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Prancing Cera is a photoshop meme featuring a photograph of actor Michael Cera in mid-air leaping from one platform to another on a dock in Haugesund, Norway. The meme involves superimposing a cut-out image of the actor into other base images of various settings and contexts.
The original photograph of Cera was taken by film director Edgar Wright while the two were in Norway to promote the 2010 action comedy film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. On August 23rd, 2010, Wright uploaded the photo to his Flickr page, which received over 26,000 views within two years. At nearly the same time, a very similar photoshop meme referred to as “Strutting Leo” photoshop meme, involving an exploitable photograph of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, began spreading online.
On August 24th, 2010, the single topic blog Fuck Yeah Prancing Cera was launched and over the following week, more than 830 instances were featured on the Tumblr site. The same day, Wright’s Flickr upload was picked up by the viral content site BuzzFeed and featured in a post along with a cutout template version (shown below). Within 24 hours, the article received over 28,000 views. In addition, Urban Dictionary user LeilaN submitted an entry for “Prancing Cera."
Also on August 24th, Urban Dictionary user LeilaN submitted an entry for “Prancing Cera”, which cited Edgar Wright as the original photographer. On August 26th, compilations of notable examples from the series were posted on both BuzzFeed and Paste Magazine. On August 27th, another compilation was posted on the Internet news blog Urlesque in a post titled “The 20 Best Prancing Michael Cera Images.” On the same day, the Toronto Starpublished an article titled “Meme of the Week: Prancing Michael Cera”, citing the Fuck Yeah Prancing Cera Tumblr as a major source of examples from the series. On August 30th, the Internet news blog UpRoxx published a post titled “Meme Watch: Prancing Cera”, which attributed some of the meme’s early popularity to an animated GIF posted by the Tumblr user TheFrogman (shown below).
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