Why the Internet loves watching celebrities eat chicken

In June, while Jennifer Lawrence was promoting her latest film No Hard Feelings, she sat down with Amelia Dimoldenberg from the YouTube series Chicken Shop Date Together, they ate chicken nuggets and exchanged laughs without expression. Eight days ago, she appeared with Sean Evans, host of Hot Ones , another YouTube series that features food interviews with celebrities, chatting over spicy chicken wings. Both videos were filmed before the SAG-AFTRA strike and became widely circulated for their candid, shocking nature.

X user @ohheybrittany wrote on June 28: “Can’t believe two of the most critical elements of any news cycle right now involve eating chicken.” Although the tweet is viral gold (with over 186,000 likes), There is some truth to this. On this: TV hosts have sat down for drinks or food with names in boldface before - like Rihanna and Seth Meyers having daytime drinks, or James Corden asking Harry Styles Eat cod sperm—but late-night shows aren't the only ones leaning toward it these days. Get caught up in the low-key voyeurism of watching celebrities eat. Shows like "Hot Ones" and "Chicken Shop Date" are infiltrating the celebrity press circuit in a very real way, and are ultimately getting their share of flour in the process.

Chris Schonberger, creator of Hot Ones , To speak of the show's memetic nature was never the point. In fact, when he proposed the idea back in 2015, it was difficult to attract talent. "Like a Hail Mary, I gave up on the idea of ​​eating super spicy chicken wings. Just thought it would be a fun way to change up these boring celebrity interviews that feel very rote," he tells Bustle. "It was an incredibly hard sell at first because just on paper it sounded completely crazy, and, well, it was."

While Schoenberg gave props to the celebrities who worked on the show before it had the loyal audience it has now, he said the likes of Kevin Hart and Key & Peele Guests appeared on the show in 2016, paving the way for the show's current development.

"Even before the show really started to achieve impressive results, I was very grateful to the people who did it in the first place; they saw something they thought was funny," he said, but it's hard to get Hollywood to A-list Female talent came on board because it all seemed like a no-brainer until Charlize Theron tried out the whole concept in 2018, but even in the midst of TikTok trends and Twitter posts. The world isn't changing just to feed the beast that is the internet, and it strikes the right chord with Jenna Ortega and Melissa McCarthy in the current moment where candid content rules TikTok. Actors such as Melissa McCarthy have been particularly popular on the platform, with their Hot Ones shorts garnering 42.6 million and 11.6 million views respectively.

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With 21 million followers and over 2 billion views across social platforms, the Hot Ones have found their groove. Registered psychotherapist Natalie Rose Allen said footage of actors eating in front of the camera, especially something as messy and down-to-earth as chicken wings, is a departure from what we usually see when the curtain rises in Hollywood The picture you get is the opposite - it's part of a Hollywood movie. What makes them so attractive.

"We're always told about celebrities' extreme workout routines and nutrition regimens and so on. [These videos] may just be creating this cognitive dissonance between what we expect celebrities to eat versus what they actually eat," she tells Bustle .

Of course, most celebrities probably wouldn't order chicken nuggets on the reg. In fact, etiquette expert Elaine Swann says spicy snacks and finger foods are the last things you should order if you want to make a good impression. That's exactly the point: These celebrities aren't trying to leave the perfect impression that audiences see time and time again; They try to combine candor and comedy to meet public expectations.

"[These videos] may just create this cognitive dissonance between what we expect celebrities to eat and what they actually eat."

"People want to see celebrities as normal people. Celebrities themselves may work very hard to relate to people (like these interviews about diet). So they may even go beyond their normal confines in order to connect with other people. But That’s not true,” Swann said.

Of course, eating in front of the camera as part of a press conference is inherently artificial, and as Swan notes, many stars probably won't actually tuck into hot wings when it's not for audience entertainment. While food choices and eating etiquette may be exaggerated for the camera, the messages celebrities are willing to share under the pressure of Scoville ratings are very real.

"The reality is that when they experience something that's so physically challenging, they're less alert and more likely to blurt out something that's funny or feels true," Schoenberg said. "The internet is going to do what it's supposed to do and do its way. Memes are just a byproduct of that."


Natalie Rose Allen , R.P.P.

Elaine Swann , etiquette expert