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Lays Do Us a Flavor ’17 – Ep. 96

Rod and Hugh are back for the fourth (fifth?) time to talk about Lays Do Us a Flavor with live taste tests and some complain’ about Lays (who are clearly the enemy for putting on a free, voluntary contest for the public.  They also tried a few other fringe flavors, not official in this year’s competition…(check our rankings of ALL FOURTEEN Lays Do Us a Flavor Finalists over the years.)

Fried Green Tomato (’17 Finalist) – A good idea.  It’s sufficiently unique, but not wacky.  The challenge here was harnessing a flavor that’s (a) not terribly well-known and (b) not particularly distinctive.   Note that the image on the bag has a sauce on the top of the fried tomato. That mystery sauce gives Lays license to flavor the chip however they want, I suppose. Well, they decided to flavor it like black pepper.  Lots of black pepper taste in there.  It’s a bit like a salt and pepper chip, but with more pepper.  Any green tomato taste was lost on us.  A good tasting chip to be sure. But even with the power of suggestion, Fried Green Tomato doesn’t really proffer its namesake flavor. Flavor: 8.25 / Originality: 8 / Accuracy of flavor: 1.5 / Total:  17.75

Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese (’17 Finalist) – An intuitive idea that I’m surprised hasn’t been tried before in a mainstream chip.  Not exactly the triple lindy for Lays flavor chemists though. Which is to say that everything bagels, while tasty, are driven by salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds – all flavors you can easily just pour onto some potato chips. So to increase the challenge they add, “with cream cheese.” Okay. Yeah. The cream cheese is there in there, resulting in a tasty, albeit non-daring entry into the Lays contest. Flavor: 7 /Originality: 5.25 / Accuracy of flavor:  6 /Total: 18.25

Crispy Taco (’17 Finalist) – Hugh hates that this one is so highly ranked because the idea is so uninspired (no offense to the person who pitched it).  Hugh has always wanted this contest to offer something entirely new, but also viable.  Taco flavored chips are old hat – mostly in the tortilla space, but it’s also a well tread road in potato chips.  But ‘ole Crispy Taco makes up ground with its tastiness. And even more so in accuracy of flavor.  You may say that it’s nothing too impressive to hit a taco flavor – just shake a packet of Ortega Taco Seasoning on a chip and there you have it.  Can’t argue with ya.  So what the heck is so impressive about Lays Crispy Taco? The “crispy,” you fool!  This POTATO chip, gives off a pitch perfect hard shell CORN tortilla flavor (a corn flavored potato chip is, admittedly, not unheard of). It melds perfectly with the eponymous taco seasoning. Then, your brain is in full taco mode and you start picking up tomato and lettuce. Lettuce! In a chip? What?  Okay, the lettuce might be power of suggestion. But Lays sparked my flavor imagination here.  I usually complain about gimmick flavors that taste too much like its namesake – it can by spooky and unsettling. But here, Crispy Taco managed to claw its way to the other side of the uncanny valley of flavor. Flavor: 9 / Originality: 1.5 / Accuracy of flavor 9.75 / Total: 20.25

And a few not in the competition, but noteworthy nonetheless…

Lays Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers –  these came out right at the same time as the 2017 Do Us a Flavor contest, but oddly were not one of the three finalists for that year’s contest.  I suppose it could be a Lays creation, but it smacks of user submission sensibility.  Taste-wise, we give these good marks, although the namesake flavor (or flavors) are understated to the point they are not particularly identifiable.  The cream cheese is mostly invisible, which is surprising since Lays did successfully evoke cream cheese that same month with the Do Us a Flavor finalist, “Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese.”   The bacon flavor was surprisingly subtle, which I suppose is a good show of restraint by Lays in this bacon-crazed society of ours.  The jalapeño was the most notable flavor, but also restrained, mostly revealing itself at the end and in the aftertaste.  And as a whole, they don’t scream, “Lays Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper!”  That’s not to say these are flavorless. They are good.  But like many other gimmick flavors, this is, a unique idea and a tasty chip.  But it fails in its evoking its namesake flavor.

