May 16, 2022

The Making of a Meme King with Tank Sinatra

From Bar Mitzvah dancer to internet legend


Nora and Scott chat with George Resch, better known as Tank Sinatra. He started one of the earliest major meme accounts, TankSinatra, and since then has launched two additional accounts, Influencers in the Wild and Tanks Good News. He discusses breaking into the market early, the evolution of memes and monetizing his humor. Presented by Policygenius. 

Hosts: Nora Ali & Scott Rogowsky

Producer: Bella Hutchins 

Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus

Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder

Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop

VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer 

 

Check out the full transcript of this episode below. 

Transcript

Nora Ali: For Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, the podcast that reveals the unexpected business story behind everything. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: I'm Scott Rogowsky. Nora and I are here for your ears, bringing you conversations with creators, thinkers, and memers, who can tell us what it all means and why we should care. Now let's get down to business.

Nora Ali: We're talking about memes today. Memes.

Scott Rogowsky: What, what, what, meme? What do you meme?

Nora Ali: Or memes. What do you meme? That's a game, What Do You Meme?

Scott Rogowsky: Or meme. What do you meme. What is a meme?

Nora Ali: What is a meme? It's evolved over time, what memes are. We get to talk to one of the OG meme guys today. Super exciting.

Scott Rogowsky: Dream meme team.

Nora Ali: Have you ever made a meme, Scott?

Scott Rogowsky: Oh, I've dabbled in meme making, meme smithery. I did one called... it's called share if you agree. And it's a picture of Cher.

Nora Ali: Wait, that's funny.

Scott Rogowsky: I had one called... I don't know why I'm giving them. I don't know if they're called, I'm giving them titles. This one's called, you know, those Myers-Briggs tests?

Nora Ali: Yep.

Scott Rogowsky: Personality test. So I said, I took my Myers-Briggs test turns out I'm a TMNT and then I have pictures of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don't know.

Nora Ali: Those are really good. You have a career in memeology. I'm sure you've been memed, right? From your HQ days. Yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. There are a lot of HQ memes out there about some of the questions, the bird's nest soup and the, yeah, that's really where I got my front row seat to the memery that was happening, and that has taken over, not just the internet. I think it's taken over our culture, our comedy...

Nora Ali: Totally.

Scott Rogowsky: It is probably the predominant form or source of comedic expression and consumption these days. Right?

Nora Ali: Totally, because anyone can do it. We're lucky enough to talk to one of the OGs. We're talking to George Resch, better known as Tank Sinatra. He started one of the earliest major meme accounts and that is at Tank Sinatra, and since then has launched two additional accounts, Influencers in the Wild and Tank's Good News. Now he has over 10 million total followers across accounts. Tank was able to quit his day job in 2017 to focus on growing his accounts full time. He joins us today to discuss breaking into the market early, the evolution of memes, and monetizing his humor. We will get to our conversation with George after this quick break. Well, Tank, you did not start in the world of memes in your career. You started in the fence industry, and I love that on your LinkedIn, you still have a pretty robust description of what you did: "demonstrated ability to grow company revenue exponentially through new contract sales." And now you are Tank Sinatra. Yeah. Let's start with what you used to do. Did you enjoy your job? What was your relationship with your job back when you worked on fences?

Tank Sinatra: Yeah, I had a million jobs before this. I worked in a music store, a bagel place. I danced at bar mitzvahs for many years. Yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: You were a bar mitzvah dancer?

Tank Sinatra: Yeah. I hurt myself a couple of times, but I mean, it was good money and I was working in the restaurant business at that time. So I worked at nine different restaurants. Then my friend Joe started a fence company and he basically rescued me from the restaurant business. So the fence business being in sales, for me it was just another table in the restaurant, except I was at their table in their house and I wasn't serving food. I was serving vinyl and latches. It was the same mentality. I just wanted to make them laugh, make them comfortable. I always treated my section in my restaurant like my own little business, my four tables. That was my own little mini restaurant. So I've always been, I guess, entrepreneurial, but not in the annoying way like you see today where people... I'm making a video after this. I can't wait. I'm so excited. I'm just going to lampoon the crap out of this video. It's so absurd.

