This Is What Kip From Napoleon Dynamite Looks Like Today

Gosh! The 2004 comedy, “Napoleon Dynamite” is officially a cult-classic (via IMDb), thanks to a goldmine of quotable exchanges, like Napoleon being ordered to “go make himself a flipping quesadilla!” It’s been over 15 years since the teen from Preston, Idaho entered our lives, but Napoleon’s legacy lives on. It’s even been said the 1980s-set neo-western film introduced us to an entirely new genre of quirky, awkward heroes (via Daily). You’re welcome, Michael Cera. 

Yet, perhaps the comedic flick is most celebrated for giving us the gift of Jon Heder. Heder’s portrayal of the title role Napoleon launched him into early 2000s stardom, even if he only got paid $1000 for the iconic character. But its another actor from the film that’s turning heads in 2021. 

Aaron Ruell played Napoleon’s internet-obsessed older brother, Kip, who proved that internet dating can have a happy ending. After the film’s debut, Ruell returned in 2012 to voice Kip in the short-lived animated “Napoleon Dynamite” re-boot (via IMDb.) And it turns out Ruell is committed to bringing the “Napoleon” universe into the COVID-19 era.

Aaron Ruell resurrected Kip during quarantine

The character Kip reemerged on social media in 2020. In an interview with Deseret News, Ruell revealed his inspiration for the comedic return to form. He saw a headline that read “‘Who is the expert on self-isolation that we can all turn to?’ Kip immediately came to mind,” Ruell stated. “Who better to speak to social distancing (and) self-isolation than a guy who has been doing it his entire life?”

We don’t disagree. Ruell’s new account can be found @KipsTipps, with a bio that describes himself as a “Social Isolation Professional.” The first video features Ruell donning Kip’s signature glasses, polo buttoned to the top and, of course, iconic mustache. Over a track of elevator music, Ruell introduces himself as Kip and explains he’s here to “offer some help to people. Give you some tips on how to pass the time.” Other videos range from financial advice to tips on how to fall asleep. 

Ruell reprised his role so well, it may come as a shock that he was never supposed to be an actor. In a 2019 interview with ABC News, Ruell revealed that while “Napoleon Dynamite” was being shot, he was studying film and photography. For the most part, Ruell stuck with his plan of being on the other side of the camera and now directs commercials for companies like Target and Mastercard. However brief this stint may be, we’re grateful Ruell has brought Kip back into our lives. Peace Out.

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