Lays Sea Salt and Lime – Wow.  These were a sweet surprise.   These were labeled, “Limited Time Flavor,” and I know that they are. But I have seen them from time to time before, at least in ethnic/foreign specialty shops and internationally.   Based on the name, my instinct on these is that these would simply meld the bitterness of lime with saltiness of a chip – an idea I didn’t love.  I am pleased to announce that Lays made a sweet potato chip (not a “sweet potato” chip, but a sweet “potato chip.”)  It would be more fitting to call this, limeade, or monitor, or margarita, given the sweetness.  Not that these are sugar bombs.  The sweetness is appropriate and well, balanced by salt.

We’ve covered this promotion thing plenty before…

Episode 1: The Chip Episode

Episode: 20 Lays Do Us a Flavor 2015

Episode 45: Lays Do Us A Flavor

Episode 85: Lays Do Us a Flavor 2017 – The Pitch! Ep. 85

All of the Finalist Flavors Reviewed and Ranked

 

Girl Scout Cookies – Ep. 92

Thin Mints® , Samoas® , Tagalongs® , Trefoils® , Do-si-dos® ,  Toffee-tastic™ , Girl Scout S’mores™ – Rod and Hugh review them all – with live on-air taste tests. How do you pronounce “Trefoils?”  Are “Samoas” named after the people of a Polynesian Island?   These are just  a few of the discussions that display the Hungry Dads’ utter ignorance and lack of basic intelligence. Listen and feel smarter. 

Ranked! KFC’s Colonel Sanders Renditions (A Tastemaker Special) Ep. 89

We rank the various renditions of Colonel Sanders, examining the original first, then the imitators, good, bad, accurate, and illegitimate. Who will the next colonel be? Maybe our own Rod Budget?  A quick look at each of KFC’s Colonels discussed in this episode:

“Original Recipe” – The real guy. The standard by which the rest are measured.  Listen to Episode 73 for the story of how he may be Hugh Gallon’s father.

 

 

Animated (mentioned in jump the shark Episode 73) – Sort of nice animation and style, but they had the Colonel trying to be cool and a little “extreme” in that 1990s style – even a fluid hip motion “cabbage patch” dance… “Go colonel…Go colonel” … So lame. (trivia: voiced by Randy Quaid)

 

The Colonel of Two worlds/The Colonel Corps – Kitschy and in line with the broad “multiple colonel” vision. Good art. Not a good story.

 

Dolph Ziggler – During 2016 SummerSlam, a commercial showed wrestler Dolph Ziggler dressed up as Colonel Sanders beating up a giant chicken in a wrestling ring. Nice synergy and embedded content. Another play against the kindly old man archetype.

 

 

Rob Lowe – Smoldering good looks, distinguished charm, and sexy charisma. This might be the second best play against type for the ‘ole Colonel. Inspired choice and surprisingly A-list, even if a bit boring.

 

 

George Hamilton – Nice play on the crispy chicken bit with Hamilton’s deep tanned skin. But sort of hacky and a little gross to conflate the two images – crispy chicken skin and darkened human skin?

 

 

Rob Riggle –  Part of the success for any Colonel, is of course, being a fan of the person inside the white suit. I’ve seen a fair amount of Rob Riggle in stuff. I think he’s talented enough. Seems like a nice guy.  But I’ve never cared for his humor – not my style. But somehow his schtick as the Colonel cracked me up. Maybe the perfect role for him?

Billy Zane – The gold gimmick was lame. And why Billy Zane? If there is a clever connection between the two, let us know.

 

 

Norm McDonald – Perfect play against type and makes it clear that they are not trying to give us a viable Colonel Sanders. Got me excited about the “multiple colonels” campaign.

 

Jim Gaffigan – We predicted it! Good fit to type for the campaign (Gaffigan is irreverent loves food). This sort of kicked off Gaffigan as a bankable commercial personality.

 

Darrel Hammond – Hammond was the first in this new campaign of multiple colonels and his rendition was too earnest and quite creepy. Hated it at the time. I’ve softened on it though. We didn’t know the long term plan, and can forgive it some in retrospect.

Beef Talk with Johnny Prime – Ep. 83

Aged beef, fake beef, ground beef, grilled beef, and poop(?) beef. Getttin’ Beefy with the incomparable Johnny Prime!   Then Rod shares his beef with the NYC based hamburger joint, Shake Shake.  Finally, everyone ranks their favorite burgers from Five Guys, McDonalds,  Shake Shack, In & Out, and their favorite pub burger.

