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Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

The typical anatomy of a viral post: It gets super popular for a short period of time, then everyone kinda forgets about it. Philadelphia’s had its fair share of viral #content this year — like the swiss cheese masturbator (that’s one we’d rather forget) and the Hannibal Buress vs. Bill Cosby bit (the viral video that in many ways kickstarted Cosby’s fall.)

We looked back at what from Philadelphia went viral this year. Here are some of most memorable ones:

Some drunk girl stole a vet’s prosthetic leg outside an Eagles game

YouTube video

It was the October story that made it all the way to the likes of CNN and the New York Post: That time an Eagles fan got his prosthetic leg stolen by some drunk girl who apparently later left it on the train. The victim? Sonny Forriest, Jr. — a Vietnam veteran and avid Eagles fan who was well-known among Eagles faithful for singing outside games. Forriest explained the situation to the Daily News way better than we ever could:

“She came out of nowhere and jumped into my lap,” Forriest said. “She was inebriated, really toasted. She was a brunette. She was knockout-gorgeous.

“She started wiggling that butt on my junk,” he said, and smiled. “But her wiggling broke my mic. Some of these girls aren’t wrapped too tight, man, especially when they get toasted.

“All of a sudden, she grabbed my leg, ran off and disappeared. No respect for an older person or a disabled person.”

Don’t worry: He got his leg back after it was discovered on the Broad Street Line at the Fern Rock Transportation Center in Olney.

Swiss cheese pervert says women are the same as cheese

swiss cheese pervert

Cue the cheesesteak jokes: Everyone was collectively confused last January when this winner drove around Mayfair with swiss cheese over his junk, asking women to handle the… combo…? Police sources told the Daily News that they were dealing with a serial “sexual cheese” fetishizer. A Bridesburg woman recognized the guy, and sent the Daily News an excerpt of a message he apparently sent her on OKCupid: “I started to compare girls to cheese due to their milky complections [sic], girls are soft, smooth feeling and tend to like dairy products more.” NEVER FEAR, WOMEN OF MAYFAIR. Police caught the guy and arrested him. Twice.

Dude dresses as vampire, scares Center City, then tells us it’s his actual job

YouTube video

It was just before Halloween when this video went viral: It depicts a terrifying dude dressed as a vampire running amok through Center City and scaring the hell out of everyone he ran up to. But then came the real kicker: The guy actually gets PAID to do this. Yes, his job is to dress up like a vampire and make videos about it. I know. Time to rethink career options. His name is Ed Bassmaster, and he’s a married father of three from Northeast Philly. Since he started creating videos he’s garnered half a billion — yes, with a B — video views.

Everyone discovers Philly Jesus at the same time after he’s arrested


philly jesus

Michael Grant is a Philadelphia native who has a history of drug addiction and quite the rap sheet. But around here, he’s known as Philly Jesus, and his story went viral this year after he was arrested in LOVE Park on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. Social media went berserk, charges were dropped and everyone was happy again. The tweeting, bearded dude who often takes pictures with visitors was then the subject of a BBC piece and a Reuter’s photo story. He’s famous, guys.

That time a NE Philly Eagles fan drove a Corvette into the Delaware bc divorce

John Kramer tells reporters he drove his Corvette into the river in a domestic dispute bc he was off his psych meds. pic.twitter.com/3yDeFlLoiK

— Dana DiFilippo (@DanaDiFilippo) November 12, 2014

Ma man John Kramer, a 50-year-old from Northeast Philly, was in the middle of a bitter divorce. At the center of it? Fights over who was going to get the red Corvette he bought for his daughter. So what’s a guy to do? Drive the thing straight into the Delaware! This story went locally viral, and was picked up by AP and the Huffington Post. “I just wanted to get rid of it,” Kramer told the Daily News. What’s better is the text he sent to his daughter after he drove the thing into the river: “Too late; It’s already gone. LOL.” He then surrendered to police while rocking an Eagles jersey. LOL, indeed.

If We Can Land A Comet On A Rocket, Surely I Can Drive A Corvette Into The River

— Rob Wesley (@eastwes) November 12, 2014

Look, we ALL drive Corvettes into the Delaware here. Not a big deal. Where else you gonna put ’em? River’s practically lousy with Corvettes.

— Rob Wesley (@eastwes) November 12, 2014

(h/t Philly Mag for pointing out the tweets)

The Storify of @FanSince09 and the gay attack

The story was unfolding right before our eyes on Twitter: A group of social media sleuths were using tweets and Facebook check-ins to figure out the suspects in a brutal attack of a gay couple in Center City. Melody Kramer, a Philadelphia native on the product and editorial team at NPR, put together a Storify of how @FanSince09 and his Twitter comrades did it. To date, the Storify has nearly half a million page views and was in many ways the catalyst for national media attention ranging from Gawker to Good Morning America. Three suburban twentysomethings were charged in the attack, and are expected to face trial.

When poor Steve Keeley got basically destroyed by a snowplow



Local TV news mistakes and gaffes go viral a lot, but this time was different: Fox 29’s Steve Keeley’s error in March was basically standing around while it was snowing out. WATCH OUT, STEVE. Oof. A GIF of the snowplow mishap created by Dan McQuade got 220 retweets, and the story was picked up by Gawker and the Washington Post. In case you were wondering, he was OK.

Lax bros from the Main Line somehow did a drug ring


main line drug ring

Drug rings are not funny. OK, they’re kinda, a little bit funny when they’re run by some young, privileged Main Line lax bros. And apparently national media outlets thought so, too. Here’s what cops say happened: A 25-year-old and an 18-year-old (both graduates of Haverford Prep) employed a bunch of dealers to sell drugs at high schools on the Main Line in an operation they called the “Main Line Take Over Project,” which could have been the name of a high school book report, for all we know. The bros sent some amazing texts to each other like: “Every Nug on the mainline is about to come from you and me” and “Once you go tax free it’s hard to go back.”

Hannibal Buress calls Bill Cosby a rapist, then the public does, too

In what’ll go down as one of the most memorable and important viral Philadelphia videos of the year, Philadelphia Magazine reporter Dan McQuade got comedian Hannibal Buress on camera calling the city’s native son, Bill Cosby, a rapist. After, a flurry of accusations came down on Cosby, and now dozens of women have come forward saying he drugged and sexually assaulted them. Since then, Cosby’s been shunned by the public, has had to cut ties with several colleges including Temple and has gone on the defense in trying to resurrect his now-tarnished image. Read more here about how an extra ticket to Buress’ show at the Trocadero and an iPhone video changed how we think about a legend.

Obama breaks it down in Philly hours before Dems lost lots of the elections

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In case you missed it, the midterm elections, uh, didn’t turn out so well for Democrats. But hours before that election took place, President Obama visited Philly and was totally breaking it down with a cappella group Brotherly Love. Yeeeeeah Obama, get it! Is that a two-step I see? Oh yeah! The Huffington Post picked up the Billy Penn post that picked up the Instagram video. We’re out of breath after that one, too.

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.