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Tumblr’s notorious ‘cremation question’ finally gets answered

For over a year, one user asked the same question over and over

Tumblr Answer Time with Disney’s Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Josie Trinidad Stardom/Tumblr

For over a year, Tumblr user biggest-gaudiest-patronuses has asked one thing on Tumblr Answer Time: If you were cremated and had your ashes made into a vinyl, what song would be on the record?

Introduced in 2015 with a Fall Out Boy Q&A, Tumblr Answer Time is the platform’s equivalent to Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA). Originally, answers were written and posted via the celebrity’s personal blog, the staff blog or the blog of whatever organization they were partnering with. But in 2018, starting with the cast of Black Panther, these answers started taking the form of videos.

Celebrities featured on Tumblr Answer Time have included astronaut Scott Kelly, musician Seth Everman, activist organization Black Girls Vote, and singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko. Some people take it seriously; some people use it as an opportunity to send in some more, uh, creative questions. Enter: the cremation question.

Known to their followers as Gaud, user biggest-gaudiest-patronuses (self-described as “powerful tumblr abomination”) has persistently sent in the same cremation question to Tumblr Answer Time since Supernatural actor Misha Collins participated in a Tumblr Answer Time session back in 2016. Gaud revealed their grand plan to their followers about a year ago, lamenting that not a single person has answered their question.

The post exploded. Gaud regularly updates it, sharing more examples of their effort to get just one single person on Tumblr Answer Time to reveal just what record they’d turn their ashes into. They mobilized their fans and followers, urging fellow Tumblr users to take to other platforms and convention panels to get their question answers.

One had luck on Twitter with Silicon Valley actor TJ Miller (“Here’s a Little Something For Ya” by the Beastie Boys). Another used Facebook to ask activist Gavin Grimm (“Warhammer of Zillyhoo ft. Diplo”). Bo Burnham and Elsie Fisher discussed the question on Grace Helbig’s podcast after YouTube personality Tyler Oakley asked it on Twitter (“Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega, said Burnham; Fisher joked and said, “Mambo No. 6”).

But despite successes on other platforms, Gaud still had no luck on Tumblr Answer Time ...

Until ...

On Tuesday, the directors and head of story on Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-Ralph 2 (Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Josie Trinidad) were on Tumblr Answer Time, and while sitting in a kiddie pool full of balls and various inflatables, they answered the cremation question.

“David Bowie, ‘Life on Mars,’” answered Johnston.

“Marvin Hamlisch’s ‘The Entertainer,’” said Moore.

“I would want to be Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,’” said Trinidad.

It’s pretty satisfying that the creators of a movie about exploring the internet are the first to answer this long-standing internet joke. The post currently has the second-highest number of likes and shares of that Answer Time (the first being “How did you decide what sections of the internet Ralph would encounter?”). A quick scan of the notes showed many users tagging Gaud, and commenting, “It got answered!”

At long last, Gaud’s cremation question was answered on Answer Time. Gaud reblogged it, adding no commentary, but for this self-proclaimed “Patron Saint of Shitposts,” it’s definitely a victory. We’ve reached out to biggest-gaudiest-patronuses for comment about this long-awaited triumph, and will update as necessary.

Update: A representative from Tumblr reached out and informed us that despite Gaud’s claims, this question actually has been answered before! Tumblr staff noticed the post in July and looked into previous Answer Times to see who had answered it. The statement from Tumblr is below:

Internally, we saw this post going around in July and looked into the status of the cremation question. The Gotham cast was the first to answer the question in February 2018. Since then, many people have answered including Chloe Grace Moretz, Jaden Smith and the cast of Skate Kitchen, and most recently, the EP and cast of Netflix’s She-Ra.

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