A meme becomes real with a gathering in Australia
YOU, ME AND DUPREE, Owen Wilson, 2006, (c) Universal/courtesy Everett Collection
Credit: Everett Collection

Owen Wilson’s filmography includes hits like Wedding Crashers, Zoolander, and The Royal Tenenbaums, but he’s most famous on the internet for the particular way he pronounces the word “wow.” The actor’s drawn-out, whimsical pronunciation of the word was first highlighted in a series of compilation videos that collected all instances of him saying “wow” across his filmography. From there, the meme evolved, with new videos replacing Star Wars lightsaber sounds or Keanu Reeves’ bullet noises with Wilson’s “wow.” On Monday, the noise came fully into the real world when people gathered in Australia for a rally where they all pronounced the actor’s “wow” simultaneously.

The “Say Wow like Owen Wilson” event was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. It was organized by Nicolas Zoumboulis, who told The Independent that “ultimately I just really want to put some ‘positive energy,’ as Owen likes to say, out into the world. In these times I think something as silly as getting together and saying ‘Wow’ can have a positive effect and I’d like to see everyone come together! If I can remind people that this world we are lucky to inhabit is beautiful, and to embrace that like Owen does in his movies by saying ‘Wow,’ then I’ll be happy.”

Zoumboulis’ event got a decent turnout, as seen in videos from the event. Wilson himself is no stranger to the “wow” mania, as he told EW back in December.

“You just kind of laugh, I guess,” Wilson told EW. “Sometimes people will come up and imitate me to me, and I just kind of have to sit there with a forced smile and say, ‘That’s good! That’s very good!'”

Watch videos from the collective “wow” event below.