Whether you love spicy foods or can’t stand them, you have to admit that there’s few better ways to have fun with food than by watching someone eat something incredibly hot.
Whatever it is that is so funny about watching someone struggle through the hottest thing they’ve ever eaten, the YouTube show Hot Ones manages to recreate that humor time and time again.
The set-up is simple. Host Sean Evans gets celebrities (such as comedian Kevin Hart or actor Bryan Cranston) to sit down with him at a table loaded with hot wings of various strength. The interview begins with the guest eating a relatively mild hot wing. As the show goes on, however, they must eat increasingly hotter wings while Evans asks them a series of questions.
Typically, the first 10 minutes of the show play out like a pretty basic interview. Once the really hot wings come into play, though…well, all bets are off.
To be honest, the questions themselves are rarely anything more than fluff piece specials designed to keep the conversation moving. The real fun comes from watching the guest slowly lose their mind as the wings just get worse and worse.
You would think that this setup would get old after a while, but it never seems to grow stale. That probably has something to do with watching painfully hot wings turn these sometimes cautious celebrities into babbling fools desperately chugging milk in order to keep their tongues working.
Kevin Hart, for instance, breaks down right away and begins screaming for more water while Key and Peele try to keep it together, which makes their eventual breakdown that much better. Seeing how your favorite celebrities react to this absurd scenario never fails to be entertaining.
Maybe that’s what makes watching people eat spicy food so funny. Spicy foods have a way of stripping someone of their defenses and dignity and bringing them down to a basic level. That process is all the more amusing to watch when the people in question are already some of the most entertaining – but sometimes reserved – people in the world.
If you go into Hot Ones expecting cutting-edge questions or typical interview pieces, you’re going to be disappointed to find that the show rarely features any thought provoking looks into a celebrity’s life and mindset.
For the rest of us who are tired of the same old formal dress, nice to see you, “what are you working on?” celebrity interviews, Hot Ones skips all the nonsense and lets you enjoy the simple pleasure of celebrities that just can’t stand the heat.