Joey Chestnut has once again showed amateur hot dog eaters how it’s done by polishing off 63 in 10 minutes, all while dealing with a protester who crashed the stage.
The 38-year-old Chestnut, a.k.a. the glizzy GOAT, won Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest for a record 15th time on Monday at the annual Fourth of July event. Last year he managed to eat 76 in 10 minutes, but his 2022 effort of 63 dogs still saw him lead runner-up Geoffrey Esper by nearly 16. The latter managed to eat about 47.5 dogs this time, and wasn’t saddled with handling a person sneaking up behind him mid-chow.
The man ran onstage in a Darth Vader mask with a sign that read, “EXPOSE SMITHFIELD DEATHSTAR,” a reference to an ongoing animal rights campaign in Utah. Within seconds of the protester appearing next to him, Chestnut quickly grabbed him by the neck and appeared to barely miss a beat. Security subsequently dragged the man off the stage.
The NYPD told TMZ three people have been arrested and charges are pending. Also visible in the footage is a protester with the same sign, wearing a Star Wars Stormtrooper mask, further down the stage.
In the lead-up to the event, Chestnut shocked some of his fans when he showed up to his weigh-in on crutches. When he competed on Monday, he did so with a medical boot.
The annual hot dog eating contest returned to its original location—Nathan’s in Coney Island, Brooklyn—this year after opting for a different, more limited venue in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.