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Unimpressed Astronaut is an advice animal image macro series depicting an astronaut walking on the moon. Delivered in a patronizing tone similar to that of Condescending Wonka, the captions juxtapose typical stories or grievances about long-distance traveling with the modern scientific milestone of the Moon landing.
Stemming from the Advantages of Science series on Reddit, the Unimpressed Astronaut is solely centered around the 1972 photograph of NASA astronaut John Young saluting the American flag during his Apollo 16 mission in 1972. Following his journey to the Moon, Young went on to command the Space Shuttle Columbia’s maiden flight as well as the first Spacelab mission, STS-9, and spent 835 total hours in space.
The first instance of the image macro was posted to Reddit on December 1st, 2011, linking to a Quickmeme page for the macro. The original caption “Oh, you spent 6 weeks abroad in Europe? That’s nice.” is derived from a stand-up skit by comedian Brian Regan. At the end of his monologue, he talks about how he wished he was an astronaut so when friends recount their stories, he could respond, “that’s nice, I walked on the moon.”
In the span of a few days in early December, several more threads were submitted to both the Advice Animals and Atheism subreddits. It was submitted to FunnyJunk on December 3rd, 2011, the same day instances began to be shared on Tumblr. In the following days, various compilations of Unimpressed Astronaut images were posted on humor blogs and news sites like The Atlantic, Pleated Jeans and The Chive. On December 8th, the single topic blog Unimpressed Astronaut was launched to curate notable examples of the image macro series. Additional images can be found on Memebase, BuzzFeed and 9gag among others, as well as under the Tumblr hashtag “Unimpressed Astronaut.” As of July 2012, the Quickmeme page hosts more than 2,500 instances of the meme.
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