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.
Within an hour of the debate's end, New York Magazine's internet-focused blog Select All wrote a piece devoted to the popularity of Ken Bone on Twitter. Other major news sites including CNN, The Daily Dot, and Business Insider 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.
Bone's Twitter account 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.
A parody Twitter account for Ken Bone, @TheKenBone, 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 gained over 4,500 followers overnight.
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.
Game recognize game https://t.co/Ktg824cjSP— Phil Friend (@Phil_Friend) October 10, 2016
Ken Bone taking a picture with his disposable camera so it lasts forever. Legend https://t.co/VU3ChYEaen— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) October 10, 2016
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.
Ken Bone says he wore the red sweater as a plan B to the debate because he “split the seat of my pants wide open” https://t.co/H9eL2wi5as— CNN (@CNN) October 10, 2016
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).
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."
Online retailer Redbubble created dozens of products featuring Bone, including shirts, pillows, and stickers. Yandy.com created a "Sexy Ken Bone" Halloween costume that they priced at $100 and it sold out within a day.
On October 13th, Bone participated in a Reddit AMA. 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.
Gun Photo Controversy
On April 23rd, 2018, Ken Bone replied to a tweet from Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv on Twitter 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 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.
That day, Redditor Gato1980 posted about the controversy in the /r/news subreddit.
On Twitter, people reacted both negatively and skeptically to the news. Twitter 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, "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.
 New York Magazine – Meet Kenneth Bone: the Red-Sweater-Wearing Star of the Presidential Debate
 Business Insider -One of the debate questioners became an instant internet sensation