Documentaries category

Several articles about Takeru Kobayashi's retirement due to an inability to feel hunger came out on May 21 even though it was originally announced in a Netflix documentary, "Hack Your Health", that was released on April 26: NY Post | TMZ | Barstool | BroBible

Kobayashi announces retirement in Netflix documentary

Takeru Kobayashi is one of four subjects in the new Netflix documentary, “Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut”. His segment focuses on his inability to feel hunger after a 20 year competitive eating career. He decides to retire from eating contests to improve his gastrointestinal health: (youtube trailer) (transcript)

After analyzing Kobayashi’s poop and also performing other tests, including scanning his brain’s responses to images of different foods, doctors informed him that his microbiome was actually in good shape, but his brain scans were abnormal. This revelation means that getting to the bottom of Kobayashi’s lack of hunger will be more complex, and in order to focus on restoring his health, he’s decided to quit competitive eating. He has “mixed feelings” about it, but after years of ignoring his body’s signals, he’s eager to see if he can repair his gut-brain connection.

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Ethan Gillis has uploaded "The Gravy Bowl" to youtube, a mini-documentary about Darrien "Cheese Curd" Thomas competing in the 2018 Smoke's Poutinerie eating contest in Toronto.

“Superhot” documentary on Hulu

The documentary “Superhot:The Spicy World of Pepper People” can now be viewed on Hulu. The 10 episode series has the following description:

A deep dive into a subculture fueled by spice: from the elite growers who strive to create new superhots to the chili eaters who chase the endorphin rush of consuming them; one chili head sets out on a quest to answer the spiciest of questions.

Official trailer


Generation Iron announced plans to release a documentary about Australian competitive eater James Webb in 2024.
A Hulu press release announces the January 22 debut of a new documentary series, "Superhot: The Spicy World of Pepper People", that will focus on growers and eaters of ultra spicy peppers. (via Mike Jack). produced a documentary about Erik "The Electric" Lamkin titled "100,000 Calorie Challenges: Inside the World Of Pro Eating"
"Battle of the Super Eaters", a 2019 Channel 4 documentary starring Leah Shutkever, Adam "Beard Meats Food" Moran and Kyle Gibson is available on youtube with the title "Eating For A Living: My Life as a Competitive Eater"

Free Kittens review of “Scarf Face” has a positive review of the new competitive eating documentary “Scarf Face”:

The unexpected deaths of a few eaters notwithstanding, Scarf Face is a highly amusing documentary that cleverly subverts the self-importance displayed by its subjects. But even if one shares the opinion that gorging on dangerous amounts of food somehow qualifies as a sport, the film is a fascinating look at what makes these people tick.

The review includes a list of extras for the DVD that will go on sale June 7:

INTERVIEW THE WALT HICKEY – Hickey is a writer who often covers competitive eating events, and humorously questions the claim that Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has really been going on for 100 years.

INTERVIEW WITH ED “COOKIE” JARVIS – A former MLE competitive eater who’s lost a ton of weight and has no love for the MLE.

OUTTAKES WITH ACTOR DAVE SWEENEY – Outside of his appearance in this film, I don’t know who he is either.

COMPETITIVE EATER DEATH SEGMENT – One which was featured in the film, one which wasn’t…a radio station water drinking contest which resulted in a woman’s death.


AUDIO COMMENTARY – By directors Joseph Ruzer & Sean Salter


The only competitive eating article from Walt Hickey I could find was a preview of the 2016 Nathan’s finals for 538.

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Film Threat has a positive review of the new competitive eating documentary "Scarf Face". Eye For Film is more negative about the movie (2.5 / 5 stars). The official release date for the DVD is June 7, but the film is already available for viewing on a Spectrum on Demand account.
The "Scarf Face" documentary will be available for purchase on DVD starting June 7. The trailer says the film will focus on the health risks and other negative aspects of competitive eating.
Indie Pix Films uploaded a trailer for "Scarf Face", a documentary examining the darker side of competitive eating with a Summer 2022 release date. Topics include the rivalry between Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi and the shock 2019 death of Juliet Lee which remains a complete mystery. Molly Schuyler and Miki Sudo also appear. Around the 70 second mark of the trailer, an anonymous interview subject with a distorted voice makes the claim "Everything about Major League Eating is a lie".
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate in today's NYC mayoral election, competed in several Nathan's Famous finals in the 1990s, finishing 3rd in 1994. He appeared in "Footlong", a 2002 documentary about the hot dog using the 1998 Nathan's circuit as its framework which can be viewed on youtube. In interview starting around the 8:15 mark, he claims that defending champion Hirofumi Nakajima has been surgically altered with digestive enzymes.
Barstool Sports produced a "mockumentary" about a milk chugging contest held at Kennesaw State in suburban Atlanta.
The Good, The Bad, The Hungry, a 2019 ESPN documentary about the rivalry between Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, will become available on Disney Plus UK on May 14.
"The Big Eat", a documentary about the 2005 UK qualifier for Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest can be viewed on youtube.
BestDocumentaryTV has uploaded a short documentary about the 1999 matzoh ball eating contest held at Ben's Deli won by Russell Machover. Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa makes an appearance but does not compete.
Molly Schuyler is the subject of a documentary on which includes footage of her breakfast taco record at Juan in a Million and victory at the La Costena jalapeno eating contest in Laredo, TX.

