Shaun Fontenot, originator of 'downtown Chattanooga' meme, did it 'just for a laugh'

·Lifestyle Editor
·2 min read
American Facebook user Shaun Fontenot spawned a viral meme among Singaporeans by saying that Marina Bay Sands is in downtown Chattanooga in Tennessee.
American Facebook user Shaun Fontenot spawned a viral meme among Singaporeans by saying that Marina Bay Sands is in downtown Chattanooga in Tennessee.

SINGAPORE — The originator of the "downtown Chattanooga" meme is a 19-year-old teenager called Shaun Fontenot, and he's started a GoFundMe page so that Singaporeans can sponsor a trip to our sunny city for him. 

He made that fateful post "just for a laugh", not expecting it to turn into a viral meme, he told Yahoo Lifestyle SEA.

Shaun Fontenot, a 19-year-old roofer from Chattanooga, Tennessee in the US, posted a photo of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands but called it
Shaun Fontenot posted a photo of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands but called it "downtown Chattanooga" just for a laugh. (Photo: Shaun Fontenot)

Last Monday, Shaun spawned a viral phenomenon among Singaporeans after he posted a photo of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, but identified it as "downtown Chattanooga" in the state of Tennessee in the US, where he lives.

Thousands of Singaporean netizens responded with memes spoofing his apparent mistake. 

Shaun's original post has so far attracted more than 17,000 reactions, 18,000 comments and 15,000 shares. Some Singaporeans have reached out to Shaun with warm messages, grateful for the entertainment that the memes brought them during a lockdown.

American Facebook user Aye Shaun spawned a viral meme among Singaporeans by saying that Marina Bay Sands is in downtown Chattanooga in Tennessee.
American Facebook user Shaun Fontenot spawned a viral meme among Singaporeans by saying that Marina Bay Sands is in downtown Chattanooga in Tennessee.

Responding to Yahoo Lifestyle SEA's query as to why he made that post, Shaun said, "I said it simply to give the people in my city a good laugh, because we have nothing like that here. I never expected it to get so big, much less reach Singapore, but I'm glad that it has and many are inviting me over and would like me to visit, so I've started a GoFundMe in order to visit Singapore after the pandemic!"

Shaun, who told us that he works as a roofer – a construction worker who specialises in building roofs – said he appreciated all the support from everyone in Singapore. 

Asked whether he had been to Marina Bay Sands or Singapore before, Shaun said, "I haven't been there, nor did I have any knowledge of Singapore prior to my post. However, many people have told me so much about it and showed me so many beautiful pictures of it that I just have to pay it a visit!" said Shaun.

Shaun's crowdfunding target is US$10,000 (about S$13,400). "A Singapore local actually told me that would be the appropriate amount needed in order to stay a night in the hotel/casino, and to be able to explore the country a bit while there!" said Shaun.

Here's wishing Shaun good luck for his crowdfunding goal!

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