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Anyone who’s seen an episode of Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg’s “Pew News” segment on YouTube remembers host Poppy Gloria. More recent viewers will remember her tragic death at the apparent hands of another fictional host, Mary Katherine Ham.
The troll characters do have roots in reality, however, and the gag has crossed into real life.
For the uninitiated, the host of PewDiePie‘s occasional news segment, Poppy Gloria, was PewDiePie in disguise. She was replaced by Mary Katherine Ham in a mid-May 2019 video titled “James Charles RESPONDS, Tati RESPONDS, Projared RESPONDS.” (Ham is also PewDiePie in disguise.) In Ham’s debut video, PewDiePie-as-Ham explained that Poppy Gloria, whose alternate name is Poppy Harlow, found her death supposedly at the hands of her replacement.
What many viewers didn’t know, however, is that both Poppy and Mary Katharine Ham are real newspeople, both of whom work for CNN. Poppy Harlow is a news anchor based in New York City, and Ham is a conservative writer for the Federalist who contributes to CNN and Fox. (Katherine is the fake anchor, and Katharine with an “a” is a real professional.)
Rip poppy Gloria 2018-2019— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) May 26, 2019
Following the “death” of Poppy, fans of PewDiePie made it a game to guess who killed her. The overwhelming majority of fans blame Ham for Poppy’s death, however, and the news of her reportedly murderous tendencies has reached the real Mary Katharine Ham. But not so fast.
Fans were delighted by a fake tweet, supposedly penned by the real Ham, from February 2018—long before the fake character joined Pew News. “Who is Poppy Gloria and why do I keep getting death threats from random strangers,” the fake tweet read.
Finally, in a clarifying recent tweet, Ham explained that the tweet was fake, but she does, in fact, know about the fake newscaster with whom she shares a name. “This is not a real tweet from me,” she wrote. “I know exactly why people are tweeting me about Poppy Gloria, and though I am more dangerous than I look and occasionally foolishly underestimated, I’m not *that* dangerous.”
This is not a real tweet from me. I know exactly why people are tweeting me about Poppy Gloria, and though I am more dangerous than I look and occasionally foolishly underestimated, I’m not *that* dangerous. https://t.co/KxEbnzOsEp— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) May 29, 2019
PewDiePie fans are still without an answer as to Poppy’s “mysterious death.” They were, however, delighted to learn that the reporter was a real person. “Mary Ham is a real journalist,” one fan wrote. “I should have known.”
We all knew it was fake ALL HAIL MARY HAM OUR BELOVED QUEEN— 酔生夢死 (@arkhamsins) May 29, 2019
Holy shit, I had no idea you were a real person!— Church of Pewdiepie (@DestroyerFap) May 30, 2019
Despite her clarifying comments, some fans still had questions for the real Ham.
“Then explain where you were on the night of the murder,” one user wrote.
then explain where you were on the night of the murder— The Internet (@ItsMeExplorer) May 29, 2019
U killed Poppy Gloria, u are evil, stay away from me— Rohan Kamath (@rohan22am) May 29, 2019
While PewDiePie fans may never get an answer as to how Poppy actually “died,” at least they learned something from the experience. Ham is a real journalist, and she watches PewDiePie.
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Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.