Is the ‘Twizzler Challenge’ for autism the web’s new viral fundraiser?

I hear ya. Ever since the dumping-ice-water-on-your-head fundraising stopped being a thing, your Facebook feed has felt just a little bit dull.

But as Spring decides to take its own Ice Bucket Challenge again and again in the Northeast, the internet is moving on to a new cause.

And this one’s inspired by two animated dogs.

Enter the so-called “Twizzler Challenge.” It’s where two willing participants chow down on the same piece of licorice Lady and the Tramp-style. On camera. And then challenge their friends who have 24 hours to do the same or donate to the worthy cause.

Those who partake in the challenge or donate benefit New York Collaborates for Autism, which funds and creates schools, programs and services for people with autism nationwide.

You can trace the origin of this challenge to Comedy Central’s “Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs,” when a viewer challenged “Today’s” Willie Geist to take the Twizzler Challenge with Uzo Aduba of “Orange is the New Black,” and the two obliged.

Since then, it’s mainly been television personalities and actors who’ve decided to publicly participate, but it likely won’t be long until the innocuous challenge branches out and penetrates the mainstream. 

Although the #TwizzlerChallenge seems to eschew the pain risk of its frigid predecessor, the new challenge pushes the door wide open for close encounters of the awkward kind. (Looking at you, Lauer.)

Still, if its impact mirrors the social media success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised $100 million for the ALS Association in only one month, look out for it to become the next meme of the season.

What else are you going to do during those March Madness commercial breaks?

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