Currently, one of the top ten most searched topics is “Chuck Norris Facts.” This is a list of 50,000 jokes that take themselves so seriously as to call them “facts” about the martial arts celebrity. They portray Norris as a superhuman, God-like being to be feared. They are especially popular with the high school and college crowd, and their popularity has prompted the production and sales of t-shirts, bumper stickers, and a hilarious soft drink commercial.

Norris himself is amazed at his newfound popularity. On his website, he expresses his amusement towards the “facts,” but at the same time, he makes it clear that he is not superhuman and cannot live up the hype. He especially humbles himself with references to him being god-like, stating that it is because of God that he has gotten to where he is. Norris started out as a martial arts star. He has won many martial arts championships including a six-time undefeated World Professional MiddleWeight Karate Champion. He has also taught martial arts. In 1968, he was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as Fighter of the Year. He retired undefeated from the MiddleWeight Karate championships undefeated in 1977 and was honored with the Man of the Year title that year as well. He has also founded and is president of the United Fighting Arts Federation with over 2,300 black belts around the world. In 1997, Norris became the first man in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded the 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master of Tae Kwon Do in the 4,500 year tradition.

Norris later became an action movie star and TV star on the CBS show “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He has authored his own autobiography “The Secret of Inner Strength” which became a best seller. He then wrote a second book “The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems.” He also became a powerboat racer and won the World Off Shore Powerboat championship in 1991. He is also an avid humanitarian. Some of his charity work includes: spokesperson for United Way, Veterans Administration spokesperson, Epiphany award for “Walker, Texas Ranger” for best Christian program, Jewish Humanitarian Man of the Year Award, involvement in the Make A Wish Foundation, BMI Music Television Award winner for “Walker, Texas Ranger” theme song, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame recipient, commissioned police officer for Terrell, Texas, and motivational speaker for Christian ministries. His proudest achievement is creating a program teaching martial arts to 150 high-risk children to keep them out of gangs.

With all of his achievements, it is no wonder why Norris is so widely parodied as a superhuman entity. As far fetched as the Chuck Norris jokes are, it is really just an exaggeration of the truth. In a way, knowing this makes these jokes even funnier.

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