When Josh Swain—now the only true Josh Swain, although we’ll get to that in a minute—first launched a joke about a battle between all the Josh Swains he could find online last year, we’re reasonably sure he didn’t imagine he’d be standing in a field in Nebraska in April 2021, overseeing a pool noodle duel between dozens of Joshes for charity. And yet, here we are: The Josh Fight has happened, and the new Joshes have now been crowned.
On the off-chance that you need more context for any of this—it seems pretty clear to us, but hey, who knows—then you might want to check out this Know Your Meme interview with Swain from a few days back, in which he attempted to explain how an online joke transformed into a massive meme and charity event. Among other things, it includes the moment Swain decided that he was probably going to have to fly to Nebraska, where he’d set the coordinate for the at-the-time hypothetical battle, despite the fact that he, himself, lived in Arizona. It also tracks how the internet’s fascination with the concept evolved from a focus on a fight between just the Josh Swains (which Arizona-Josh won today, via paper-scissors-rock, against the only other Josh Swain in attendance) into a wider melee among all Joshkind.
Said fight was (after a practice round) won by a champion dubbed “Little Josh” by all involved; a four-year old kid whose pool noodle skills are apparently mighty, and whose reign over the assembled Joshes will presumably be as benevolent as a four-year-old can be. Meanwhile, the event has now raised more than $8,000 for the Legal Fees To Help Josh Swains Change Their Names fund—i.e., a non-profit fundraiser on behalf of the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation 501c3 to help them provide medical care to kids in Nebraska. You can donate to the campaign here.
(And, look: Are we wild about the amount of masklessness happening in these videos, despite Josh Swain’s request that people abide by Lincoln’s ordinances on the subject? Not especially. But at the same time: Someone said they were going to do something on the internet, and then they did it. It’s a real triumph for Joshes everywhere, whatever they end up changing their names to in the aftermath of today’s bloodbath.)
Update, 11:17 p.m. 5/5/21: With his status as the one true Josh Swain firmly cemented, Swain reached out to us to let us know that the charity drive ended up raising more than $14,000 for Children’s Hospital—and that wine brand Josh Cellars also decided to get in on the charitable fun, contributing an extra $30,000 to the fund in celebration of all things Josh. Well done, Joshes, or whatever your names are now.