Featured on MSN, Yahoo, Mashable, Reddit, Flickr, Tumblr and more, meet viral internet star "Ridiculously Photogenic Guy" Zeddie Little.
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy (RPG) is a new photoshop meme and advice animal featuring a photo of a smiling man running in the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run.
The photo recently gained notoriety online after being posted to the social news website Reddit where users found the man to be exceptionally handsome.
The day after the image was posted to Reddit, the man in the photo was identified as 25-year-old New York resident Zeddie Little by the Charleston City Paper. He has a Twitter account & a maxed-out Facebook page. He is currently trying to break into the PR business in New York and has a girlfriend of five years.
He can cook, has a college degree and appears to have a bright future ahead of him. According to the Charleston City Paper, Zeddie Little met his girlfriend in 2007 whilst working at a pizza restaurant in his home town of Charleston, South Carolina. The pair moved to New York last spring and he worked several restaurant jobs while doing internships.
On Wednesday, the very day he landed his first permanent job with a music PR company in the city, he became famous on the Internet. He graduated in 2009 with a BA in arts in communications but during his studies he worked at the EVO Pizzeria in North Charleston.
On March 31st, 2012, computer programmer Will King took photographs of runners at the annual Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, South Carolina. King uploaded a set of almost 100 photos to Flickr and Facebook, where one of his friends dubbed the man “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.”
On April 3rd, 2012, King submitted the Flickr photo to the /r/pics subreddit in a post titled “My friend calls him ‘Mr Ridiculously Photogenic Guy’”, which received over 40,000 up votes.
According to an interview with King published by Charleston City Paper, King posted it to Flickr around lunchtime and within an hour, it had reached 300,000 views.
Shortly after the post hit the front page, a facebomb version of the photo was posted by Redditor chehov.
The following day, the tech news blog Mashable published a post titled “New Meme Alert: ‘Ridiculously Photogenic Guy’” which included an image of RPG photoshopped into a picture with comedian Tina Fey.
Several hours later, MSN posted about the series of advice animal memes inspired by the photo. As of April 4th, 2012, the Quickmeme page has accumulated over 1,000 submissions and a Facebook page for “Mr Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” has received over 25 likes.
Interview With His Dad
Here's one more thing Charlestonians can brag about: Zeddie Little, a.k.a. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy of internet fame, grew up here.
Little is actually the fifth person to bear that distinctive name, although he often goes by his middle name*. His father, Zeddie Little IV, goes by Jack, and he is the executive director of East Cooper Community Outreach, an organization based in Mt. Pleasant that provides emergency assistance for food, clothing, household furnishings, and financial needs.
"He called me this morning and said, 'Dad, you're not gonna believe this,'" Jack Little said in an interview on Wednesday. "And I said, 'What?' and he said, 'I'm famous on the internet.'"
The younger Zeddie lives in New York City now, but he returned home last weekend to compete in the Cooper River Bridge Run, where MUSC computer programmer Will King happened to snap a photo of him looking particularly dashing near the start of the race on Coleman Boulevard. King uploaded the picture to the social news website Reddit on Tuesday around lunchtime, along with a note that his friend had dubbed the picture "Ridiculously Photogenic Guy." Within a day, it had been seen over a million times and appropriated for a rather flattering caption-writing meme that took off worldwide. One popular caption for the photo reads, "Runs a marathon and wins my heart," and another reads, "Goes for a jog, whole town follows him."
Zeddie went to West Ashley High School and then the College of Charleston, where he graduated in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in communications. During college, he took a full-time job in the kitchen at EVO Pizzeria in North Charleston. Ricky Hacker, the owner of the gourmet pizza restaurant, says he hired Zeddie as his first employee when the restaurant opened in March of 2007.
"He was ambitious. He was a really smart guy," Hacker says. "He understood food well and was very interested in it and read a lot on his own. He was very interested in other restaurant scenes outside of Charleston, and he was really in tune with what was going on in New York."
While working at E.V.O., Hacker says, Zeddie started dating a girl who worked at the restaurant and was originally from New York City. They moved to the city together in the spring of 2011, and according to Jack Little, Zeddie took several restaurant jobs while doing internships in the New York music scene. On Wednesday, the same day his smiling face was blowing up the internet, he took a full-time public relations job for a music venue in Brooklyn, according to his father.
"Oh, I'm excited for him," Jack Little says of his son. "Yeah, I mean he's always been very quiet and very conscientious and never wanted any attention, and I think he's very much deserving of it."
Hacker laughs to think of his old employee's sudden rise to celebrity status. He had a drink with Zeddie at the Tattooed Moose the day before the Bridge Run, and he now sees irony in the whole situation. "It's pretty unexpected, obviously. You know, from Charleston, you live in New York, and you get discovered in Charleston."
"The man was just trying to exercise," he adds.
S1 S2 S3