During one episode of Chappelle’s Show, American comedian Dave Chappelle said: “Modern problems require modern solutions.” Little did he know, the quote ended up becoming a template for hilarious memes.
From the Japanese putting curses on toilet paper to prevent people from stealing it to supermarkets selling hand sanitizer for $150 a bottle, check out the funniest “Modern problems require modern solutions” memes people came up within the gallery below!
Redditor Imthatguy25 are the ones who came up with the idea of making a meme out of this expression in the first place.
In an interview for Bored Panda, Redditor Imthatguy25 explained what inspired them to create the ‘modern problems’ meme. “I’ve watched Chappelle’s Show since I was a kid so the ‘modern problems’ quote has always been something I’d regularly quote to myself or to some others. I basically treated it like it was a motto,” they said.
“But even then, I honestly didn’t expect the format to pick up much traction. Until I saw a bunch of other Redditors hit the homepage from using the format and making their own.”
Imthatguy25 has some ideas about why the ‘modern problems’ joke format gained so much popularity so quickly. “Other than the obvious ‘Dave Chappelle is a comedic genius and everything he says is meme gold,’ Redditors can be pretty clever when they see a meme that they believe has potential,” they explained.
“The meme alone was a pretty cut and dry, simple to understand. But like I’ve said, redditors have their own vernacular way with memes. I’ve seen this dude rage war with Instagram using my format and managed 100k upvotes out of it. I honestly owe it to Reddit and Instagram for making the meme so shareable,” the redditor shared.
According to Imthatguy25, they don’t have any problem with others using the ‘modern problems’ format for social or political commentary, however—they have to be funny.
“I’d at least like to see it with a bit of wit behind it,” they said. “Really, as long as it’s funny I could stand behind it.”
Since then, other people have been changing the purpose of the meme to suit their needs. While some are going for pure comedy, others are taking things a bit more seriously, using the format for social commentary and to show how dystopian some parts of our society have become.
In both cases, the meme tends to talk about current topics. So when it first showed up, you could see a lot of talks about Thanos, Fortnite, and Article 13. How things have changed since then!
You can watch the original ‘modern problems’ video clip starring Chappelle right here. The skit was shown in the first episode of the second season of Chappelle’s Show which first aired on January 21, 2004.
The critically acclaimed comedy TV series premiered on January 22, 2003, and ran for 28 episodes until July 23, 2006. Chappelle’s Show found success not just in the United States but elsewhere, too, including in Germany, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and the UK.
According to the United Nations Foundation’s post in January, some of the main issues to look out for in 2020 included the acceleration of climate change, the continued presence of inequality and exclusion, as well as the humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and elsewhere.
What we got this year was pretty much on-point with the UN’s prediction. The bushfires that ravaged Australia were linked to climate change. The Covid-19 pandemic and rising unemployment showed the stark differences between the haves and the have-nots. While the humanitarian problems abroad haven’t gone away. So, yes, modern problems do require modern solutions. Permanent ones—not just temporary band-aids.
Memes are a marketing resource that many companies shy away from. In a time when many consumers skip ads whenever they can, marketing with humor and familiar media can engage those “hard-to-reach” consumers. Meme marketing can be an extremely low-cost way to create engaging content that attracts a following.
Memes Are Inexpensive Content
Memes ride on content that’s created by other people so you don’t need to create an original video or photo yourself. They save small businesses and digital marketer’s time and money that would be needed to produce original content. Instead, you can riff off of existing media by adding a new caption or twist. Also, memers value DIY, low-resolution content so limited design skills aren’t a problem – sometimes the worse it looks, the better.
Memes Create a Sense of Community
Memes are funny, and that helps foster community among your followers. They create a sense of belonging because your audience can relate to the situation you refer to and everyone’s in on the same joke.
If you can make your audience laugh, you’ll attract followers and help viewers relate to your brand. Brand recall improves If your meme includes an absurd visual or catchy tune.
Meme-Based Content gets Shares
By definition, memes are supposed to be shared so the content is often reposted and re-memed across the internet to reach an even wider audience. When people send the meme to a friend for a laugh, they express allegiance to and advocate for your brand. This is an excellent way to reach a larger audience with little investment
Memes Create/Support Brand Relevancy
Because memes are often related to a current trend or event, they make your brand more real, modern, and human. Memes appeal to contemporary or cultural events that your viewers know about, which feels authentic and fresh. This content serves to bring a community together around a common touchstone and makes your brand seem more relatable.
Being at the forefront of the rapidly, ever-evolving meme culture can help your brand. However, doing memes incorrectly can hurt your brand or make it even more popular. Memes are not an exact science. You never know what will be memed next. A bird? A classic literary work? Who knows?
Use this knowledge well, and happy meming.