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Rasta Science Teacher (a.k.a Rasta Professor) is an image macro series based on a picture of a class instructor wearing dreadlocks and a Rasta fashion hat. A type of bait and switch joke involving intentional line break similar to Dating Site Murderer and Successful Black Man, the captions usually consist of two parts: 1) a direct reference to Reggae songs or smokers’ lingo and 2) an anti-climatic statement derailing to academic subjects in the manner of a science teacher.
The earliest known instance featuring the tagline “Lights His Joint / With a Bunsen Burner” was uploaded via Quickmeme and picked up on the same day by Reddit on April 6th, 2011. The biographical information regarding the man remains unknown, though several Reddit users claiming to be former students seem to support the notion that he is in fact a Physics professor.
Throughout the week, the image was subsequently picked up by other hubsites like FunnyJunk, MemeBase and Tumblr. During its onset, some of the jokes directly played off on the stereotype of a Rastafarian stoner professor (shown below, 1st & 3rd from left) while others adopted the bait-and-switch format by derailing into the voice of a science class instructor (shown below, 2nd & 4th from left).
By mid-April 2011, Rasta Science Teacher threads were seen on various discussion boards like Sherdog and Bodybuilding Forums among others. The series resonated particularly well on April 20th, the unofficial holiday closely associated with celebration of cannabis culture, spawning a subset of jokes in reference to 4/20 and Rastafarian cliches.
On April 16th, Reddit user lyingonahill commented on one of the “Rasta Science” threads claiming that he was a former student of his college-level Physics class in San Alto, California:
On April 20th, Reddit user RastaTeacher posted a Q&A thread titled “IAMA: Internet Meme … Rasta Science Teacher” identifying himself as the class instructor depicted in the original image. In the same thread, Reddit user fila429 replied that one of his friends may have been the photographer, a claim that was further supported by Reddit user srikad8 who supposedly took the picture and uploaded it onto Facebook. However, no visual evidence has been provided to support these firsthand accounts:
While RastaTeacher’s IAMA thread remains unverified and without any response, the following image has been cited by some as photographic evidence of Reddit user RastaTeacher’s authenticity:
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