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Zach Anner (born November 17th, 1984) is a comedian with cerebral palsy who became popular on 4chan and Reddit after submitting a video to Oprah’s “Your Own Show” contest. He is the host of the travel show “Rollin’ With Zach” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Prior to mass exposure via Oprah Winphrey, Anner and fellow production mates started a comedy troupe called Lark the Beard, which produced a Streamy nominated web-series entitled The Wingmen, which has received a total of 250,662 views on it’s YouTube channel since its creation in January of 2008.
On June 1st, 2010, Anner uploaded a video to the Oprah.com contest page that included a comedic audition to host his own travel show.
On June 12th, 2010, the page was submitted to Reddit in a thread titled “all about win. guy is hilarious” by user chorn74. The thread reached the front page and accumulated 5,556 up votes prior to being archived.
Anner’s vote numbers began to rapidly increase after being posted on Reddit and 4chan. On June 13th, Anner uploaded a video to his YouTube channel in which he thanked the various Internet communities and celebrities that had come out to support him including Reddit, 4chan, Digg and American singer-songwriter John Mayer.
On June 23rd, 2010, Anner published an 8 minute video in which he answered various questions that had been submitted by Redditors. The same day, a Fox News interview was uploaded to YouTube. Zach Anner’s official YouTube channel has received an average of 1,647 views a day since it’s creation on Feb 19th, 2008 for a total of 2,295,569 views as of December 13th, 2011.
On June 22nd, 2010, a Reddit thread titled “Oprah rigs votes against Zach Anner” reached the front page of Reddit, accumulating 1,198 up votes prior to being archived. The post claimed that the contestant Dr. Phyllis, who had just taken the lead in the contest, was receiving votes of up to 600,000 in just one hour. The following day, an article on the tech blog Geekosystem reported the speculation:
But in the span of an hour around or just before 3pm EDT, the woman who had been trailing Anner for some time, Doctor Phyllis, took the lead. And she did so at what sounds to be an unbelievable rate.
According to Encyclopedia Dramatica, this inspired 4chan users to launch Operation SyPhyllis, which included DDoS attacks against Oprah.com, using bots to augment Anner’s votes and to Google bomb the phrase “Oprah rigs votes against Zach Anner.”
Voting ended on July 3rd, 2010 with Zach leading at 9,161,042 votes. On July 9th the votes were published on Oprah.com with Zach in the 7th position with 3,484,018 votes and was subsequently posted to Reddit in a thread titled “zach anner got fucked…”
On February 25th, 2011, the Internet culture blog Urlesque reported that Zach won his own travel show with the Oprah network. The series was titled “Rollin’ With Zach” and premiered on December 12th, 2011. The official website describes it as a humorous travel show where Zach explores a new city each episode.
Zach Anner is obsessed with travel. In Rollin’ With Zach, he takes an authentic and often humorous approach to seeing the country, as he hosts his own half-hour travel series. Zach may have cerebral palsy, but that’s never stopped him! In every episode, Zach explores a new city and conquers his “top five” list for the destination.
Anner is originally from Kenmore, New York and was born with cerebral palsy. While attending University of Texas, Austin, in 2005, he obtained celebrity interviews through a sketch comedy program on the university’s local Public-access televisioncable TV channel called Texas Student TV K29HW-D. In 2008, he and fellow production mates started a comedy troupe called Lark the Beard, which produced a Streamy nominated web-series entitled The Wingmen.
Search queries for “zach anner” spiked in June of 2010, the same month he uploaded his submission to the contest.