Check out Johnny and more of his awesome meat talk at:

http://www.johnnyprimesteaks.com

30 Food Topics in 30 Minutes w/ Johnny Prime – Ep. 63

Halloween Whopper Surprises – Episode 52

Recipe Experiments with Johnny Prime – Episode 37

Quick Hits with Johnny Prime – Episode 32

Chewing the Fat with Johnny Prime! – Episode 31

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Gum Show with Gary Costello – Ep. 82

Chewing gum expert, connoisseur, and wunderkind, Gary Costello, comes into the studio as Rod and Hugh look back at Episode 67 to address some of their anti-gum rhetoric.  Is gum useless, messy, flavorless, and for du mmies?  Probably not.

Hugh shares how he was raised to be a gum-fearing child and then plays a classic Lonnie Dongan top ten hit – “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor Overnight?”

Gary tells everyone what you can expect from a “long lasting” flavored gum and Rod naively calls balderdash on sustained flavor for more than 20 seconds, poorly citing Double Bubble.  Gary responds.

Gary lists his five major uses and purposes for gum: (1) Appetite suppressant (2) Breath freshening (3) throat moistening (4) enhanced performance while exercising (5) focus for mental activity.

Hugh drops some Reader’s Digest science just before Gary makes a wild Family Ties reference.

Rod acknowledges that perhaps he should take gum when offered, considering its breath freshening properties.

Gary Costello: Gum Wunderkind? Coming out of nowhere? Cinderella story? Do Hugh and Rod even know what a Wunderkind is?

Blow Pops, ice cream with gum inside, and other gum-flavored, non-gum items – an insult to gum purists? or the best kind of treat?

Letting your children chew gum – risks and rewards.  Pros: Keeps them busy. Healthy teeth and gums from a xylo-burst? Cons: Gum where gum should not be.

Orbitz Orbit Orbitz Orbit – Hugh pulls a rookie move and refers to “Orbit” gum, as “Orbitz”

Gum has gotten expensive.  Gary tells us all the options and some tips for blister packs, pellets, and sticks so you can chew frugally.

A nice medley of classic Wrigley’s commercial jingles – Juicy Fruit is Gonna move ya!

Big League Chew and Bubble Tape – is there any wrong way to eat these?  Our advice – go big on these with a “man sized wad,” as stated in Big League Chew’s advertising copy.

Gary prioritizes: taste vs. lasting flavor vs. texture and then rates the various gum brands (Eclipse, Wrigley’s, Extra, Polar Ice, Trident White Pellets (best in show), Orbit Crystal Mint (off the market), Dentyne Fire, Big Red (lookout for sugar)

Gary shares a heartwarming childhood memory of Trident Cinnamon and his beloved grandmother.

Specialty gums – Local & International Gums, Airwaves (gum cough drop?), Aspergum (Gum Asprin?), and Gator Gum

How could gum pay for a young Gary Costello’s Disney vacation?

Gary gives his thoughts on horrible, chalky baseball card/collector card gum.

Taste testing 30-year old gum – Hugh does a live taste test with one unopened pack of collectors cards from 1978 (Superman the Movie) and two from 1989 (Back to the Future 2, and Ghostbusters 2) with the gum still inside.  Could this be the last episode of the Hungry Dads Podcast?  Will Hugh be poisoned? Could he become a ghost that must be busted? As Mary McFly would say, “This is heavy, Doc…”

 

Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch No More? Ep 81

A frank conversation with the leader of a food fan movement to bring back Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch Burrito.  Richard is back! Even if the Beefy Crunch isn’t.  The Beefy Crunch Movement and its dedicated members just want a burrito to be re-released by Taco Bell.  IMG_8623 (1)The Hungry Dads Podcast gets another exclusive interview with the leader of the Beefy Crunch Movement, Richard. Why won’t Taco Bell return his calls?  What are the new threats to the Movement? Is it worth it for Richard to continue?  What has happened since the last release? Get the inside scoop on this story that the Hungry Dads have been following this story since September 2015.

To quote their page, the Beefy Crunch Movement is “A social media movement dedicated to bringing back one of Taco Bell’s most popular and amazingly tasty burrito ever, the Beefy Crunch Burrito.”

The members of the Beefy Crunch Movement are a passionate sect of Taco Bell fans who are not backing down and demand that their voices be heard.  Discover what is next for The Movement.

