Every Saturday, something strange happens. On the /b/ message board of 4chan.org, users post pictures of cat. A lot of them. It’s “Caturday,” the weekly dumping of cat pictures on 4chan’s random-themed message board. An early instance of the cat meme, it makes little sense to many people. Let’s explore the meaning behind the plethora of cats on the Internet and ask not only “Where do they come from?” but also “Why am I still laughing at my ninth viewing of this cat video?”
For years I have been a passive consumer of the comedy produced specifically for distribution on the Internet. No longer content to merely laugh at every captioned cat that comes my way, this summer I will combine my recently acquired knowledge on the theories of humor and my experience on the Internet. Get ready for a deluge of lolcats, memes, viral videos, and (almost) scholarly articles.