Competitive eating musical documentary screening June 3

Crow’s Theatre in Leslieville, ON will show “CHEW: A Gastronomical Musical Odyssey into the Strange World of Competitive Eating” on June 3. The documentary will be screened online and tickets will include a home-delivered meal. The film has the following description:

As one competitor puts it: “It’s like a standing-still parade. We just happen to be eating food.” Over the course of several years, Montreal playwright Sarah Segal-Lazar interviewed dozens of competitive eaters in Canada and the States to figure out what drives them to stretch their stomachs beyond comprehension. Inspired by London Road and A Chorus Line, co-creators Segal-Lazar, Anika Johnson and Andrew Kushnir have discovered the ideal container for the excesses of the sport: a musical. Chew takes documentary theatre to new places, and competitive eating to new limits. Whether it’s tucking away tamales in Texas or pulverising pretzels in Providence, the reasons we do unreasonable things can be most surprising of all.


Movies are the focus of the latest editition of the Fink Beats the Stomach podcast, with discussion centered around 101 Dalmatians and its sequels and the competitive eating documentaries "Swallow Your Pride", "The Good, The Band and the Hungry" and "Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating".
If you are looking for competitive eating content, "Swallow Your Pride", a documentary about Wing Bowl 13 (2005), can be viewed on youtube for free. The focus is Bill "El Wingador" Simmon's quest to retake the title from Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas. Bob Shoudt (then known as Humble Bob), Arnie "Chowhound" Chapman, Dave "Coondog" O'Karma, Hank "The Tank" Goldey and Augie "Yao Wing" Chung are also featured. Conflict between IFOCE (MLE) and AICE is a secondary theme of the film. At 30:45, AICE co-founders Chapman and O'Karma discuss their grievances.

Japan Times interviews Takeru Kobayashi

Japan Times has an interview with Takeru Kobayashi about The Good, The Bad, The Hungry. He says that while he is pleased with the film, it did not fully convey his side of his dispute with MLE.

The documentary showed my rivalry with Joey Chestnut, but I had more of a problem with George Shea,” he says. “He used Joey Chestnut to conceal the fact that he had a problem with me. George Shea was employed by Nathan’s, so if you look at the bigger picture, the problem was really between me and Nathan’s. That doesn’t come across in the documentary.

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A segment about Leah Shutkever from the recent Channel 4 documentary titled "Battle of The Super Eaters" can be viewed on youtube. The documentary can be viewed in its entirety for the next three days for free on the channel's website.

Kobayashi vs. Joey Chestnut head to head results

Here are the results for Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut in the 15 contests they competed against each other. Kobayashi had the higher finish in 8 of the competitions.
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Daily Beast interviews Takeru Kobayashi

Daily Beast has an interview with Takeru Kobayashi where he expands on recent critical comments made on twitter about Joey Chestnut:

If you ask me, do I want to compete with him? Mmm, not necessarily. I don’t even want to be in the same room with him. The face he gives you in the movie—he says something different every time, so it’s difficult for me to trust that those are his words, or if they’re George Shea’s scripted words, and where his feelings are coming from. It’s stressful for me to compete against, much less be around, a person who has that kind of personality. So I just choose not to be around him.

and George Shea:

It’s a manipulation game for him. If I always have to wonder what the truth is, or that they’re going to manipulate the truth when I’m taking something so seriously—I can’t be around a human that I can’t trust.

Kobayashi also mentions an upcoming alternative competitive eating league. He will attend a watch party for The Good, The Bad, The Hungry tonight at Rochelle’s in Manhattan.

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