Download this episode at iTunes, Stitcher, (just search “hungry dads”) or listen right here at hungrydads.com (below). Then join the Beefy Crunch movement here:  https://www.facebook.com/beefycrunchmovement

Halloween Retrospective – Ep. 78

The guys take a deep breath and provide a heartfelt retrospective of Halloween 2016, and Halloweens past.

  • The episode starts with, what else, a spooooooky story from Hugh.
  • Then, the guys offer an expert take on the Halloween candy spectrum of quality. What’s the best candy to get, and what’s the worst? (see below for an even more in-depth and amazing ranking).
  • TWO new live cauldron recordings from Rod the Ripper.
  • Finally, a time warp classic back to our very first Halloween episode.

Which of our kids’ Halloween Trick or Treating candy should we eat next? 66 of our treats ranked (give or take – with some insight from friends and family).

Tier 1
1. Any Full Sized candy (not pictured because we ate it)
2. Cheetos
3. Lays Sour Cream and Onion
Tier 2 (Fun sizes)
4. Snickers Almond
5. Butterfinger
6. Snickers
7. KitKat
8. Peanut Butter M&Ms
9. Peanut M&Ms
10. Plain M&Ms
11. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
12. Pretzel M&Ms
13. Crispy M&Ms
14. Candy Corn
15. Oh Henry
16. Baby Ruth
17. Almond Joy
18. Mounds
19. Skittles
20. Skittles Wild Berry
21. Milky Way
22. Milky Way Caramel
23. Yoohoo Candy
24. Heath
25. 3 Musketeers
26. Charleston Chew bites
27. Crunch Bar
28. Hershey’s Bar
29. Twizzlers short/wide
30. Twizzlers long/narrow
31. Rolo
32. Jelly Bellys
33. Large Sour Gummy
34. Cracker Jacks
35. Milk Duds
Tier 3 (Bite Sized)
36. Mini Reese’s Cup
37. Twix
38. Snickers
39. Hershey’s
40. Krackel
41. Milky Way
42. Dots
43. KitKat (very small)
44. Starburst duo Regular
45. Starburst duo Tropical
Tier 4 (Inferior But Edible)
46. Tootsie Fruit Flavored Cherry
47. Tootsie Fruit Flavored Lime
48. Smarties
49. Whoppers
50. Starburst single Cherry
51. Starburst single Strawberry
52. Starburst single Orange
53. Starburst single Lemon
Tier 5 (will remain uneaten until late November)
54. Tootsie Roll (fat)
55. Tootsie Roll (long and thin)
56. Tootsie Roll (mini)
57. Utz Pretzels
58. Blow Pop
59. Strawberry Tootsie Pop
60. Chocolate Tootsie Pop
61. Pineapple Tootsie Pop
62. Pineapple Dum Dum
63. Raspberry Dum Dum
Tier 6 (late night, last ditch, desperation candy)
64. Jolly Rancher Stick
65. Mini Gobstoppers
66. Now and Later

Cheetos Museum

Cheetos Museum at Grand Central, NYC

On my commute today through Grand Central Terminal, I was lucky enough to come upon the Cheetos Museum in Vanderbilt Hall.  This is the result of a promotion done by Cheetos earlier this year in which they urged snackers to submit their found Cheetos as art, with the random-shaped corn and cheese puffs resembling real-life stuff.

I examined a few bags of Cheetos for some art, but all I could find were caveman clubs, which didn’t seem artistic enough.  Of course I wondered what kind of results Cheetos would get. I didn’t count on anything as impressive as what was on display at the Cheetos Museum.

The layout of the exhibit overall was pretty great – evocative of a legit museum with pedestal and wall mounts.  Most of them were worthy of display, looking like their name in a “that cloud looks like George Washington” kind of way.  A few were eerily good (Chester Cheetah being my favorite).

The four finalists won between ten thousand and fifty thousand dollars each according to the “museum curator” I spoke with.  Its worth noting that many of the displays, and many of the best pieces, were curated by Cheetos themselves.   God I wish I’d have had that job. Going through piles of Cheetos looking for puffs shaped like animals, household items, and celebrities. You’ve got to wonder if they found any dirty/sex looking Cheetos that are in some secret, not-for-the-public art storage.

And they gave me a free bag of Cheetos on my way out.  Lookout Smithsonian, MOMA,  and The Museum of Math, we’ve got a new favorite institution of immersive learning. (pictures of Cheetos below, each artistically titled by the snackers who discovered them).

