Tuesday marks Nicolas Cage‘s 50th birthday. Instead of a cake or a surprise party, we’re marking the occasion by recounting the many ways he’s given us, his fans, reason to celebrate over the past five decades.
To be honest, star turns in Hollywood (such as 1995’s Oscar winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas) are not even at the top of our list. Instead, we’re talking about another medium where Cage’s particular brand of fame has found recognition: the World Wide Web. On this special day, let us revisit why Cage deserves to be crowned King of the Internet:
1. Redditors pay tribute to this guy
If ever there was a group of individuals more opinionated than the commenters and users of Reddit, we have yet to meet them. But even this community can find common ground in the National Treasure star. Cage boasts a channel in his honor, in which he is referred to as the “One True God.”
2. He might be immortal
The Internet went amok when an eBay user attempted to auction off a photo of a Tennessee man from 1870 who bore a striking resemblance to Cage, claiming the portrait was of a vampire who reinvents himself once every 75 years. “I don’t drink blood, and last time I looked in the mirror I had a reflection,” Cage told David Letterman in Feb. 2010, addressing the conspiracy theorists.
3. “Cage Rage” is a thing
Of all of Cage’s many film appearances, there’s one aspect of his performance fans have repeatedly latched onto: Nicolas Cage losing his sh–t, or so says the title of a popular and very NSFW compilation on YouTube that mashes together some of the star’s most over-the-top freakouts.
4. Your argument is invalid because of him
For reasons only the Internet can explain, Cage became the poster boy for a new stock message board response: “Your argument is invalid.” While pinpointing the exact origin of the phrase may be a fool’s errand, in May of 2008, an image of Cage on the set of Next with his hair Photoshopped into a bird made the front page of Digg. It was captioned with “My hair is a bird – your argument is invalid,” and thus, a ready-made non-sequitur comeback was born. Though the meme has taken other forms since, Cage’s bird-hair remains the wellspring of this particular online rejoinder.
5. People use his face to put each other down
“Rage comics” are simplified, black and white drawings used to express reactions in message boards, or illustrate simple comics about everyday occurrences. Naturally, Cage made his way into the rage comic lexicon. A particularly incredulous facial expression from the film Vampire’s Kiss was adapted into a cartoon and captioned with the phrase “You don’t say?” It’s commonly used to express frustration or condescending incredulity at an incredibly obvious or oblivious statement in online discussions.