Ken Bone

Ken Bone

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Updated Feb 03, 2020 at 02:16PM EST by Matt.

Added Oct 10, 2016 at 11:08AM EDT by Adam.

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Ken Bone is a man who asked a question during the second 2016 United States Presidential Election Debate, which had a town hall format in which selected undecided voters ask questions directly to the candidates. Bone asked a question about the candidates' energy policies, but because of his name and appearance, he immediately became popular on social media as users joked about him and engaged in ironic fandom.


Towards the end of the second presidential debate of the 2016 United States Presidential Election, moderator Anderson Cooper called upon Bone, who asked a question regarding the energy policies of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.


Immediately after his question, social media users, particularly on Twitter, began sharing posts in joke-adoration of Kenneth Bone.

tweet declaring a star is born tonight in reference to Ken Bone appearing on the presidential debate Ken Bone in Barack Obama's Hope poster screenshot of person's camera roll showing they have many pictures of Ken Bone saved

Within an hour of the debate's end, New York Magazine's internet-focused blog Select All[1] wrote a piece devoted to the popularity of Ken Bone on Twitter. Other major news sites including CNN,[2] The Daily Dot,[3] and Business Insider[4] immediately covered Bone's rise to internet stardom. CNN theorized Bone grew popular because of his red cardigan and glasses, and Daily Dot theorized it was because of his suggestive last name, mustache, and gentle aura.

Various Examples

Olivia Sui @OliviaSui 2: Follow Some heroes don't wear capes they wear brooks brothers #kenbone LIVE CAN Kenneth Bone Uncommitted Voter CNN SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 10:29 PM ET # D EBATES Ken Bone @TheKenBone Follow Im not the hero you want. I'm the hero you need. LIVE CNN Kenneth Bone Uncommitted Voter ON SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 0:29 PM ET DEBATES corey sollie @coreysollie Follow You vs. the man she told you not to worry about #KenBone enneth Bone Uncommitted Voter SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE Girls Really Rule. @girlsreallyrule Follow Watching #KenBone snap pics of a #debate ? set on his disposable camera #BetterAlternativesToDebates E TO THE BONE ZO GIF McNeil @Reflog 18 Follow We are all at the crossroads. #KenBone one thugs-rthdny CO Ellie Mirmazaheri @ellie_mir 2: Follow #KenBone the real MVP of #debate ? 33% confidence 33% calming demeanor 33% huggability 1 % power stache LIVE Kenneth Bone Uncommitted Voter ON SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE DEBATES

Parody Accounts

Bone's Twitter account[5] quickly gained over 1,000 followers as he responded to his surge in popularity. For example, responding to one Twitter user who theorized "Ken Bone probably has a hot wife," Bone wrote, "Yeah he does," in a tweet that has gained over 1,900 retweets and 2,500 favorites.

Ken Bone @kenbone18 2: Follow Yeah he does Tanya Chen @Tanya_Chen Ken Bone probably has a hot wife RETWEETSU 1,920 2,637 2:18 AM-10 Oct 2016 LIKES

A parody Twitter account for Ken Bone, @TheKenBone,[6] launched and gained over 65,000 followers in one day. On Facebook, Ken Bone was a trending topic the following morning, and a Kenneth Bone fan page[7] gained over 4,500 followers overnight.

Post-Debate Footage

Additional footage of Bone on the set after the conclusion of the debate further boosted his popularity, particularly videos of him interacting with former President Bill Clinton and taking photographs with a disposable camera.

Pants-Splitting Story

The following day, Bone appeared on CNN and explained that the popular red sweater he wore was his backup plan. He initially was going to wear an olive suit, but when he was getting in his car to travel to the debate, he split the seat of his pants open.

Media Appearances

On October 10th, Bone appeared on several political talk shows, where he talked about his sudden fame and whether he had decided who he would vote for. He also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live (below, left), and was the topic of the following night's opening segment on The Daily Show (below, right).

CamSoda Request

On October 10th, adult site CamSoda issued an offer to Bone of $100,000 and 25 disposable cameras to talk on their site for one hour. In a letter, they did not explicitly state that Bone would have to participate in pornographic activities, but they did mention they hoped he would take viewers to "The Bone Zone."[8]


Online retailer Redbubble created dozens of products featuring Bone, including shirts, pillows, and stickers.[9][10] created a "Sexy Ken Bone" Halloween costume that they priced at $100 and it sold out within a day.

Reddit AMA

On October 13th, Bone participated in a Reddit AMA.[11] He participated in the event using his regular reddit screen name, "StanGibson18," prompting users to dig into his comment history. They found comments left by Bone regarding how he looked at Jennifer Lawrence's leaked Fappening nudes, his thoughts on Trayvon Martin's Death, and Power Rangers.

