Every food media site and its mother are trying to collect on that sweet, sweet, YouTube ad revenue. So we tip our hats to our colleagues at First We Feast, who have on their hands a genuine, bonafide viral hit in Hot Ones, a celebrity hot wings challenge in the guise of a surprisingly substantive interview show. The caliber of guests this show has booked is nothing short of enviable—Scarlett Johansson, Shaq, Natalie Portman, Jeff Goldblum, Halle Berry, and leading the charts with a staggering 35 million views and counting, a very-good-sport Gordon Ramsay.
Would it be too much to declare its host, Sean Evans, the Dick Cavett of masochistic food challenges? Let’s go with that. But is he the Dick Cavett of hot dog-related questions?
The Takeout: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Sean Evans: It has all the fundamentals, with the bread and the goodness in between. But to me, a hot dog is not a sandwich. If you go to a menu and look under sandwiches, you would never see a hot dog there. And if you did see hot dogs there, it would be alarming.
TO: So your stance has more to do with labeling than the component parts.
SE: Philosophically I understand where they’re coming from. Some very different strokes for different folks. But this is just one man’s opinions: Hot dogs, not a sandwich.
TO: We’d be remiss if we didn’t ask about hot sauce on hot dogs. What’s your operating philosophy?
SE: With hot sauces, there’s so many different kinds that can paired with any type of meal. So you’ll have hot sauces out there that are good for a hot dog. “Hot” “dog,” they’re right in the same name. So maybe I see it as an improvement on the hot dog genre to include hot sauce.
TO: What’s a hot sauce you’d recommend on hot dogs?
SE: If you’re already going the mustard route with hot dogs, why not crank it up a little bit—a hot mustard for your hot dog.
TO: Congratulations, you’re the subject of our newest feature—Is hot mustard a hot sauce?
SE: Yes, you heard it here first, definitively. Hot mustard is a hot sauce. But hot dogs, not a sandwich.