It almost feels like ages since Candace Payne achieved an unexpected level of fame when her Chewbacca mask video went viral. But that was back in May and now the whole Chewbacca Mom thing has become all but a distant memory. With a void to fill, a new, and reluctant, star rose to prominence on Sunday (Oct. 9).
As soon as undecided voter Kenneth Bone asked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton about clean coal technology at the second presidential debate, the Internet suddenly found a glimmer of hope. And while the candidates squabbled, America proceeded to fall in love with Mr. Bone.
He's appeared in a number of interviews since his appearance at Sunday's town hall event. And on Monday, Ken solidified himself as Chewbacca Mom 2.0 with an endearing appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
The man knows "definitively" speaking how adorable he is, but was clueless that he really left a mark until he got back to his car after the debate was through.
"We weren't allowed to have our phones or any electronic devices with us," Bone explains, "so when I turned my phone back on when I got back to my car at about 10:15 Central, and had a thousand missed messages, I started to think that today was going to be a really long day."
Sharing his Twitter handle (@kenbone18) with Kimmel, it's worth noting that on Sunday, he had a mere seven followers -- two of which, he previously said, were his grandmother -- and now that number is well over 69,000. Not for nothing, but that's quite the social media surge!
If he were to have appeared on camera without that red sweater, one has to wonder if he would've made the same impact. Yes, it's a power color. And yes, the sweater in question is now completely sold out, but Bone almost went a different direction with his clothing choice for the evening.
"It was going to be an olive colored suit that I like very much," Bone tells Kimmel. "I thought, 'Wow, Grandpa would be so proud if I wore this suit.' But apparently, I have gotten somewhat more fat since then and when I got into my car, I split the seat out of my pants."
Honestly, without, that emergency wardrobe change, history may not have been made this past weekend. And with just weeks until Halloween, it's a safe bet we'll be seeing a lot of Ken Bones partying it up that night. Eat your heart out, Chewbacca Mom.
Payne's viral video broke all sorts of Facebook records and proceeded to change her life in so many ways, and perhaps it feels like the same is happening with Kenneth Bone, and we're just at the beginning of this uptick in popularity.