Super entertaining to see some sort of big meltdown and I laugh at the reactions just like you laugh at the reactions. But we’re an interview show first and it really is about the interview. And you know what? If we don’t approach these interviews with a certain degree of thoughtfulness, then maybe a guest doesn’t want to eat a chicken wing with Da Bomb on it. Or hit the last dab as they go through the Hot Ones gauntlet.
YouTube is one of these platforms that encourages creativity. It’s the great democratizer, because anyone with a camera and an Internet connection can start a YouTube channel… myself included. It’s a place for experimentation, doing things that may not have ever made it onto network television. And it is precisely because of this boundless opportunity that we have been treated to six seasons of Hot Ones on First We Feast, as hosted by Sean Evans.
For context, something like Tabasco or Sriracha sauce clocks in at around 2,200 to 2,500 Scoville units.
Part of the objective and appeal, as you might imagine, is to make guests slightly (or very) uncomfortable. The hot wings throw them off their game, and ideally, this results in a more candid and honest conversation. You can check out the most recent episodes with Eddie Huang and Jeff Goldblum if you haven’t already.
And while it’s certainly entertaining to see celebrities suffer through increasingly painful hot wings, host Sean Evans still recognizes that the show needs to be fun for them. It needs to be an enjoyable experience so the future guests will still be willing to appear. No one wants to be be made to look for the fool for no reason whatsoever.
For us, it’s interview first. If we burn a celebrity out, we’re never like, “Aw yeah, we burned them out. High five.” If it’s a good interview, though, the whole place is buzzing. So, that’s always what we’re rooting for, that’s always what the goal is, what’s always what we’re trying to do, is make a great interview. If they spit in a bucket, that’s just gravy.
Even though it’s a little ridiculous to go through such scorchingly hot chicken wings, Hot Ones is still legitimately a very good interview show. We get to see a side of celebrities, big and small, that we may not otherwise see when they hit the mainstream, network talk show circuit.
It still baffles my mind how we (almost) never see Sean Evans have any real reaction to these hot wings, though. He might sweat a little, but that’s about it. How does he do it?
I’m not sure if I’ll ever achieve a level of fame that will elicit an invitation to appear on Hot Ones. (I did just break 1,000 subscribers and 2 million views on YouTube, so that’s something?) And while my tolerance has improved over the years, I still don’t do well with especially food. But if I ever had an opportunity to get on the show, I’d jump on it in a heartbeat.
Just keep a few extra glasses of milk ready for me.