Nora Ali: Wait, what's the bad way. What is it?

Scott Rogowsky: The hustle porn kind of thing?

Tank Sinatra: Yeah. It's a guy reading a book on a cliff on a bed. Then the next scene is him on a mega yacht. This yacht costs like $800 million. Bro, where's the math? Show me your work. How did you do? There's no connection there. It's just like you said, hustle porn. That's not how it works, bro. What are you, you became a Russian oligarch from reading The Optimist on a cliff somewhere? No.

Scott Rogowsky: So you've had this hustle mentality yourself without being obnoxious about it. You've had this business mind, but you've also had a comedy mind. You've also had a love of comedy. You've been cracking jokes with clients. Tell me about your comedy background.

Tank Sinatra: I actually did take a standup comedy course when I was 23 at Governor's because I wanted to try it, more so because it scared me than anything else. If I'm scared by something, I'm like, well, that's something I obviously have to do. So I did it when I was 23 for about a year and I just never got bit by the bug that I think comedians get bit by. Even when people were laughing, I was like, oh good. You know, who cares? I just didn't feel it. I would so much rather be in a conversation with somebody, have a buildup going, the energy's building, and then you're at a party and all of a sudden you drop a bomb of a joke at the perfect time. Three people spit out their drinks. One person falls out of their chair. That to me is so much more rewarding than making 800 strangers laugh. I just don't get the appeal of it. But that's not to say, I don't understand why other people like it, because I enjoy posting memes on Instagram. They don't care about that. They're like, why would you... you know what I mean? You can't hear the laughter, so in their brain they're like, but you can't feel it. It's like I can. My body responds to that for some reason.

Scott Rogowsky: The likes you respond to, you like the retweets, the likes.

Nora Ali: The engagement.

Tank Sinatra: The engagement is something that I got hooked on very early on, and that wasn't my first go. I had a blog in 2003. I had a blog in 2004. I had a website in 2012 that I won a Webby Award for that I let die.

Scott Rogowsky: What was that?

Tank Sinatra: That was called ifoundmoneytoday.com, where I was leaving $5 bills around Manhattan, and just because, how great is it to find money? I'd write little stories about it, where it was, who was around, who I thought would find it, what they did with it. But it wasn't so much money where people would feel guilty finding it. If someone finds a hundred bucks, people are like, they don't want to pick it up, because they're like if I lost a hundred bucks, I'd be upset. If someone finds a $5 bill, they're like, this is free money.

Scott Rogowsky: This is karma.

Tank Sinatra: Yeah, exactly. I am a good person. Yeah. Yeah.

Nora Ali: It was meant to be. So you had the comedy bug, you had the creator bug. Tell us about your entry point to memes because in the early aughts, not everyone knew what a meme was. There were subreddits where people shared memes, but it wasn't as mainstream as it is now. What was your entry point?

Tank Sinatra: Yeah. So you know what, a couple of good friends of mine reminded me of in 2009 and 2010, I was talking about memes back then, but I took a very long break because I was like, I got married, my fence job is my career. I'm not going to look for something outside of it. I kind of liked it. I made money. I had a ton of free time. I got to eat lunch with my wife or come and see my kids or drop off dry cleaning, take a nap, whatever, and I was making decent money. So I wasn't looking for an escape, but I've just always had that creative bug, always. So in 2015, the end of 2015, I emailed The Fat Jewish. It was around the time that you had two choices, really. It was The Fat Jewish and you know, F Jerry. This was before anybody got mad at them, because nobody really knew what they were doing at that time.

Scott Rogowsky: Right. The copyright and the stealing and all that. Yeah.

Tank Sinatra: Yeah. It was kind of like, I made memes that made it to the front page on Reddit. I was just happy that other people were seeing them. When you make a meme and you see it posted out for the world to see on somebody with seven million followers, I never got mad at that. I didn't care. I was like, holy crap, so many people are seeing this thing I made. I was happy about it. So anyway, I emailed The Fat Jewish and I was like, "Hey, I saw this meme that you posted on your page on Reddit a couple of minutes before you posted it, can I help you find stuff?" And he was like, yeah, I'd love help, basically. He didn't say that, but I can't say what he said. We just kind of got rolling, and then he started tagging me in posts and started posting original memes that I was making. Even more so, there was even less people making their own memes at that time. I was one of them. There was maybe five or six people at that level making their own memes. It was so few.