-1 StanGibson18 910 points 19 days ago Let's say I leave my wallet on top of my car at the gas station. I do it every time so I'm always losing it. That's me being dumb, no one to blame but me. On the other hand is still totally reasonable to be mad at the guy that finds it and steals all the cash and uses my credit card Maybe she should have been more careful with her pics, but the bad guys are still the ones who sought them out and looked at them. By which I mean guys like me. I saw her butt hole. I liked it.

The fact Bone was shown to frequent adult websites and leave commentary drew some backlash, and was covered by Uproxx,[12] Gizmodo,[13] The Daily Beast.[14]

Gun Photo Controversy

On April 23rd, 2018, Ken Bone replied to a tweet from Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv on Twitter[19] with a picture of Bone and his son at a gun range and firing a gun at targets. He captioned the post, "Here's a pic of my son learning to shoot safely under my supervision. Maybe those security guys want to talk to him." The post (shown below, left) received more than 300 retweets and 2,500 likes in four days.

Several days later, on April 26th, Bone tweeted[20] the picture again with a caption that explains that the photograph led to his son's suspension from school. He said, "Remember this photo from a few days ago? Well, a school administrator saw it and now my son is suspended from school pending a police investigation." The post (shown below, right) received more than 4,700 retweets and 14,000 likes in 24 hours.

Ken Bone @kenbone18 Replying to @KyleKashuv Here's a pic of my son learning to shoot safely under my supervision. Maybe those security guys want to talk to him. Ken Bone e) @kenbone18 Remember this photo from a few days ago? Well, a school administrator saw it and now my son is suspended from school pending a police investigation.

That day, Redditor[21] Gato1980 posted about the controversy in the /r/news subreddit.

On Twitter, people reacted both negatively and skeptically to the news. Twitter[22] user @gscott00 tweeted, "A supervised gun range. Get a lawyer. This nonsensical paranoia must end." The post (shown below, left) received more than 100 retweets and 1,300 likes in 24 hours.

Twitter user @JCash_Money tweeted,[23] "For some reason I have a feeling this isn't the entire story." The post (shown below, center) received more than 700 likes in 24 hours.

Bone responded to this skepticism with sarcasm. He tweeted at a skeptical reply with "Gee, why didn't I think of that? I have talked to him and the principal who suspended him." The post (shown below, right) received more than 75 retweets and 3,330 likes in 24 hours.

Replying to @kenbone18 A supervised gun range. Get a lawyer. nonsensical paranoia must end. This Replying to @kenbone18 For some reason I have a feeling this isn't the entire story. zach into 2018 @Zach_Team 21h I am willing to bet talking to your son will give you infinitely more clarity on why he was suspended than ranting on Twitter will. 72 t 4 203 Ken Bone @kenbone18 Replying to @Zach_Team Gee, why didn't I think of that? I have talked to him and the principal who suspended him.

Search Interest

External References

[1] New York Magazine – Meet Kenneth Bone: the Red-Sweater-Wearing Star of the Presidential Debate

[2] CNN – And the winner of the presidential debate is… Ken Bone

[3] Daily Dot – The real winner of the 2nd presidential debate: Ken Bone and the Fly

[4] Business Insider -One of the debate questioners became an instant internet sensation

[5] Twitter – @kenbone18

[6] Twitter – @TheKenBone

[7] Facebook – @KennethBoneFanPage

[8] The Next Web – CamSoda offers Ken Bone $100,000 to take us all back to the ‘Bone Zone’

[9] Google – Ken Bone Merchandise search

[10] Yandy (via Wayback Machine) – Sexy Undecided Voter Costume

[11] Reddit – I’m American citizen, undecided voter, loving husband Ken Bone, Welcome to the Bone Zone! AMA

[12] Uproxx – Ken Bone Probably Should Have Deleted His Reddit Comment History Before Doing An AMA

[13] Gizmodo – Ken Bone Forgot to Delete His Reddit Porn Comments, Said Trayvon Martin Killing Was 'Justified'

[14] The Daily Beast – Ken Bone’s Disturbing Reddit History Shows He’s Not Nearly as Adorable as We Thought

[15] Instagram – @kennethbone2016fans' account

[16] Twitter – @realkennybone

[17] Quartz – It was cruel to build the legend of Ken Bone--and even crueler to tear it down

[18] New York Times – We May Be Leaving the Ken Bone Zone

[19] Twitter – @kenbone18's Tweet

[20] Twitter – @kenbone18's Tweet

[21] Reddit – Photo of Ken Bone, His Son and a Gun Attracts Police Attention, Suspension

[22] Twitter – @gscott00's Tweet

[23] Twitter – @JCash_Money's Tweet

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