Meet the man behind your favorite Cajun memes
Spaine Edler never expected to be known for his humorous depictions of south Louisiana culture.
But it seems only natural since his father wrote, illustrated and published children’s books under the moniker the Louisiana Crawfish-Man.
“I’ve always been somewhat of a class clown,” Edler says. “When I see people laugh and smile, it makes me feel good. That’s an important thing to me. It was when I was a kid, and it still is even now as an adult.”
Edler has created a few hundred Cajun memes since 2012, when he moved from Baton Rouge to New Iberia to help his dad with the family business.
Because Edler didn’t have many friends in the area, he spent his free time transforming his own observations into shareable creations that poke fun at the culture he loves.
“I found myself here — in the country, on the bayou — without a lot of friends or things to do,” Edler says. “So I just started taking something, using Cajun humor and manipulating it.”
His first image, a Cajun name generator, was an instant hit.
Six years and a few hundred creations later, Edler has reached Cajun famous status for his memes, which have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media.
One of his recent viral creations transforms a soda fountain into a Cajun dream machine that dispenses things like gumbo, rice and Bud Light.
Most would classify his creations as memes — defined by Merriam-Webster as amusing or interesting items, such as captioned pictures, that spread widely online, especially through social media — but Edler prefers another phrase.
“I don’t like calling them memes,” he says. “Not to discount memes because I know people like them, but I feel like I put more work into it. I like calling them Photoshopped Cajun humor.”
Unlike the recent Saturday Night Live sketch that drew criticism from some locals, Edler’s creations tend to be less controversial and a more authentic reflection of Acadiana.
“I don’t ever want to do things in an offensive, not humorous way,” Edler says. “I’m making fun of south Louisiana, but in an endearing way.”
Edler’s favorite creation depicts a baby gumbo dispenser that attaches to a crib.
“I was just surprised that I came up with it,” Edler says. “And people find it hilarious.”
A few of his creations have even inspired action.
Edler’s crawfish etouffee Hot Pockets concept landed on the brand’s official Facebook page.
“Dozens of people actually posted it to the Hot Pockets main page asking for them to try to make it actually happen,” Edler says. “And Hot Pockets responded, saying their team would discuss it. I got a kick out of that.”
Although Edler doesn’t make money off of his Photoshopped Cajun humor, he feels like it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
“Initially, I was doing it to give my friends and family members a little giggle,” Edler says. “But then, Cajun meme groups started popping up and getting more attention. I was getting messages from friends and even strangers who would say things like ‘I was having a bad day, and I saw your meme and it made me smile.’
“That’s why I keep doing it. I know it sounds corny, but getting those messages pleased me, and that’s what made me keep at it.”
Keep an eye out on social media for Edler’s images, or follow his new Facebook page “Cajun Giggles” to add some humor to your news feed.