Scott Rogowsky: But there were other people making memes. These were the few who were branding themselves as meme makers. Because look, millions of people make memes. You throw something up, like you said, when you were starting out, you do it anonymously. Maybe you don't know where they're coming from. They're out there, but like you and these other people you mentioned, you're doing it to say I'm staking out my little cord on the internet. I want to take credit for this now.

Tank Sinatra: You're doing it almost as a... I hate the-

Scott Rogowsky: It's an artistic endeavor. It's a creative endeavor.

Tank Sinatra: I was going to say as an artist, but I don't want to get skewered on the internet.

Nora Ali: It's art.

Tank Sinatra: There's people who, there's DJs out there who make their own music. They become massive successes, like Diplo or what's a guy, Bob Sinclair. He had that big song and acts well, and those guys, or you can be a DJ who aggregates music and has great taste, and you can have a great career. I wanted to make my own stuff because it just felt that much better when a meme that I made did well on my page rather than a meme that I found did well on my page. I had no qualms about posting memes that I found, because again, there was no rules about it. Nobody was talking about it until these guys started making massive amounts of money. Then it was like, wait. But also, you made one joke that got reposted on this page. That joke was not going to make your career. I promise you that joke was not where your fate was hinged on. Just write another joke, move on. Do it again. You have to anyway.

Nora Ali: Yeah. Volume is key in this business. All right. Let's take a very quick break. More with Tank when we come back. Tank, you had mentioned that you joined the fencing industry, you knew nothing about fencing and probably when you started making memes and starting these accounts, there wasn't a lot of other help or research or template to follow. So you're probably figuring it out as you went. How did you navigate growing your accounts when there wasn't that much of an example around you on how to grow it?

Tank Sinatra: Great question. It was very painful. It was, it was tough. It was like, nobody knew what they were doing, but I luckily internally, I don't like doing anything unless there's a community aspect to it. So one of the very first things I did was get a group of other memers together and said, "Hey guys, I'm Tank. I noticed you all kind of do the same thing that I do and I wanted to get us all together in one spot." I was also older than everybody at that time, so they started calling me Daddy Tank, because I was like, I just wanted to make sure everyone was cool at that time. Then we started talking about maybe, you know, doing some kind of a shout out rotation where we would all do one person each day. So when your day came up, oh my God. It was Christmas times a million. Then we would all kind of help each other if we were stuck on an image and we couldn't come up with a caption. We'd say, "Hey, here's what I'm thinking. Which direction would you go with this?" It was kind of like a miniature workshop with people from all over the country. I built other group chats where Ryan Phillippe is in there, a couple other comedians, a writer from The Office and a bunch of meme accounts. And it's like, what are we all doing here? Nobody knows. We just talk about memes sometimes. So yeah, when you're paving the way and it's uncharted territory, it is very exciting, but also confusing. You definitely make mistakes. I've found myself in some group chats with people where I'm like, time to start another group chat because this person's being a pain in the ass.

Scott Rogowsky: You invited the wrong people.

Tank Sinatra: We got to shut this party down.

Nora Ali: It wasn't competitive then in the beginning, but do you feel like it's getting more competitive now because the market's more saturated?

Tank Sinatra: It's so funny you mentioned that because there was one person I always felt competitive with, but it wasn't competitive to me. It was just like, I thought this person was kind of a jerk the way they went about things. In my opinion, I don't think... humor's certainly not a zero-sum game. I mean, there's not enough laughs, dude? What are we talking about here? You're going to run out of laughs? I I don't think money's a zero-sum game. I don't think followers are a zero-sum game. I don't think for every follower you gain, I lose one, and the way this person treated it was like, I don't know. It was just strange. As far as competition goes, when I had Barbara Corcoran on my old podcast, I told her I wasn't competitive and she laughed in my face and she's like, "Yeah, I think you are." And I guess I am in certain ways. I just don't let it change my course too much. I do keep track of things though.

