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The Snowstorm Ice Cream Cone Guy, a.k.a Thundersnow Ice Cream Cone Guy, Jason Bourn-illa Soft Serve or simply Ice Cream Guy, is an exploitable series stemming from a peculiar photograph of an unhappy looking man running to escape the impending snowstorm in the streets of Washington D.C. Under-dressed in a button-up shirt and dashing across the foreground with an ice cream cone in his hand, the candid snapshot of the mysterious man--later identified as Zach Burroughs--was featured on the front page of Washington Post on January 27th, 2011.
On January 27th 2011, The Washington Post published a front page article about a severe snowstorm that struck Washington DC in late January. In reporting the weather updates, dozen of photographs were used to illustrate the fiasco in downtown D.C. and among them was a peculiar photo, Number 62 in the list and taken by photographer Ricky Carioti, printed for the front page article titled “Thundersnow rumbles across area.”
The man depicted in the picture, wearing a light shirt and holding an ice cream cone on the intersection of 15th and L streets in downtown D.C., seemed really out of place in that scenery. While it may have struck the photographer’s attention at that moment, the printed photo also caught attention of Reddit’s users when, the same day of the publication, a thread on Reddit was created by user JPEGBundy and entitled I feel that the world will be a better place if this picture gets the Photoshop treatment!, featuring the unedited version of the photograph from the Washington Post’s website. The thread has gathered more than 600 comments and people altering the initial photo.
On the same day of January 27th, the meme was featured on Buzzfeed, leading to another set of parodies in the comment section, as well as more alterations in an Ebaum’s World thread. The unedited picture also went to Today’s Big Thing, My NY plate or also The Daily What.
On January 28th, it was marked as Pic of the Day on the Blame It On The Voice website, it has had an article on dcist.com about the Reddit phenomenon and an appreciation article on D.C local newstation as well as a mention on a Wordpress blog. It also eventually got a Facebook page.
Following the overnight popularity of that guy, the Washington Post issued another article, which has been featured on several other websites, including Nola.com, Tumblr or also ABC News and Metafilter.
By February 2nd, it reached French LePost.
By February 7th, it was nominated as meme of the month on The-technician.org website.
As a followup of the Washington Post’s Story Lab article, they made a live interview on January 28 with the running ice cream cone man, real name Zack Burroughs, who is an attorney working on 15th Street NW.
Reusing bits of footage from it, French News TV channel LCI did a short mention about him, titled Ice Cream Guy, l’inconnu star du web (Ice Cream guy, the unknown man now Internet celebrity) :
Previous Appearance on the web
On December 2009, Zach Burroughs participated in a short video in favor of supporting clean energy, from an association called Repower America:
There are no videos currently available.