Gritty joke and philanthropic gesture: the story behind “Blinking guy”, the most popular gif on the web

Behind the “blinking guy”, this ultra-famous gif shared more than a billion times on the Internet, hides a man, who decided to use the notoriety of his face to serve a good cause. The opportunity to return to the origins of this face, which has become viral in spite of itself.

You must have seen this gif. Obviously, since since its creation, it has been shared more than 1.7 billion times. The face of this man who blinks his eyes in astonishment, known as the “blinking guy”, is that of Drew Scalon.

Funny notoriety for this man, who could undoubtedly have been easily enriched thanks to this face known by almost all Internet users on the planet. But Drew Scalon, philanthropist, has instead chosen to ride on the popularity of his gif, a short animated video in a loop, to work in favor of a good cause.

Over $ 150,000 raised

So, he recently shared his gif on his Twitter account, asking his followers to donate, however small, for research aimed at fighting multiple sclerosis. “If this GIF has brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to consider donating to the National MS Society,” wrote Drew Scalon.

Hi Internet! I’m Drew and THIS IS MY FACE.

If this GIF has ever brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to consider making a donation to the National MS Society. It would mean a lot to me and to those I know affected by the disease!

Donate at

— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) September 15, 2021

According to Usa Today, this call for donations helped the “blinking guy” translate the blinking man to raise over $ 75,000 and beat his record of nearly $ 34,000 in 2019, the first time ever. ‘he was using the meme to raise funds. In total, he has raised over $ 154,000 for the organization since 2016.

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A gritty joke behind the gif

Producer for a company that develops video games, Drew Scalon is particularly sensitive to this cause since people close to him have multiple sclerosis.

Now 35, his face went viral in 2013, when during a filmed online game, a friend gave him a gritty joke, resulting in that disbelieving expression on his part. A user of the site on which this small yet banal scene took place, transformed the sequence into a gif, the notoriety of which quickly exceeded all expectations, tells Usa Today.