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The Kanye West New Yorker Tweets Explained by Creator Paul Sabourin [Interview]

Yesterday, we wrote about the #kanyenewyorkertweets meme that combines Kanye West tweets with New Yorker cartoons. Today, we caught up with Paul Sabourin of the musical comedy group Paul and Storm who started the trend to find out what started the mashup and if they are about to get sued.

CA: So, what inspired this idea?

PS: A couple nights ago, I posted something to Twitter that our friend Josh Cagan thought sounded pretentious, so he posted a random New Yorker cartoon with the text of my tweet as the caption. As it happened, I had recently been reading some of Kanye West’s extremely entertaining tweets, and it suddenly struck me that the juxtaposition of Kanye’s raw, stream-of-consciousness-style tweets and the measured, aloof style of New Yorker cartoons could be hilarious. I created the hashtag and posted a few cartoons, and Josh followed up with a couple as well. The next morning, Storm posted some more, as did Josh and I; and before we knew it, the hashtag started going viral.CA: Have you heard anything from the New Yorker?

PS: They actually tweeted about it and posted it in their blog. And of course, in the craziest turn of them all of this whole thing, Kanye himself seems to approve:

PS: In fact, the Huffington Post just put up a *very* interesting article regarding how this whole thing pertains to copyright (since, at its heart, this idea is just taking artwork from one person and plugging in text composed by another person).

CA: What do you think of all the attention?

PS: To the extent that it’s gotten our name out to some people who’ve never heard of us before and associated us with something funny, it’s great. We experienced a similar event just a few days ago, when the #wookieeleaks/#wookieleaks hashtag started by Storm went viral as well. But we try not to get *too* caught up in the whole thing, since it’s such an ephemeral phenomenon; a week or two from now, most folks will be hard-pressed to even remember it.

Still, it’s certainly nice to be able to legitimately claim that we’ve been “published in the New Yorker” now.

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