I used to think TikTok was all cool teens and memes I was already too late on to understand, but a cat named Ed may change all of that. He's the star of a recent viral video on the app that got picked up on Twitter. Ed was shared so far and wide that I finally had to download the app myself to see what it's about. The video riffs on a trend started by user Enoch True which involves lip-syncing to The Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman" using a TikTok's nine-split-screen filter. The delay between screens lines up with the song perfectly and, if done correctly, makes one person look like an entire barbershop quartet. Or, it turns out, one cat.
Ed the cat went viral with his version of the trend, thanks to owner 17-year-old Jade Taylor-Ryan. She hadn't been using TikTok for long and her account took off after she had the idea to hold Ed above the camera and make him perform some impressive choreography that, when combined with the filter and music, makes a video I have not been able to stop watching.
"Ed is very chill!" Taylor-Ryan told BuzzFeed about her viral video, which has racked up over 1.5 million likes. "We pick him up and move him around all the time and he doesn’t really care, so I figured I would be able to do the same thing for the video. Turns out, I was right!"
The video got so popular that even Ed now knows he's a star.
If you want to be the next Ed, here are the simple steps to participate in the Mr. Sandman trend.
1) Go to Taylor-Ryan's video and save her sound on the app, or search for "Mr. Sandman" after tapping "Add A Sound" on the "create video" section.
2) Click the "effects" button to the right of the red record button, and find the illustration of the nine-split-screen in the "trending" section.
3) Set a timer so you can prepare, and mouth the first "bum" every four beats — the delayed screens do the rest and make it look like you're singing all the "bums." In total, you'll mouth four "bums" before the actual singing begins, and the video cuts off shortly after, so like Ed, you can freestyle it.