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Jensen Karp Is More Than Just the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Tails Guy

Shrimp. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/2017 Getty Images

Bean Dad. Gorilla Glue Girl. Dog Shampoo Dumbass. They sound like rejected villain concepts from Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, but they’re actually Twitter’s main characters of 2021 so far, and on March 23 they welcomed a new poor soul into their sorry ranks: Jensen Karp, or as Twitter main-character-naming convention goes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Tails Guy. In case you were fortunate enough to miss this particular Twitter flare-up, the facts are these: Karp ate a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch before finding what appeared to be two sugar-crusted shrimp tails, some bits of string, and, possibly, rat droppings in the box. Karp posted his horrific findings to Twitter, and because he’s verified, it blew up.

General Mills exacerbated the situation when, from the official Cinnamon Toast Crunch account, they told Karp that the shrimp tails were not shrimp tails and were just “accumulations of the cinnamon sugar” in the shape of shrimp tails.

The saga continues unabated, as Karp has since taken his shrimp tails to get genetically tested to ensure that they are, in fact, shrimp tails and not clusters of sugar mysteriously shaped like what you’d find in the dumpster behind a Red Lobster.

It turns out that the Curious Incident of the Shrimp Tails in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch couldn’t have happened to a weirder character in his own right. Because Karp, it turns out, was a staple on an Earwolf podcast called — get this — Pistol Shrimps Radio. It’s almost as if he was marked by the shrimp gods to receive a shrimpy surprise in his Cinnamon Toast Crunch. He also used to host Get Up on This and currently hosts a podcast all about Cameo called Talk Ain’t Cheap.

Karp and his wife are uniquely qualified to host a podcast about a platform where former child stars talk at you for money, because Jensen Karp is married to Topanga. As in Topanga. As in Danielle Fishel, star of Boy Meets World. So when Karp tweeted “UPDATE: my wife has a stronger stomach than me and checked the OTHER bag in the family pack. This one seems taped up (?) and also appears to include…(I don’t even want to say it)…dental floss,” the wife guy’s brave wife is, again, Danielle Fishel, Topanga from Boy Meet’s World. He is living every kid in 1994’s dream.

On March 5, 2020, Fishel did spon-con for Cinnamon Toast Crunch–flavored CoffeeMate, calling CTC her “#1 cereal” and “one of the best things to come out of the 90’s.” We shrimp you not.

Karp is a TV writer. He has written for WWE Raw, Who Is America?, and is even one of the sick masterminds behind The Masked Singer. Could the shrimp tails have been planted in his cereal because he angered the Big Shrimp lobby since there has not yet been a singing crustacean on The Masked Singer? We’re not ruling it out.

Karp is also the owner of one of those pop-culture “art galleries” that sells expensive fan art of things like Rick & Morty and Stranger Things. Could this all be elaborate performance art? Sure, Karp may or may not have eaten rat crap in his cereal. Marina Abramovic has done weirder.

The last and maybe best thing to know about Jensen Karp is that he was a child battle rapper, and there’s old footage to prove it:

Sure, Kanye West worked on his unreleased early 2000s album and allegedly owes him $300, but by far the coolest thing about Karp’s rap career is he had a track on the It’s Complicated soundtrack. That’s hard.

Updated March 24 at 9:37 p.m.: Since Jensen Karp’s post went viral, multiple women have come forward on Twitter accusing him of emotionally abusive and manipulative behavior both in relationships and as an employer. Writer and member of the aforementioned Pistol Shrimps Melissa Stetten tweeted that she used to date Karp and she described her experience with him that she calls “narcissistic.” She adds that she’s been getting “lots of texts” from other women who had had negative experiences with Karp. Stephanie Mickus, a television writer, quoted Stetten’s tweet and shared her own anecdote about a problematic experience. Mickus also tweeted about the “amount of women who DM’d me with stories today. Let alone the ones I have known about for years and talked to about our shared experiences.” Actor and writer Rory Uphold also tweeted about her experience with Karp. Comedian Eliza Skinner tweeted, “I don’t specifically remember saying ‘I hope he gets poisoned by rats’ as I dumped change into a well, but it definitely sounds like something I would do.” She later added that she was a head writer for the TBS rap-battle show Drop the Mic, on which Karp was an executive producer. Writer and comedian Brittani Nichols also shared an entire thread in which she outlines her time working for Karp as the only Black writer on Drop the Mic.

This post has been updated to clarify Eliza Skinner’s relationship to Karp.

Jensen Karp Is More Than Just the Cinnamon Toast Shrimp Guy