David After Dentist: The Inevitable Spin-off

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For some reason, it's taken as an article of faith that predicting the habits of Internet users is akin to mapping the human genome. It's not; there are a few basic rules of thumb. Animals are golden on the Net—particularly when acting like humans or falling asleep. And children are Cyberspace superstars no matter what they're doing, though especially so when they're trying to unravel a problem. Thrust an adorable kid into a situation still alien to his child brain, and you can comfortably sit back and watch the hits roll in.

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Which is why David After Dentist was destined for greatness from the get-go. The video, in which a young child copes with the disorienting effects of anesthesia after having a tooth removed, has ricocheted around the world at warp speed, amassing 8 million hits. In fact, the most surprising thing about the video's success was the outrage it provoked, as critics charged David's father with exploiting his son's obvious discomfort by sharing it with the world. YouTube viewers seethed; media-types parsed the inherent ethical dilemmas with Kantian nuance. The tempest subsided when eight-year-old David, reached at his Florida home by a Wall Street Journal reporter, said that becoming an Internet celebrity was "exciting."

David's declaration hasn't deterred mashup artists and satirists from piggybacking the clip's runaway success. The latest entrant in this category is "Chad After Dentist," a parody that shows Chad Vader, the star of a popular fan film series, playing the part of David. For some reason Chad sounds a little like the Governor of California, but his suit is pretty neat. We're approaching backlash threshold — another Internet inevitability — on the David After Dentist meme, but this spin-off snuck in under the wire.

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