Update, February 13, 2020: John Schnatter, former Papa, would like to issue an important clarification regarding the interview that we all watched with breathless fascination back in November, in which he vowed revenge on his enemies and claimed that a “day of reckoning” was coming for those who had ousted him from the Papa John’s empire. Schnatter wants to set the record straight—though not about his stated desire for vengeance, which apparently still stands. No, instead he has clarified how much pizza he eats. The answer: a lot, but not quite as much as you think.
NBC reports that Schnatter was a guest this week on the H3 podcast, a YouTube-based show dealing with memes and internet culture, of which Papa John is undeniably a fixture. On the show, Schnatter was asked about the now infamous interview with WDRB, including his claim that he “had over 40 pizzas in the past 30 days” and could attest to a decline in quality since his ouster.
“Well I didn’t say I had eaten 40 pizzas in 30 days. I said I had 40 pizzas in 30 days,” Schnatter said. Could we….please unpack this? H3 host Ethan Klein thankfully did not let this statement rest.
“When I [say] ‘I had a pizza,’ that means I ate it,” Klein argued, on behalf of all of us out there who understand that words mean things. But Schnatter seemed prepared for this.
“When I said I had a pizza, it means I’m inspecting,” he said. “I’m not eating every pizza. I may be eating parts of pizzas.” En garde, podcaster!
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So, those 40 pizzas were merely “ordered” and “inspected” over the course of 30 days, rather than being consumed in their entirety. Seems like a waste of some perfectly not good pizza. Whatever portion of each pie was eaten, it seems to have been enough to convince Schnatter that the pizza is now distinctly worse than it was under his leadership, and that the chain needs him at the helm now more than ever.
NBC also notes that “Schnatter said he now eats about eight or nine slices a week — but that he used to down 12 to 15 slices a week when he was running Papa John’s.”
Original post, November 26, 2019: John Schnatter, F.K.A Papa John, has revenge on the mind. The pizza empire founder sat down with WDRB, Louisville’s FOX affiliate, to discuss vendettas, being set up, and consuming a potentially life-shortening amount of pizzas in a month.
For those with better things to do than think about Papa John’s, a reminder: In July 2018, Schnatter was forced to resign as the chair of Papa John’s after saying the N-word on a conference call. Schnatter insists he was set up, and that he made those comments to communicate his distaste for racism. In this interview, he lets the world know what he’s been up to lately. Namely, what he’s been eating, and who he hates. (Spoiler alert: it’s pretty much every executive at Papa John’s. He names lots of names.)
“I’ve had over 40 pizzas in the past 30 days,” Schnatter told WDRB, attesting to the decline in Papa John’s quality since his departure. Beyond the toll that eating an entire pizza a day could have on one’s physical health, I’m going to go out on a limb and label this as psychologically unsound behavior. Maybe Schnatter ate 1+ pizza a day while wearing the Papa John crown; we don’t know. But now that he’s ousted—and clearly has a vendetta against the execs still there—this falls neatly into the category of unhinged ex behavior. It’d be like if you broke up with someone (for saying a racial slur) and they processed their anger by, well, eating one or more pizzas a day.
Perhaps the most bone-chilling moment of the interview comes at the end, at which point Schnatter alludes to the pizza chain’s Judgment Day, when he claims the truth will come out in his favor.
“I would just say, stay tuned,” says Schnatter, sweaty and unblinking. “The day of reckoning will come. The record will be straight.”
WDRB’s Stephan Johnson presses him: “Why not set the record straight now?”
Schnatter replies, with a quiet chuckle: “Stay tuned.”
You can watch the interview here, but be warned: you’ll only have seven days to live after you see it.