Where does Chuck Norris facts come from?
Chuck Norris facts were preceded by Vin Diesel facts. In 2005, after actor Vin Diesel starred in the family comedy The Pacifier, a thread titled “Facts About Vin Diesel” appeared on the Something Awful forums. Ian Spector, then a college student, started a website that would display a different Vin Diesel fact each time the page was refreshed. As would later be true of Chuck Norris facts, the facts submitted about Vin Diesel were frequently absurd or hyperbolic. At the height of its popularity, the site received around 200,000 views per day.
Following the success of the Vin Diesel fact page, Spector set up a poll to decide what celebrity would be the subject of the next fact generator page. Although Norris was not one of the options listed in the poll, he received more write-in votes than any of the listed candidates (including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Lindsay Lohan, among others). His popularity may have been helped along by late-night comedian Conan O’Brien, who popularly mocked Chuck Norris and his show, Walker, Texas Ranger, in 2005–06.
And so Chuck Norris facts took off. Some examples include:
Chuck Norris once fought Superman. The loser had to wear his underwear over his pants.
Chuck Norris counted to infinity. Twice.
Chuck Norris's tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
A number of other websites joined in on the trend. Even unrelated sites, like the sports news site Bleacher Report, have hosted collections of Chuck Norris facts.
Naturally, Chuck Norris learned about the “facts” about himself. In a column for the conservative news and opinion website World Net Daily, Norris observed: “Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. And, thankfully, most are just promoting harmless fun.” He went on to explain that he felt the praise of him was misplaced and to advocate that people look to Christianity for inspiration instead.
Norris willingly participated in the trend, though. During the 2008 presidential primaries, Norris appeared in a campaign ad with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. In the ad, Huckabee shared Chuck Norris facts and Norris replied with descriptions of Huckabee’s political platform. Norris’s own website even displays a feed of Chuck Norris facts along its bottom.
Chuck Norris facts have since been applied to other public figures. In India in 2011, fans spread “facts” about the Tamil actor Rajinikanth. In 2013, Buffalo Bills fans shared Chuck Norris-styled facts about linebacker Kiko Alonso on Twitter with the hashtag #LegendOfKikoAlonso. Some humorists have pitted Chuck Norris facts against another contemporaneous meme hero: The Most Interesting Man in the World.
Who uses Chuck Norris facts?
Specific Chuck Norris facts were often memed over various images of the actor or listed out on posters. Good-natured if sometimes overly macho and ironic, Chuck Norris facts boast a comic level of “badassness.” While the trend has long much of its original steam, Chuck Norris facts still have currency as fun jokes and references on social media.
“Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves #ChuckNorrisFacts”
Michael Ciha @CihaPet Twitter (April 4, 2017)
“The Chuck Norris Facts sites are actually pages taken from Chuck Norris daily diary #jokeBotTweets”
Chuck Norris JokeBot @c_n_jokebot Twitter (March 25, 2017)
“'Chuck Norris facts' have arguably overshadowed all of the actor's previous achievements.”
Rupert Hawksley, “The 20 best Chuck Norris facts,” The Telegraph (March 10, 2016)