 

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Statue of Libercheese

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Statue of Libercheese

Cheesbraham Lincoln

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Cheesbraham Lincoln

Backpack Boy

image Backpack Boy

Running Snack

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Running Snack

Hula Girl

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Hula Girl

Girl Playing with a Dog

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Girl Playing with a Dog

Chester Cheetah

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Chester Cheetah

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Woman Holding Baby and Woman + Dog

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Woman Holding Baby and Woman + Dog

Breakdancer and Yoga Cheeto

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Breakdancer and Yoga Cheeto

Hey Girl

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Hey Girl

Italy and Whistler’s Mother

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Italy and Whistler’s Mother

Saxaphone and Guitar

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Saxaphone and Guitar

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Saxaphone and Guitar

Pinocchio and Lochcheese Monster

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Pinocchio and Lochcheese Monster

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Shrink Ray and Alien Thumbs Up

Boy Flying Paper Airplane (Finalist)

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Boy Flying Paper Airplane (Finalist)

Family of 3 (Finalist)

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Family of 3 (Finalist)

Will You Marry Me? (Finalist)

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Will You Marry Me? (Finalist)

Hot Cheetos Cat (Grand Prize Winner)

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Hot Cheetos Cat (Grand Prize Winner)

Chiraffes

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Chiraffes

Scorpion

 

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Scorpion

Manatee and Cat

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Chee-Sea-Horse

The Great CheeseFoot

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The Great CheeseFoot

Teddybear

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Teddybear

Beaver Cheeto

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Beaver Cheeto

My Sloth Friend

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My Sloth Friend

Cheesemelion

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Cheesemelion

Turkey

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Turkey

Bird in Paradise

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Bird in Paradise

Fish Out of Water

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Fish Out of Water

Dynamic Dolphin

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Dynamic Dolphin

One with Nature

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One with Nature

Reading

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Reading

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Hops: Not Just for Beer; They’re Hedonistic! Ep. 75

Of course, hops make beer.  But hops can do so much more.  Hops in your cheesecake? A hoppy birthday cake? Where do you buy hops? A “hop shop?” Cooking with hops? What are hops? Can you eat hops? Raw? What do hops taste like? Rod and Hugh get the answers! And Hugh makes his own batch of Marie’s “Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce.”

A chat with badass cook, Marie Porter, author of “Hedonistic Hops: The HopHead’s Guide to Kitchen Badassery.”  Marie also has some serious thoughts about Canadian snacks.

 

 

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Some dried hops. Suitable for cooking or brewing. (or raw eating if you’re man enough)

 

img_1531548594Hoppy IPA Sauce cooking

Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce bottledimg_1540548598 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoppy IPA Sauce on wingsimg_1552548602

Food Rivals: Cheese Steaks, Chocolate Drinks, Jerkies, & Candy-Coated Chocolate Ep. 74

What’s the best cheese steak? Pat’s vs. Genos? Name brand beef jerky vs. store brand? Yoohoo! vs. chocolate milk? M&Ms vs. Sixlets? We find out, with live taste tests, on-location reporting, a drinking competition, and frank analysis of these food rivals.

 

Round 1: Cheesesteaks – Pat’s versus Geno’s

In this corner…since 1930. The self-proclaimed originator and inventor of the steak and cheesesteak sandwich.  Located on East Passyunk Avenue.  In the city of brotherly love, closed only on Christmas and thanksgiving…

Pats. King. Of. Steaks!

In the opposite corner…since 1956, the 50 year old young upstart on the block, with his own cheesy, steaky style. At the corner of 9th and Passyunk Avenue. Also in Philadelphia. Slinging up juicy, never greasy always meaty grub…

Geeenoooo’s Steaks!!!

steak vs steak long copy

Boxing ring and gloves illustrated by the AMAZING Eric Scott Fisher

The Winner: Pat’s (Plenty of chopped meat, Nice spongy bun, Thick, almost congealed, cheese wiz).

The Loser: Geno’s (Sliced meat, Tougher bun, Runny and drippy Cheese Wiz, Saltier – but still delicious)

Round 2: Jerkies – Jack Link’s Original Beef Steak versus 711 XXL Beef Steak

In this corner…From Minong Wisconsin. Dried, smoked and packed for your beefy pleasure.  The meaty treat carnivores and Sasquatch love to eat. Feeding Your Wild Side since 1986. It’s meaty.  It’s chewy. It’s smoky.

