Competitive eater Joey Chestnut has built a career on shoving food into his mouth, whether it is chicken wings, tacos or funnel cake. However, he hit a momentous mark on Saturday during the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chestnut ate his 1,000th hot dog and bun en route to his 13th Mustard Belt.
Chestnut entered Saturday's eating contest needing just over 60 hot dogs to reach the milestone. The ESPN commentators felt that this was an easy mark considering that Chestnut has topped 70 hot dogs every year since 2016. He proved this faith well-founded and made history during a very different type of eating competition. The fans couldn't attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they still expressed excitement on social media.
"To match Joey Chestnut's incredible feat of eating 1000 hotdogs in effectively 14 days, you would have to eat about 3 hotdogs a month, every month for 30 years straight. Let that sink in," one person commented on social media. This news elicited surprise from fellow competitive eating fans and led to proclamations about Chestnut's future.
Following the historic performance in which the veteran eater set a record of 75 hot dogs, fans proclaimed that it's time for him to make a change in his personal life. Several said that Chestnut needs to pass the "hot dog crown" after eating 1,000 while others wanted him to run for president. These fans said the government should base the election on hot dogs eaten instead of votes.
Chestnut didn't struggle during the 2020 contest despite previously expressing concern about the contest. He appeared on the Drinkin' Bros podcast and talked about how the coronavirus has altered the Fourth of July tradition. Chestnut said he was confident in his ability to break his own record of 74 hot dogs, but he was concerned about outside influences.
"The truth is, this is going to be a weird contest," Chestnut said. "[It's a] very limited field, but all of the top eaters will be there. There's going to be more cameras in the room than eaters and audience. My biggest worry is that some of the cameramen or reporters will make weird noises like gasps or shocking noises. Usually, I'm just hearing cheering or yelling. I'm a little worried about the quietness."
While Chestnut may have expressed concern about random noises disrupting his pace, he didn't have any issues during the competition. He outpaced his fellow eaters and surpassed 1,000 career hot dogs eaten with ease. He continued pushing and broke his own record with a total of 75 hot dogs.