I eat this?” The post reached the front page of the /r/funny subreddit, receiving over 7,200 up votes within four months.
Very little was known about Kim Jong-Un in western media until the death of his father on December 19th, 2011. He was born sometime between 1983 and 1984 and educated in Switzerland until the end of the conflict between North and South Korea. A New York Times editorial published on December 19th, 2011, speculated that Kim may authorize additional nuclear tests, or directly antagonize South Korea.
Also on December 19th, the first “Hungry Kim Jong-Un” Quickmeme submission was created, which featured a photo of Kim talking to a top-ranking general with the caption “What do you mean / I can’t eat America.” Shortly after, the image macro reached the front page of the /r/funny subreddit.
On December 23rd, the “Kim Jong-Un is Hungry” single topic blog launched on the microblogging site Tumblr with the tagline “He’s always thinking about food. For himself… not for his people.” On January 5th, 2012, Funny or Die published a compilation of notable Hungry Kim Jong-Un examples, citing the /r/funny subreddit as the source. On February 4th, the Cheezburger site Comixed published a series of image macros in which Kim Jong-Un mistakes various objects for cake.
On February 14th, the web culture blog UpRoxx published a post about the series and included a slideshow of examples. The following day, a compilation of Hungry Kim Jong-Un image macros were featured on the Internet humor site Funny Junk, receiving over 103,000 views within two months.
As of April 13th, 2012, the “Hungry Kim Jong-Un” Quickmeme page has received over 1,753 submissions.
Search query volume for “hungry kim jong un” spiked in December of 2011, shortly after the death of Kim Jong-Il.
Funny or Die – 10 Funniest Examples of the Hungry Kim Jong Un Meme