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Screenshot: @anisafarah_/TikTok (Fair Use) This week’s exploration of the underbelly of young people culture takes us to surreal and terrifying imaginary spaces and invites us to have a heart-to-heart talk with a cartoon dog from a nearly forgotten app. I hope it doesn’t give you the ick. The Internet’s newest celebrity is Talking Ben the Dog I asked my kid for something he and his friends find funny, and he pointed me to YouTuber IShowSpeed . Like many YouTubers, he streams long sessions of Fortnite and such, but he’s become known lately for his conversations with a cartoon dog originally featured in a kids app from 2011. Talking Ben the Dog lets you ask questions of a gruff cartoon canine who responds with yeses, noes, and non-committal grunts. It’s like a Magic 8-ball—the kind of thing you’d find amusing for 30 seconds and delete. But IShowSpeed somehow turned the app into half of the funniest comedy duo online. It’s partly funny because asking a cartoon dog controversial questions like “do you support LGBT rights?” is hilarious in itself, but mostly because the comic chemistry and timing between IShowSpeed and the imaginary dog is somehow perfect, even though only one of them is sentient. Just watch one of these videos to see what I mean. And then watch this one . And then watch the rest of them. The popularity of IShowSpeed’s streams have many people downloading the ancient app: Talking Ben the Dog was recently the top-selling app on […]