Kurt Cobain Reaction is a series of multi-pane image macros illustrating a brief exchange or dialogue between the lead singer of the American grunge rock band Nirvana and another subject designated by the author. Similar to other exploitable memes like Gaijin 4Koma and Zuckerberg Note Pass, each set in the series consists of four panels arranged in an alternating order and usually ends with the image of Cobain staring intently in distress.
The still-shots of Kurt Cobain playing the guitar on stage were taken from the video footage of Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged in New York session, specifically during the band’s cover performance of “In The Pines” (shown below). Recorded and taped at Sony Studios in New York City on November 18th, 1993, Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session was aired on December 14th, 1993, followed by the release of the live album on November 1st, 1994, only months after Cobain was found dead at his home in April that year. The video footage of the performance was eventually released on DVD on November 20th, 2007.
Throughout 2008, the “Kobain and Bear” instance continued to spread across 4chan, as well as other internet humor sites and personal blogs, including Ultimate Guitar forums, eBaumsworld, DragonFlyCave forums, TribalWar forums and Penny Arcade, among many others. On November 22nd, 2008, YouTuber Mitchelle Wade Cole uploaded a slideshow version of the original image macro with a voice narration of the captioned dialogue. By 2009, the meme had been featured on dozens of Tumblr blogs, as well as on FunnyJunk and Cheezburger.
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