The Lady Does Love a Pun

I really do love a silly pun.  George Takei has got to be my favorite purveyor of puns in social media.  This weekend, Mr Takei was honored with a Shorty Award, an awards show which honors the best in social media. Here he is, delivering his acceptance speech:

Mr Takei joined Facebook in March 2011, and went from being that guy who played Mr Sulu on Star Trek to an internet superstar with 3,886,703 fans on Facebook, 616,661 followers on Twitter, and countless other fans in platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr.

On average, George Takei’s Facebook posts get up to 50,000 likes and roughly 30,000 shares, not to mention tens of thousands of comments (numbers from Mashable, and are probably outdated).  No one else comes close to getting that kind of engagement.

Why is he so popular?  As the Mashable article I linked to explains, it’s his humor.  George Takei posts visual and verbal puns (usually terrible) and regularly sets people giggling.  In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek in February 2012, Mr Takei said his philosophy for sharing is to use crowd sourcing and humor.  He likes to “share laughter as a community” on his pages, and does so to great effect.

It’s not just that Mr Takei posts humorous content, but it’s also the kind of humor he shares.  He’s all about nerdy humor that frequently references Star Trek, Star Wars and other supposedly “nerdy” franchises.  For some reason, this kind of humor has struck a chord with the internet population, and the result is that George Takei has a seriously dedicated fan base.  Like me, many of these fans aren’t even Star Trek fans (I’ve never seen an episode.  Yes, you can wipe that shocked look off your face now), but that doesn’t seem to matter for Mr Takei’s internet popularity.

George Takei Cologne
See? Terrible (yet hilarious) puns.

Occasionally, George Takei will post something about a project he’s working on, or share his activism for LGBT rights.  His response to the so-called “Don’t say gay” act sparked the now popular phrase: “It’s okay to be Takei!”  He will also often post about his quest to prevent the American public from forgetting the episode of interment of ethnic Japanese in camps during the Second World War.

As a professional who works in social media, I can tell you that for brands, frequently sharing things other than content that invites followers to comment can often lead to loss of fans.

Mr Takei hardly needs to worry about that.  He has established a healthy trend for maintaining fans: He overwhelmingly posts humorous plays on words and intersperses his funny posts with other content only occasionally.  The result is his impressive following.

As I said, I love silly puns.  I also completely agree with Mr Takei’s philosophy of creating community through humor.  I think that the causes he actively supports are important ones.  For these reasons, George Takei is my all-time favorite internet celebrity.

I look forward every day to his amusing posts, which hardly ever fail to make me smile.  It’s such a pleasant, simple way to brighten up your day.  So do yourself a favor and follow George Takei on your social media platform of choice.  You’ll be glad you did!