Texas man, 65, going for Ellen's retweet record: 'I'm flabbergasted'
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Watch your back, Ellen DeGeneres. Terry Shipman, 65, is coming for your Oscars selfie record.
Shipman had all of about five followers on his Twitter account on Tuesday when he tweeted his own selfie on the couch with his two dogs, a Yorkshire Terrier named Max and a poodle named Oreo. “Let’s see if we can beat the Oscar re-tweets!”, he tweeted.
He hasn't, yet, but he's getting closer: As of Thursday morning, it had been retweeted more than 125,000 times. Ellen DeGeneres' record-setting celeb-packed selfie was over 3.2 million.
"I have definitely felt the newfound fame,'' Shipman told Carson Daly via Skype in an interview in the Orange Room on TODAY Thursday.
It started as just something fun that he wanted to send to his 18-year-old son, Michael, as a joke.
“I was just totally amazed,’’ Shipman told TODAY.com. “It was just kind of as a lark last (Tuesday) evening. Obviously I saw the selfie being taken on the Oscars, and then I did see the photo on the Internet and saw she had three million-plus retweets.
“I took that photograph, tweeted it to my son who was at a Houston Rockets game, then he and his roommate retweeted it a couple times, and then their phones started blowing up. My daughter was then calling saying it had been retweeted 900 times, and that this was a big deal.”
Shipman's tweet was soon picked up by celebrities like supermodel Chrissy Teigen.
A small business owner from Beaumont, Texas, Shipman has only tweeted seven times since creating his account, but now has more than 5,000 followers since his selfie tweet took off.
“I watch a lot of the evening news shows,’’ he said. “They're always saying if you have a comment, tweet us, so that's the reason I got the account, but I never used it for that purpose. I'm flabbergasted. I have to silence my phone because it’s just constantly going off.”
The Simpsons made a run at the record, too, with their own version. Thursday morning, that one only had 30,000 retweets.
Shipman assured Daly that his tweet is 100 percent real.
"This is what it is,'' he said. "It is not a hoax."
Shipman said he had taken about a dozen selfies before snapping the one with his dogs. While he is having fun making a run at Ellen's record, he doesn't anticipate becoming a regular Twitter user.
"I really don't have any plans to do a whole lot of tweeting in the future,'' he told TODAY.com. "It was kind of a one-time thing. I'm not sure I have a whole lot to tweet that people would be interested in."