Sad Keanu Makes Actor Unhappy, but Why?

Sad Keanu is the latest Internet meme to involve photos of a celebrity.

ByABC News
June 23, 2010, 6:09 PM

June 24, 2010 — -- Maybe they're not on the cover of Star magazine every week. Maybe Hollywood executives aren't banging down their doors. Maybe they're not even alive anymore.

No matter. They're getting a ton of love from the Internet, in the form of digital works of art that pair them with elements both incomprehensible (sandwiches and waterfalls) and awesome (the aforementioned sandwiches and waterfalls.)

"Sad Keanu" is the latest Internet meme, or quickly-spreading trend, to give a star a second wind. In May, a paparazzo snapped a series of photos of a downtrodden-looking Keanu Reeves sitting on a park bench, eating a sandwich and looking glum about the world.

He may not have been moping. He may have just been lost in a Reuben-induced haze. But Keanu fans on the Internet looked at the photo, looked at his "I'm probably not trying to impress any casting directors right now" beard, looked at Wikipedia to learn that he hasn't had a major box office hit since 2005, and concluded: Keanu needs some cheering up.

So was born Sad Keanu, which Photoshopped the original image of the actor into new and fantastic scenarios. One Sad Keanu picture gives him bench mates: Forrest Gump and David Beckham. Another sets him up at the "Cheers" bar with George Wendt. Yet another plops him in Kim Jong Il's family portrait. Others surround him with cats, miniature Sad Keanus, and Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill.

Sad Keanu spawned a Facebook movement -- whose 14,000-plus members celebrated Cheer Up Keanu Day on June 15 -- and a URL shortener -- -- that lets fans share Sad Keanu pictures while benefitting the charity Stand Up 2 Cancer.

But the actor isn't loving all the attention. When requested comment from Reeves, his representatives sent back this e-mail statement: "Keanu Reeves would like to thank all of his fans for their concerns regarding his happiness and wants to assure everyone that all is well. This situation is a result of a misinterpretation of a paparazzi shot." Sad Keanu follows the Selleck Waterfall Sandwich phenomenon.