Nora Ali: You don't let it burn bridges with other people.

Tank Sinatra: No, no way.

Nora Ali: It's like way competitive with yourself.

Tank Sinatra: If anything, I try and mend relationships.

Scott Rogowsky: Mend fences, you could say.

Tank Sinatra: Yeah, that's what I was trying to say.

Nora Ali: You stole his punchline.

Tank Sinatra: If you do have a page that's similar to mine and you have more followers than me, I want to build with you. I want to do collaborative posts with you and because I know I have followers that you don't have and you have followers that I don't have. There's only so much overlap.

Scott Rogowsky: It's funny because that's how YouTube creators and TikTokers, that's how they grow, right? They collab with each other and they find themselves both growing their audiences. You seem to have a healthy attitude when it comes to reposts and plagiarization, because you've described yourself as possibly the most reposted, plagiarized man in the world right now. But you're loving every second of it. Some people do get testy when they see their stuff posted without attribution, especially if other accounts are making money off it. You seem to be generous with your spirit and with your content.

Tank Sinatra: When it comes to the content, my mother told me when I was younger, people that are generous with one thing are usually generous with everything. So it usually starts with money and then goes from there. So if you're generous with money, you'll be generous with love, you'll be generous with your time, encouragement. I usually am first try to be generous with my money, and then the second thing I try to be generous with is my platform and my encouragement, especially with people that are new, either on TikTok or Instagram. When it comes down to my content, somebody took my content. I'm like, ah, I don't even care. Good. Like what? I've already benefited from it as much as I'm going to, what am I going to gain from A. making you think I'm a bad guy for chasing you down and policing my content. B., What am I really going to gain from getting my name, an at-mention on your page that has, whether they have 20 million followers or not, what am I going to gain, a thousand followers from it? To have you think I'm like some kind of crazy person about my content?

Scott Rogowsky: If you're not following Tank Sinatra at this point and you're into memes, then I don't know what you're doing.

Nora Ali: Then who are you?

Tank Sinatra: What are you doing? Yeah.

Nora Ali: I want to ask you about financial security, because you had quit your regular job to pursue this full time. There's more and more people now who are quitting these so-called stable jobs, stable incomes to pursue creative paths where you don't exactly know where your paycheck is going to come from next month or the month after. How did you know it was time for you to quit your job in 2017 to pursue these meme accounts full time?

Tank Sinatra: There's a big part of my story that we have touched over. So I got sober when I was 22 years old. You talk about lack of security. It's like you have this thing that was you're everything, and now it's gone. Now you've got to learn what to depend on. What do you depend on now? You have to learn to depend on yourself and you have to learn to depend on your actions and leave the outcomes up to whatever, whatever else out there. You have to learn what you have control over, and I don't really think there's much stability out there anyway, unless you have a really stable job, pension, union. My cousin, he was a consultant for IBM for a long time. Now he is an executive trainer for Bank of America. He's like, "Dude, you have just as much security as I do in what you do because of who you are as a person." So it was actually Tank Sinatra, Tank's Good News. Everything felt like a farce, house of cards, imposter's syndrome to the max every day waiting for everything to crumble. Then when I started Influencers in the Wild, all of a sudden it felt like there was some stability, like some glue on the edges of the cards. I felt like, all right, maybe I do know what I'm doing. If I don't have any inbound leads for sponsorship, maybe I can write a brand from any one of these three pages and say, "Hey, I'm interested in working with you. I also run these other two pages." So if I write them from Influencers in the Wild, "I also run Tank Sinatra and Tank's Good News," and so on and so forth. My manager is very good. I have a Snapchat tile for Influencers in the Wild, which can be very lucrative if you do it right, and we're trying to. It can be tough though, because it's a totally different platform than the other ones, than TikTok and Instagram. I think because I diversified with Tank Sinatra, Tank's Good News, and Influencers in the Wild, completely unintentional, I just gave myself more options to monetize.

