How In The Sweet Hell Did Ken Bone Become The Hero Of The Presidential Debate?

What is a Ken Bone, and why should you care?

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By now, you’ve no doubt heard rumblings of a man by the name of Ken Bone, a smiley, mustachioed, red sweater wearing gent who in the wake of yesterday’s presidential debate has captured the imagination of the internet and, by extension, the world.

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Since then, Bone has been written about by hundreds of media outlets, racked up more than 62k follows on Twitter (by the time you read this, it’ll be more), and made his late night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! And all that, in little more than a day. Just imagine where he’ll be by the end of the week.

A Star Is Bone

The world first met Bone, an undecided 34-year-old voter who works in a coal plant in Illinois, at the tail-end of the debate, after he posed a question to the candidates about their energy policies. Specifically, he asked: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimising job layoffs?”

After the debate finished, Bone was seen taking photos of the stage with a disposable camera, presumably due to the fact that electronic devices such as phones were not permitted inside the auditorium.

And that’s literally it. That’s literally all it took. A sweater, a mustache, a microphone and a camera.

Suddenly, Bone was everywhere.


On the most basic level, Bone’s rapid ascent to meme-dom can be attributed to two things: people think he looks huggable and he has a funny name. It seems ridiculous, but let’s be honest, people and dead gorillas have become internet famous for less.

Speaking to CNN about his newfound celebrity, Bone said that he didn’t understand why people cared what he had to say, “but I’m glad they’re engaged in the political process.” He also expressed his disappointment about the tone of the debate, saying, “At points during the debate it almost felt like watching mum and dad fight.”

“It got very uncomfortable from up close,” said Bone. “If you can dig through some of the rhetoric and some of the name calling that went on, I think there really were some substantive answers. It’s just unfortunate that we have to wade through so much to get to them.”

He also revealed the secret origin story behind his famous sweater.

Not only that, but he charmed the hell of everybody with this exchange on Twitter about his wife.

Great fashion sense. Cares about the environment. Makes a great meme. Loves his wife. No wonder people are excited about Ken Bone.

Highway To The DangerBone

Of course the other explanation for Bone’s explosive rise is a little more depressing. In short: this election has been fucking awful. You’ve got an angry, disillusioned voter base being forced to chose between two unpopular candidates, and a 24-hour news media more interested in scandal than holding politicians to account. Frankly, it’s little wonder then that people are so keen to latch on to something simple and funny and nice.

The world is currently suffering from a year-and-a-half long migraine, and Ken Bone is an aspirin in spectacles.

Odds are, the half-life on Bonium is probably pretty short. Like most internet sensations, he’ll shine brightly for a moment, before fading into obscurity. Still, it says a lot about the state of this election that, with so much on the line, all anyone wants to do is Bone.