photo via instagram

say hello to the twizzler challenge

because ice buckets are so last year

by daniel barna

If last summer's most popular viral campaign had you sprinting for someplace warm, its successor will have you bee-lining it to the nearest dentist. The Twizzler Challenge—in which two people chomp on a piece of licorice from opposite ends until their lips lock a la Lady and the Tramp—has caught fire over social media in recent days, and looks primed to replace the ultra-ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge of a year ago as this year's most popular cause célèbre. 

While last year's every-celebrity-ever-endorsed campaign was geared towards ALS research (it raised over $115 million), this year's iteration is in the name of Autism awareness, and began on Comedy Central's popular benefit show Night of Too Many Stars, when Orange is The New Black's Uzo Aduba and Today Show co-host Willie Geist accomplished the feat in front of a national audience. 

Since then, Geist's colleagues Matt Lauer, Kathie Lee Gifford and Meredith Vieira have all taken part, but the real proof that The Twizzler Challenge has real legs came Wednesday, after Lena Dunham and Allison Williams accepted and slaughtered it. After confessing that she has a cold (not cool, Lena), the Girls stars challenged Broad City BFFs Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. If comedy's newest golden girls accept, they have the chance to turn this from a niche meme into a full blown cultural phenomenon. No pressure, though.