Scott Rogowsky: Time for a quick break now, but more with Tank Sinatra when we come back. So, Tank, it sounds like you, like you said, unintentionally built this meme empire, this meme network of several accounts into one. Now let's get into the actual monetization of it. Brand deals, sponsorships, what are the revenue streams? What does it mean to be making your money, your full-time job as a memer?

Tank Sinatra: It's a heart attack all the time, but you get used to it. It is very much a creative endeavor. That's what I realized very early on. These people who were, not to pick on repost accounts, but because I was a creative person and because I trusted myself to be creative, I said, I probably have to be creative about the way I make money, also. So when brands come to me and they want to do some kind of a campaign, they know they're going to get a different experience than if they go to somebody who's just reposting stuff and they're going to get a little pushback on the creative. I want it to make it look like it fits on my page. One of the greatest compliments a friend can tell me is, "I never see ads on your page. I know you make money by doing ads on your page, but I never see ads." I'm like, yeah, that's good. You're not going to see me do dildo ads on my page, ever. It's just not going to happen. So we did an ad for this movie, The Lost City, on Influencers in the Wild recently. I mean, that was a 10 out of 10. It could not have gone better. When brands are willing to let me really take the reins on it, and it was half their idea, but I really pushed for certain clips to be used in there just to fit what the storytelling, you can see the response in the comments. People were like, "Yo, I hate ads, but this was a good one. We're not even mad."

Scott Rogowsky: Can you describe it?

Tank Sinatra: Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are in this movie about, they basically get sucked into a, I think it's fictional. I think it's fantasy, but they get sucked into this jungle setting. So she's in like a pink dress in a jungle. So they were like, she looks out of place. We want it to be Influencers in the Wild clips. There's this one scene where they're climbing a big red rock wall. I have a clip where a girl's climbing a red rock wall, and then she slips into the waterfall and she screams, right? It's five feet. She doesn't get hurt. Then there's another scene where they're in the waterfall and I have a clip where this girl's in a waterfall and she's like trying to be sexy and she's just, she looks ridiculous. Then there's another scene where Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock, Sandra Bullock is pulling leeches off of him, and he's gagging. Ugh. And Sandra Bullock is, Ugh. And there's this girl, oh man, I forgot her name. It's just escaping me. But her whole TikTok personality is her boyfriend making gagging noises. Then she can't stop herself from gagging. So I wrote her. I'm like, "Hey, can I just use this? I'll pay you for it," because there's licensing built into it. It was one of the most expensive things I've done because I had to pay an editor to put it all together. He color corrected the clips to make it work. He put music behind it. It was fantastic. It just worked really well. But there's that stream. I just started a podcast called Meme Daddies with Adam the Creator, who's one of my favorite people on the earth, where it's exactly what it sounds like. We're just a couple of daddy dudes, daddies. We're old, we're sexy, and we talk about memes and just get into them. Then we have the Influencers in the Wild board game, which is probably the most exciting endeavor I have going right now.

Scott Rogowsky: I was actually going to ask about licensing and the way you go about that, because we talked about this earlier. There was that big hubbub I guess some years ago now about accounts making money off the backs of other people's content, their IP, their photos, their clips. When you say, "I got this clip," are you actually purchasing licensing agreements with the owners of the video? And by the way, when it's an owner of a video, is it the people in the video themselves that are being compensated, the person who takes the video, how do you even track down that Influencer in the Wild who's falling off a tree?

Tank Sinatra: So to answer the first question, one of the first things that I did when I started the page was, A. Make sure I'm not breaking any laws, because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, first of all. I don't want to have anybody upset at me, but people are out in public doing things that look silly. So let's first of all, just talk about it. Is this a funny idea? I talked to a couple of people about it. I said, "Do you think this would be a funny account?" Every single person I spoke to said, "Oh my God, that's unbelievable. I can't believe I didn't think of that. Yes, you're the man. God, I'm so pissed at you for doing this. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself." So I said, oh, that's a good reaction. I'm just going to look and see if anything is kind of out there that exists like this. I started the account and then my friend who runs Kale Salad and this guy Samir and my friend, Rick, who runs SubwayCreatures, they were like, "Yo, you got to get licensing right away. You got to get this figured out. There's this company, Collab, they'll license everything for you. You do a revenue split with them. They'll handle everything. You got to get situated immediately, get a set and get a link where people can submit videos to you. You'll be protected. None of these companies like ViralHog or Jukin will come and just... they'll, they'll ruin your life if you don't get everything squared away. So everything that I post, I have a licensing agreement with Collab. We co-own everything. At least I'm protected from that. My TikTok Influencers in the Wild just got permanently banned.

