Revisited Gluttony
February 22, 2022 3:26 PM   Subscribe

The Glutton Bowl: The World's Greatest Eating Challenge was first mentioned on the Blue twenty years ago. In 2002, athletes compete by eating more things than the competition, which was sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Final event was cow brains. These appear to be par-boiled. The champ ("What an athlete!") ate ten pounds. No mention of BSE, then rampant. A review from 2016: "Even after watching this again for the first time since it aired nearly 15 years ago, I can honestly say that Glutton Bowl may be the single worst thing to ever hit primetime television ever..." High praise indeed!
posted by CCBC (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Missed the original link: Gutton [sic] Bowl was disgusting, obnoxious, incredible.

(Also, I should add that I find eating contests really disgusting and could not watch any of the events completely through to the final upchuck.)
posted by CCBC at 3:32 PM on February 22, 2022

posted by kinnakeet at 4:09 PM on February 22, 2022

posted by turbid dahlia at 4:10 PM on February 22, 2022

And of course, the IFCE is much like the "World Series", in that the former isn't really international and the latter doesn't involve the world.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:12 PM on February 22, 2022

oh I very much remember this. Including the fact that, if I recall correctly, the contestant that won the “sushi roll” round did so by stopping just before the two feet of pure wasabi. Contestants that tried to eat their way into that ended up “regurging” as the announcer put it, and were disqualified.
posted by heyitsgogi at 4:33 PM on February 22, 2022

A small point, but BSE was never rampant in North America and in 2002 had only been found once, in Canada, a decade prior in an animal imported from the UK. Selling cow brains isn't allowed any more, but the risk was (and still is) incredibly low in North America.
posted by ssg at 11:07 PM on February 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

The 2002 competition was won by no-other than Takeru Kobayashi, the 5'8" 128 lb Japanese competitive eater, who helped make the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest famous, (but from which he was later banned because he refused to let them basically 'own' his career, or so I've heard).
posted by eye of newt at 11:41 PM on February 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

eye of newt might be referring to it, but I can definitely recommend the Behind the Bastards podcast episode on George Shea, if you're into this. I think the co-host is writing a book on the subject, too.
posted by groda at 2:28 AM on February 23, 2022 [3 favorites]

My quote might not be exact but you get the idea, "TV is very educational. When someone turns it on I leave the room and go read a book in another room." Groucho Marx
posted by DJZouke at 5:04 AM on February 23, 2022

Eh, it was Fear Factor that taught me that one thing worse than eating 13" of uncooked horse rectum for a chance at $25,000 is eating 12.5" of uncooked horse rectum and failing. I don’t think I need Glutton Bowl. Some lessons are sufficient.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:10 AM on February 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I only recently learned that competitive eating is a thing that exists. (From a Behind the Bastards podcast above.) I'm surprised to realize I have a favorite competitive eater: Takeru Kobayashi really does things with style. To the extent eating wet hotdogs can be done with style.

(I spent an embarrassing amount of time pondering how cow brains qualified as gluten. I've only ever had them in tacos, but I'd probably take that over hot dogs.)
posted by eotvos at 8:24 AM on February 23, 2022

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