Jack Links Beef Jerky!!

And in the opposite corner… Hailing from the most famous convenience store in the world. A tasty store brand that’s about twenty cents cheaper than its name brand counterpart. Salty and chewy. With just a hint of soy byproduct.

Seven Eleven Beef …. Jerk…Eeeeyy!

Jerky vs copy

The Winner: Jack Link’s (Net Weight = 2 Oz, Price = $1.79, Dense/Chewy, Beefier, Higher Quality, Better Taste)

The Loser: Seven Eleven (Net Weight = 2 Oz, Price = $1.59, Softer, Greasier, Sweeter, Saltier, Soy Byproduct, Still Pretty Tasty)

Round 3: Yoohoo! Vs. Nesquick Chocolate Milk

In this corner…In a yellow bottle. It comes straight from the cow. With a little sugar. And a little chocolate. It’s your favorite since childhood…

Chocolate Milk!

In the opposite corner… It was your grandfather’s favorite. Shake it before you drink it. Coming in at 230 calories per bottle. Its..

Yoohoo!

milk vs yohoo

SPLIT DECISION

Yoohoo (bottle showcases brown liquid, Must be shaken up, Thinner and easy to chug, Goes down smooth, Lactose tolerant)

Nesquick Chocolate Milk (Fun cartoon rabbit, Frothy when shaken, Thicker, Coats the tongue, Plastic bottle provides inferior insulation – not as cold)

Round 4: Candy Coated Chocolate – M&Ms versus Sixlets

In this corner…It’s the old time chocolate candy in a little cellophane sleeve. With a uniformly round shape and PACKed with malted carob flavor. Ironically they do NOT come in packs of six… They are

Sixxx-letsssss!

And in the opposite corner… Weighing in at less than one gram per oblate spheroid shaped piece. Popular enough to spawn its own store in New York Times Square. The double consonant chocolate candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hand!

M and Emmms!

mm sixlet

The Winner: M&Ms (Classic American Chocolate, Firm, Not soft, Oblate spheroid shape, Thin candy shell, Red #5 coloring NOT poisonous)

The Loser: Sixlets (Soft malt/carob chocolate, slightly chalky, slightly waxy, nearly spherical, poor structural integrity, Sweet, Sweet, Too sweet)

Foods That Jumped the Shark – Ep. 73

Foods That Jumped the Shark – Ep. 73

The fun of a “Jump the Shark” exercise is not in declaring that something jumped, but in asking whether or not it’s, and if so, when. At what moment or event?.  “Jumping the Shark” is pop culture shorthand for something that’s gone bad, turned sour, or lost its excellence.*

Has Bacon jumped the shark? Perhaps not. It’s just overexposed.

Have Food Trucks jumped the shark?  They are trendy and popular and used to be cool and unique.  But now they are everywhere.  Does the average food truck offer anything special, new, unique or bohemian anymore?  Why are there “food truck events” that people drive to, park, then get out to eat from a food truck.  Weren’t the original food trucks just dudes who were trying to feed people at construction sites.

Has “Brunch” jumped the shark? Brunch used to be exotic and hip. Sort of clever and a fun way to eat from time to time. But now “brunch” is just synonymous with any meal you’ll be eating out on Sunday other than dinner even past noon. 4PM brunch? Cmon.

Has The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest jumped the shark? It stared in the 1910’s in Coney Island. It’s now a professional exhibit with sponsors and runs as a sanctioned event by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE).  Has this official endorsed commercialization, with its complicated rulebook, eroded the charm of this event?  Year after year, you see the same competitors dominating the contest.

Has Oreo jumped the shark with its many variants? Oreos are a treat. A little expensive. Originals (and original golden) are delicious. But generic doppelgangers way cheaper. So these unique flavors were enticing. But 25 new flavors in just three years?  Too much too fast? It’s a who’s who of trendy flavors. Oreo is a classic.  Some dalliance is fun. This much experimentation is, perhaps, a bastardization of the brand – not to mention flavor exhaustion.