Nora Ali: What?

Tank Sinatra: Yeah. Yes, Nora.

Nora Ali: Why?

Tank Sinatra: Permanently banned.

Scott Rogowsky: Nora's devastated. She's a big TikToker.

Nora Ali: Permanently? How does that happen?

Tank Sinatra: It's a different app than Instagram. TikTok is a different... I mean, I'm trying to get it back, obviously.

Nora Ali: But you said permanent. That made me feel like you will never be able to get it back.

Tank Sinatra: That's what I asked my TikTok rep. I emailed him. The subject line was, "What does permanent mean at TikTok?"

Scott Rogowsky: Is there ever a concern that you're tied to these platforms, seems like Instagram has even more of a stronghold there. TikTok is a different beast, and the static image meme, which is your bread and butter, doesn't really lend itself as well to TikTok or video. But these things come and go, right? People are saying Instagram's dead or before it was Twitter is dead. Everyone's always proclaiming a platform is dead. When you are so tied to this, it sounds like you are aware, because you do have the podcast, you do have the board game, you are diversifying away from the platform. Is that a conscious decision to secure yourself in the way that you know, let's say Instagram does become a ghost town next year, you'll still have income streams?

Tank Sinatra: Listen, I bet on Mark Zuckerberg, he's the horse I bet on. I'm glad I did. Listen, I know people have certain feelings about him. They don't like how he operates or they think he's acting nefariously. I don't. I think that he's just the person who started a company and he's gotten way more power than any one person could ever be able to actually handle. He's learning to process it and deal with it, and he doesn't really even know how to deal with it. He's learning. He's young. I'm way more suspicious of the Elon Musk Twitter thing than I am of Mark Zuckerberg owning Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp. But I think that he's trying to do what's best for the platform. I also like Adam Mosseri. I am painfully aware of the fact that my livelihood is dependent on an algorithm that I have no control over. However, when I worked in the restaurant and Tuesday night, it would be slow, I'd look at the owners and be like, why don't you advertise more? I was always blaming something on somebody else. There's always a reason for me to, or an excuse for me to be unsuccessful. If Instagram is gone tomorrow, I will not be the only person who's in deep trouble, and I'll figure it out a different way.

Nora Ali: Tank, there's, there's a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, I think because sometimes people will say the cultural relevance of an event can be measured on how many memes come out of this event. Like the Oscars slap, for example, there were memes literally within seconds of that. And it was, it was endless for weeks after that. But do you feel this sense of power almost where you can shape culture's perception of events by the memes that you put out, by the content that you put out? How, how does that feel?

Tank Sinatra: So the word prophet, I used to think meant somebody who predicted the future. I now know it's somebody who reads a sign of the times. Right? So in that sense, I don't think I have any ability to shape how people see something. All I can do is look at what's happening and give you my interpretation of it. That's what I would do with the meme. The person who got mad at me for making a Will Smith, Chris Rock meme only got mad because they saw it a different way. I didn't change anybody's mind about it. I didn't shift anybody's perspective of it. Was it insensitive? I don't know. I don't care anymore, also. I just, I don't care. I'm sorry. I just can't please everybody all the time. This is how I've always dealt with humor. When my best friend Mike died of a drug overdose, I had to make jokes. In between bouts of crying, I had to make jokes. What else am I going to do?

