Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 23 October, 2021

How an embarrassing photo of a Tallafornia star went global

It’s the exact opposite of what Phil Penny wanted to happen.

This image, featuring the character Rick from the Walking Dead, is one of those created by Reddit users in a photo battle currently on the site.
This image, featuring the character Rick from the Walking Dead, is one of those created by Reddit users in a photo battle currently on the site.
Image: Imgur.com

YOU MAY HAVE seen an embarrassing photo of a Tallafornia cast member online in the last couple of days. Why? Because it’s gone global – making one Phil Penny (unwillingly) more famous than he probably ever thought possible.

Here’s what happened: the photo in question was taken in an unnamed Irish shopping centre when a ‘fan’ asked for a picture with Phil.

However the ‘fan’ was no such thing. He had an unpleasant message written on his arm, and an arrow pointing to Phil. When the photo appeared, Phil got in touch via Facebook and told him in no uncertain terms that he wanted the image removed from the internet.

He began by saying, ‘just to let u no ur being sued [sic]‘ and wrapped the exchange up with ‘u think ur smart.il have the last laugh [sic]‘.

Here’s where it gets big. The story of Phil Penny went viral in Ireland first, and then spread worldwide. It has now been picked up by Gawker, the Daily Dot and Uproxx in the US, and has spawned its own photoshop battle on Reddit (as evidenced above), with users competing to add their own spin to the photo.

The picture Phil wanted to disappear has now been seen by hundreds of thousands of people, largely because of his reaction.

Still confused? The clever lads of Final Boss Media helpfully put together this dramatic reading which should give you a flavour of the response. It was so popular that it featured on the front page of YouTube for 24 hours with 71,000 Irish views.

Language is extremely NSFW.


We should note that Phil is no stranger to ‘haters’.  He regularly fends off negative remarks on his Facebook page saying things like,

sad for her life adding me as a friend and any other hater.when they see me in public they beg for a pic.haters on this get deleted.sad f***s

He especially didn’t like the time someone suggested his belly button was off centre.

its d way im standin obv wot a dumb ting t say kelly

There may be one question remaining in your mind: Who is Phil Penny, anyway?

Well, he’s a guy from Dublin who uses the word ‘homie’ without a whiff of irony.


He’s also someone who Gaz from Geordie Shore doesn’t take seriously.

Just watch this:

YouTube/Grant Courtney

After this exchange, Gaz posted Phil’s phone number on his Twitter, encouraging his 1.2 million followers to give the Tallafornia man a call. Phil Penny then called him a nasty word on Facebook.

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