  • 2012: Birthday Cake, Creamsicle, Fudge Creme, Ice Cream, Rainbow ShureBert, Chocolate Mint, Gingerbread, Candy Corn, Candy Cane, American Crème, Cookies n’ Crème, Lemon Twist
  • 2013: Banana Split, Strawberries n’ Crème, Watermelon
  • 2014: Cookie Dough, Marshmallow Crispy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Pumpkin Spice, Fruit Punch, Root Beer Float, Limeade, Carmel Apple
  • 2015: S’mores, Red Velvet

Has Fast Food jumped the shark? It’s not fast enough anymore. Three minutes? But I want it now!  Sure it was never healthy or high quality.  But at least it was fast.  With extended menus, specialty items, and a seeming public desire for “fresh” food the jump has begun.  In the days of yore, your sandwich would be lined up, color coded, and ready to eat when you walked in.  We miss the heat lamped food, where you could see the rainbow of pre-prepared, pre-packaged food. Ready on demand.

Did KFC’s Colonel Sanders jump the shark (and then jump back)? The Colonel is Dead! Long Live the Colonel!  He was on the bucket and sign. And we remember some faux “footage” of an old colonel talking about chicken. Then in the 90s, a cartoon Colonel began rapping and hip hop dancing.  We remember seeing that and declaring the colonel pathetic, desperate, and lame.  Not enough irony in what they were doing there.  Fast forward to 2015 – Darrell Hammond as the Colonel, we hated it. Again, seemingly no irony in his colonel. Then Norm McDonald as KFC’s Colonel. Dripping with irony. Then Jim Gaffigan.  With Norm and Gaffigan, the Colonel won our hearts back. The rare double reverse shark jump.

Has ballpark food jumped the shark?  Ballpark food used to be popcorn, peanuts, hotdogs and crackerjacks.  Nachos were the exotic choice.  Nowadays – sushi and extreme foods like the Minnesota Twins’ “Punisher,”  a mega extreme sandwich that is intentionally over the top. Are we there to watch the game or check out the food?  Well, we’re there for the food.  And that’s why real sports fans would hate us in their ballpark.

Has the word “Extreme” jumped the shark? This word likely jumped in the late 90s. and its all Mountain Dew’s fault with help from Doritos. The word was, and is lame and ridiculous.  “Extreme,” wasn’t just a word, but an “attitude” and felt cool in 5th grade? The word “extreme” got caught up in a lingustic arms race.  We may would argue its jumped back as a sort of part of an evolution the lexicon –diluted, like how the word “literally” now actually has a second meaning with the same definition of its opposite – “figuratively.” We reviewed some Extreme Chex mix on the site. But “extreme” is self-aware, nostalgic, and almost expected marketing speak nowadays. Chex mix cannot actually be extreme. But it’s fun to pretend that it is. Lookout for the new “Extreme synonym, “jacked.” (Cracker Jacks Jack’d?)

Has “Food Porn” jumped the shark? It was funny a few times.  But now it’s every picture of food on the internet.  Do we want food and porn conflated? People who use the phrase think they are clever and naughty. They aren’t. They are perhaps jumping over a shark.                               

Did The Trix Rabbit jump the shark? – The Trix Rabbit is a classic cereal mascot who tries to get Trix cereal from the kids, disguised as a garbage man or a tattoo artist or whatever.  But his ears fall out from his hat and the kids say, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.” Poor rabbit never gets his Trix.  That’s the gimmick.   But did you know that the Rabbit has gotten the Trix?  If the rabbit gets the Trix, isn’t the premise ruined?  That Rabbit is a shark jumper!

Have food documentaries jumped the shark? – We like documentaries. But we understand that a lot of them have to be taken with a grain of salt.  It started with Supersize me. But now- Food Inc., Cowspiracy, Sugar, Vegacation – Netflix has a ton of these food documentaries. Literally over a dozen.

Has the Hungry Dads Podcast jumped the shark with this episode? Yes.

* This is not a list of things that we think HAVE definitely jumped the shark – it’s a discussion of WHETHER something has jumped the shark and if so why or why not.   We have weird amount of fussiness when people bastardize the phrase “Jump the Shark.”  The Hungry Dads try to stay pretty true to the phrase’s intentions (Hugh has met the phrase’s inventor and author of the book “Fast Food Nation,” John Hein.)

The first question is often whether or not something has jumped the shark, and it’s not always crystal clear. That’s okay. The value is pondering the pros and cons of either position.