Scott Rogowsky: And that's the role of the comedian in society. I mean the late great Gilbert Gottfried now, was a master of that. His joke at Hugh Hefner's roast weeks after 9/11 about taking a connecting flight through the Empire State Building, it was, oh my God. But that for the first time in weeks, New Yorkers were laughing in that room. It's a way to, yes, overcome tragedy, and we're living in a meme society. Especially meme comedy is more relevant, I think, than most any other form of comedy right now, which again, I'm not too happy about as someone who's got an old soul and loved The Johnny Carson Show. You are at the forefront now. You're making the jokes that, if it was in the eighties, some standup on Johnny Carson would be making and getting the 20 million people watching to kind of like collectively laugh and process this tragedy or process this existential moment. I think it's time we get into with you now, time for Quizness Casual, the Business Casual quiz. All right, Tank, it's going to be you and Nora teaming up here to answer my questions.

Tank Sinatra: Yes. Let's do it.

Scott Rogowsky: All about memes, and celebs and memes, and the history of memes. Let's get into it. How do you feel about this? Are you up on your history of the very form that you're working within?

Tank Sinatra: Better be, yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: He's ready. Let's do it to it. Qumero numero uno: A photo of which actress winking became one of the most popular memes of 2021? Kathryn Hahn, Jodi Foster, Drew Barrymore, or Margot Robbie.

Tank Sinatra: Kathryn Hahn.

Scott Rogowsky: You meme this one, Tank?

Tank Sinatra: I think I did make a couple of memes.

Scott Rogowsky: WandaVision was one of the most popular TV shows of the year and yes, a photo of Kathryn Hahn winking became extremely popular throughout the meme world. You're one for one.

Nora Ali: Yes.

Scott Rogowsky: Way to go.

Tank Sinatra: Yes.

Scott Rogowsky: Do you know this next one? Which major meme account does Ariana Grande follow? Maybe in addition to yours, I don't know if she's one of your followers, but is it @memes, @shityoushouldcareabout, @memeczar, or @FJerry?

Tank Sinatra: Memeczar?

Scott Rogowsky: Memeczar? Are you up on Ariana Grande's follows?

Nora Ali: I'm going to agree with Tank on this one. We're going with memeczar.

Tank Sinatra: I don't know.

Scott Rogowsky: I don't know. I guess Memeczar is pretty big, but the one that Ariana cares about is shityoushouldcareabout, which was started by three college students in Australia.

Nora Ali: Wow.

Tank Sinatra: It's a great account. I will say, it's a great account. Memeczar, is just a 24 million followers. I figured if it was any of them, it would be that one.

Scott Rogowsky: I'll have to check all these out here. All right. Finally, who first introduced the term meme? Was it Jenny Carla Moran, Zane [inaudible]-

Tank Sinatra: Richard Dawkins.

Scott Rogowsky: Richard Dawkins, or Laura Orla. Didn't even have to get to it.

Nora Ali: He knows it. He knows his history folks. British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins first introduced the term meme in 1976 in his work, The Selfish Gene. Well, two out of three ain't bad. Tank, you nailed it. You passed with flying colors. This was one of the more fun conversations we've had. So thanks for...

Tank Sinatra: Is this over?

Scott Rogowsky: It's over. You want to keep going? Nora's got to go.

Tank Sinatra: Yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: I'll go for another hour with you. You got memes to make, you got memes to make.

Tank Sinatra: We'll leave them wanting more, I guess.

Scott Rogowsky: We love hearing from the BC fam, so hit us up. Right? We love it. Don't we love it? We love it. I love it. But we have to hear from you in order to love it. So, if you want us to love it, send us an email at businesscasual@morningbrew.com or DM us on Twitter @bizcasualpod, that's B-I-Zcasualpod, with your thoughts.

Nora Ali: You can also leave us a voice memo on our website, businesscasual.fm, or give us a ring and leave us an old fashioned voicemail. Our number is 862-295-1135. As Business Casual grows, we are so excited to get to know our listeners, old and new. Drop us a line and don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from so we can hear from you in a future episode.

Scott Rogowsky: Business Casual is memed by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins. Additional production, sound design, and mixing by Daniel Markus. Sarah Singer's our VP of multimedia. Holly Van Leuven is our fact checker. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. If you like what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get nasty with your casty. And we'd love it if you give us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky.

Nora Ali: Keep it business.

Scott Rogowsky: And keep it casual.