In 2013, “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal” becoming a legitimately popular meme after Ryan McHenry started vining himself spooning breakfast bites to a television screen where a disgusted Gosling refused to let the airplane into the hangar.
It worked because Ryan found the perfect clips to illustrate that disgust, and the concept blended 1) a movie star 2) known for face-scrunchingly intense expressions and 3) a thing we pour out of a box and eat. They were absurd and very, very funny. Ryan probably had the best spoon-based comic timing on the planet, and he somehow got millions of people to watch the guy from Drive not eating his cereal.
Ryan died on Sunday after a prolonged battle with bone cancer. As a tribute to the man behind the meme, Gosling offered up the perfect act of recognition and respect.
I didn’t know Ryan very well. We met – in that online way we’re all used to now – after I posted a zombie musical (called Zombie Musical) that he wrote and directed. We emailed a few times, followed each other on Twitter. That sort of thing. He always struck me as joyful and affable even in the face of a grueling illness. It’s more than clear from his work that he was whip smart with a sly sense of humor (and a love for the irreverent). His Twitter feed and Vine channel are more than enough proof of that.
In early April, the Two Ryans made contact during an iTunes online Q&A for Lost River. When Gosling was asked for one thing his fans didn’t know about him, he answered, “I actually love cereal.”
As for Gosling, this is a classy move which speaks volumes to the silly, day-making impact Ryan had on the world.
My heart goes out to all of Ryan McHenry’s family and friends. Feel very lucky to have been apart of his life in some small way. – Ryan Gosling (@RyanGosling) May 5, 2015