The other delineating factor of a jump-the-shark analysis is trying to identify the thing or moment when that good thing got less good – or got bad, or became less than it once was.  For instance, its not enough to say that Happy Days wasn’t as good as it used to be.  Or to say that things went downhill in Season 4. A good jump-the-shark analysis tries to identify the tipping point, or epitome, or last-straw – the moment when Fonzie waterskied over that shark.  The show was headed in a weird direction perhaps already. And then it did that and there was no turning back (although things can jump back over the shark too).

Other Jump the Shark possibilities not covered in this episode:

Have Twinkies jumped the shark?  Hostess went out of business.  Perhaps that would never have happened if they never retired the awesome mascot, Twinkie the Kid. Sales would have never gone down. The Kid is overdue for a renaissance.

Did Handles/Carl Junior jump the shark? – Ultrathickburger? When they merged? Exciting at first, but then lost that local identity that we loved about Hardees.  Paris Hilton commercial?

Have food brand voting contests jumped the shark? Our favorite will always be Lays’ “Do Us a Flavor.” But there are a bunch of them (M&Ms to name another.)  This trend came close to jumping with the Quaker Oats, “Create your bowl” event.  But then, we didn’t see much else.  It’s like the marketers saw the oversaturation coming and held off? Or, they are holding off until the 2016 election season gets into full full swing? Maybe the negativity of this presidential race seems like a bad fit for synergy?

Did salted caramel jump the shark? When the convenience store 7-11 got into the game with a salted caramel snack (reviewed here), not appreciating the nuance of flavor, this trendy taste combo may have jumped.

Has Cheese jumped the shark? Or is it just part of a political conspiracy? Google it. The US government’s cheese payoffs are real man. Reaaaall!!!

Quick Hits with Chris McCarthy – Ep. 71

Joined by very special guest Chris McCarthy, host and creator of the ground-breaking podcast Step By Stapp, https://stepbystapp.com/ – probably the best podcast analysis of the 90’s sitcom, “Step By Step,” and Creed lyrics to hit the internet in the last forty years.  (Chris is also the creator of the now complete podcast “Family Chatters,” https://www.facebook.com/familychatters/ a retrospective of the 90s sitcom “Family Matters.”). We challenge Chris, a new dad, with some Quick hit questions.  Namely:

  • Burping the baby – annoying chore? Or kind of a cool challenge?
  • Mother’s drinking restrictions (Pregnancy/breastfeeding) – abstain in support? or get loaded as needed?
  • Hospital Food – to be avoided? or actually pretty tasty?
  • Breast milk – drink four ounces straight for $100? or drink a cup of coffee with1/4 ounce in it for free?
  • Most aggravating baby poop – sticky like tar but contained? Or watery and breaching the diaper (up the back)?
  • Wife’s post-baby diet – support by dieting too? or support by lying about what you secretly eat?
  • Family Matters father Carl Winslow’s big appetite – silly sitcom character trait? or sign of clinical food addiction as evidenced by his quick temper?
  • Eating something while changing a diaper – I’ve done it, or no way!

Keep your ears open for some musical bumpers thanks to Family Chatters and the stylings of the very talented, Julian Morena (https://www.facebook.com/AJulianMorena)

Then, they examine the lyrics of the great Creed, Scott Stapp song, “Bread of Shame.”

If you say I’m alive I guess I’m living

 Why should I guess your size, a choice I’ve been given

 Tell me everything’s fine and peace is coming

 I won’t listen to the heartache I’m numbing

 

When the world casts me down and says I’ve changed

 I’ll survive on all the promises you made to me

Guess there’s no one to blame

 When all you’re living on is bread of shame

 Bread of shame

 When the world says I’ve changed

 Bread of shame

 Just promise me fame I’ll survive on the bread of shame

 

As long as you say I’m free

 Then keep these chains off me

 Tell me down is up

 I’ll let you fill this broken cup

 When the world fall down

 Let them fall on me

 Cause no one’s around who believe me

 

When the world casts me down and says I’ve changed

 I’ll survive on all the promises you made to me

Guess there’s no one to blame

 When all you’re living on is bread of shame

 Bread of shame

 When the world says I’ve changed

 Bread of shame

 Just promise me fame I’ll survive on the bread of shame

 

Tell me where I sign my name

 Inside I find no peace of mind to hide behind

 Only bread of shame

 Tell me where I sign my name

 Inside I have no peace of mind

Only bread of shame

 

Bread of shame

 When the world says I’ve changed

 Bread of shame

 Just promise me fame I’ll survive on the bread of shame