“Thank God we will end this terrible year with something so simple yet so wholesome.”
Meet Jalen Brooks, a 17-year-old high school senior from Riverside, Illinois.
Jalen was in his zoology class when his classmate Jill Lojas started filming his facial reactions to the animals on show.
He told BuzzFeed News he knew in advance a herpetologist was coming in to show rare animals that had been confiscated from the illegal pet trade.
“I already knew it was going to be nuts,” he said.
But Jalen said he completely lost it when the python came out.
“He [started] out with a small rooster that [was] used in cockfights, so I didn’t think much of it,” Jalen told BuzzFeed News.
“It began when he pulled out the biggest duck species there is! I was super intrigued.
“After that he pulled out a series of crazy reptiles that were honestly dinosaurs in my opinion. Then he pulled out the largest python I’ve ever seen and I lost it.”
He said since the video went viral with over 130,000 retweets, people have assumed he’s never been to a zoo. However, Jalen said his school is right next to a zoo, and he’s been around animals his whole life.
People found the facial expressions Jalen made hilarious.
“I had no idea what to think when it went viral to be honest. I saw it on all corners of the internet and it just made me happy knowing I was bringing joy to other people,” Jalen said.
“It gave the community something to be excited about and that’s something I could say I’m very proud of personally.”
He caught the attention of basketball player Stephen Curry who ended up following him on Twitter.
After his classmate Jill posted the video, she tried to make Jalen into a meme.
“Jalen and I are both in awe about this viral thing,” she said. “It just happened and now it’s everywhere!”
People were on board right away.
— Ta'Daviyon (@Monosyllabik) December 10, 2016
— ㅤ (@Uknomee) December 10, 2016
And the meme took off.
When you start hearing rumors about shit you did that you had no idea you did pic.twitter.com/FWIyP60Bu9
— ∆ (@KavronBrowne) December 11, 2016
When asked about his favourite meme, Jalen said it was this tweet.
looking at the review vs. looking at the final pic.twitter.com/pjszepAy6R
— Dory (@Dory) December 14, 2016
“It’s so funny, because I love memes. Memes are a lifestyle.”
He truly is the purest meme of 2016.
no offense but jalen is the purest meme of this year thank god we will end this terrible year with something so simple yet so wholesome
— tati (@milkpics) December 12, 2016