Gary From Chicago

Gary From Chicago

Part of a series on Academy Awards. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 01, 2017 at 12:49PM EST by Adam.

Added Mar 01, 2017 at 11:54AM EST by Adam.

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Gary From Chicago is a person who achieved viral fame after appearing on screen during a segment at the 2017 Academy Awards. Soon after, it was discovered that he had been released from prison three days prior to the segment, creating a moment similar to Ken Bone's Reddit AMA in which the history of a person who becomes a meme sparked a dialogue.


At the 2017 Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel did a segment where he brought in actual Los Angeles tourists into the Oscars. He brought several to the front of the stage and introduced them to famous actors. One was Gary Alan Coe, identified as "Gary From Chicago," whose fiancee Vickie featured in the Ryan Gosling Whispering meme from that night. During the segment, Coe kissed actress Nicole Kidman's hand in a video captures by her husband, Keith Urban (shown below).


The internet quickly took to celebrating Coe. #GaryFromChicago[1] began to trend on Twitter as users jokes about his outfit (a "Hollywood" hoodie), his pink cell-phone case, the way he held his tongue out as he took pictures, and the fact that when Kimmel joked with him that he was "ignoring the white actors," he replied "Yes, I am."

Jimmy Kimmel: "I feel like you're ignoring all the white celebrities" Gary from Chicago : "Yes, I am" ㊧ #Oscars

Gary became an overnight sensation, as The Washington Post[2] and The New York Times[3] both wrote articles about him, and several Chicago establishments attempted to offer Coe free merchandise.


Soon, reports about Gary's history began to surface. He was released from prison, where he had been serving a 25-to-life sentence, three days prior to his Oscars appearance.[4] The convictions against Coe included petty theft in 1997 for stealing perfume, two grand-theft and two shoplifting convictions. He is also on California's sex-offenders list for attempted rape by force or fear in 1997. This led to people pushing back against Gary From Chicago as a meme, while others defended him as a man with a past who had served his time. The A.V. Club posted both viewpoints in the same article, initially posting an article about Gary that decried his criminal past before updating the article to "celebrate Coe's moment."[5]

Various Examples

Michael Swanson @Saps Follow Chicago Icons. Gary from Chicago. #Oscars #GaryFromChicago 3 Renee @ra _nay Follow #GaryFromChicago Holds wife's purse old Kimmel he is ignoring white actors Taking pics on burst mode Had Mahershala hold the phone GOAT 若いダガージック @ltate023 Follow Chicago Greats Stick Their Tounge Out #GaryfromChicago Dr. Wob, M.D. @World_Wide_Wob + Follow V Nothing has ever worked so perfectly than #GaryFromChicago and radial blur Jeremy D. Williams jeremydwill Follow And we welcome #GaryfromChicago #Oscars ! to the #Memes calendar for March: 2017 memes January February March April May June July August ramel @itsRamel FollowV The fact that most of the pictures taken by #GaryFromChicago will look like this #Oscarsi #Oscars2017 i I

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