The Good, The Bad, The Hungry (2019) Movie Script

[speaking Japanese]
[people vocalizing]
They say that competitive
eating is the battleground
upon which God and Lucifer
wage war for men's souls,
my friends, and they are right.
For this is a
battle for the ages,
this is a battle of the
Titans, the early gods,
who come to earth only
once in only one location
and that is at the corner
of Surf and Stillwell Avenue
at Nathan's Famous.
[crowd cheering]
From San Jose, California,
22 years of age,
50 hot dogs and buns, pork
rib eating [indistinct],
American [indistinct] eating,
Golden Palace grilled
cheese eating,
America's eating champion
of the world, Joey Chestnut.
[crowd cheering]
Ranked number one in the
world from Nagoya, Japan,
never beaten on US soil,
21 pounds of rice ball,
20 pounds of noodles,
17.7 pounds of cat brains,
53.5 Nathan's hotdogs and buns,
five-time Nathan's
Famous champion,
ladies and gentlemen,
Takeru Kobayashi.
[crowd cheering]
[Crowd] Three, two, one.
[crowd cheering]
[Announcer] And
they are underway,
it's eat all you
can in 12 minutes.
Kobayashi, the dominant
power in the eating world,
but this man may
end the dynasty.
Joey Chestnut says
Kobayashi is going down.
[Joey Chestnut]
Kobayashi was the man.
The other competitive eaters,
they thought of him as
unbeatable, absolutely.
Not even... not even...
If they considered themselves
competitive eaters,
he wasn't an eater,
he was a god.
[crowd chanting Kobi]
[George] There are 20 competitors here
today from all around the world
through what they call the
Super Bowl of the eating events.
If you don't win at Nathan's,
you're not the world champion.
First prize gets
$10,000 officially.
It's the Super
Bowl, the masters,
the World Series
rolled into one.
[crowd cheering]
I was not gonna
accept second place,
I wanted to be the best.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Announcer] And a
change in the lead,
Chestnut now pulling ahead.
It's just unbelievable.
[Host] Joey Chestnut is
not trying to win,
he is trying to rewrite
[crowd chanting Joey]
[Announcer] Wow, Chestnut's in trouble,
Chestnut must hold that down,
you cannot have a
reversal on this stage.
Kobayashi continues to
just pound them down,
he now has two dogs
on Chestnut.
[Joey] It's so painful knowing
somebody is faster than you,
that your best isn't
cutting it.
Aw, you get this
feeling of desperation.
[George] 10, nine,
eight, seven, six,
five, four, three, two,
one, put down your hotdog.
[Announcer] And Kobayashi
takes it again, unbelievable.
Kobayashi, once
again the champion
and they hand him
the mustard belt.
[background noise
drowns out the speaker]
[Joey] I wept,
I was heartbroken.
I did go into the contest
imagining I would lose.
I put everything I had into
it and it hurt really bad.
[Man] When I was a kid, I
wanted to be a writer,
I did a lot of writing in
the years after college.
And I think trying to be a
writer, a fiction writer,
is an exercise in pain.
I got a job in a PR firm and
they ran the hotdog contest.
It was a very,
very small event.
There were no fans, maybe
two dozen people watching.
There were no real eaters.
Citizens of the world, I have
one question, are you with me?
We had to go out
there and you'd say,
you sir, you sir,
help your nation,
this is for the Fourth of July
and don't turn your
back on Uncle Sam.
And if I die, someone
delete my browsing history.
[lively rock music]
You are my people.
I took it over in
1991 and I loved it.
And I thought,
this is dynamite,
but I also thought, there's
a lot more we can do here.
That's me dancing.
People were not seeing
this as a sport.
To create a sport,
you need a back story.
So, George had to
create a back story.
The greatest example of that
is the coveted
mustard yellow belt.
We've got the trophies here
that would adorn
anyone's home or office.
Of course, the belt,
created by the descendants
of Faberge, I understand.
Cynics would say that
my buddy, Kevin Peirce,
made that on the floor of our
apartment using a weight belt
and jewels from Pearl
Paint on Canal Street,
I can't verify that.
And that belt created
the very powerful rivalry
between America and Japan.
Everything just
became enormously fun.
How can the Japanese
guy beat the American?
America's honor besmirched,
a dark day for our country,
and that's really where things
just got off and running.
The Japanese were having
their own eating contests
in the '90s, this was off
most American's radar screens.
[announcers speaking
in Japanese]
[people laughing]
[lively rock music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Yasuo speaking in Japanese]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[machine rolling]
[speaking in Japanese]
[audience cheering]
[dramatic music]
[speakers speaking Japanese]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[audience cheering]
These shows propelled
him into huge fame,
he was a heartthrob, he
became a sensation overnight.
There were a lot of
great eaters in Japan
at the same time that we
were growing our eaters
and their ability
here in the U.S.
[lively music]
Every year we look
at the Fourth of July
and we're gonna go,
where's our story?
Where's our AP story?
Like, we need an AP story,
we need something to
really get this going.
In 2001 I said, I'm gonna
start picking up the phone.
And I picked up the phone
to a guy at the LA Times
and I said, look, these
guys are out on the circuit.
This is a whole new culture,
there are three guys
there traveling America,
they're traveling the
blue highways of America
searching for this glory.
In fact, well they may not
have been doing it that second,
but they soon were.
See, a lot of what I say
is not literally true
in terms of words,
but it's emotionally true.
[lively music]
That blew it open and
once that happened,
there was national attention
on the contest that year.
[Crew] Good afternoon
ladies and gentlemen,
we'd like to
welcome you onboard.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[singing in Japanese]
[Yasuo speaking Japanese]
[lively upbeat music]
[children screaming]
What I love about
Coney Island to this day
is that you have
the freedom to say
and do anything you wanna do
and people aren't gonna say,
oh, I can't believe
you did that.
It was just do what you
want, do what you want.
That's what I loved about it.
[background noise
drowns the speaker]
[man singing]
[Gersh] Kobayashi shows
up in 2001,
I don't know who this kid
is, he's a sweet little kid.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
I had heard rumors that
Kobayashi could eat 30 or 35,
but I didn't believe it.
Bring it back bring it back
Bring the belt back home
Bring the belt back home
[Announcer] Three
minutes into the contest
ladies and gentlemen.
[crowd cheering]
[background noise
drowns the speaker]
Kobayashi has broken
the American record.
He has broken the world record,
he has six minutes left.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[lively music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
This is an absolute
mindboggling achievement.
[Announcer] 43 seconds left in
the contest.
he has just tripled
the number eaten
of American record
holder, Eric Fulkom.
We're gonna run out of numbers.
[crowd cheering]
Can anyone beat Japan?
[Crowd] Three, two, one.
[crowd cheering]
[celebratory music]
50 hotdogs and
bans in 12 minutes.
[Takeru cheering]
He went in and
ate 50, no joke.
I mean, like, I thought
30 was the mountaintop,
it turns out 50
was the mountaintop
and that really did
propel the sport.
[Announcer] It has not only
smashed the record,
it has smashed it by
twice again as many.
The old record 25 and eighth,
it is now 50 hotdogs and
buns the Japanese guy did.
I mean, you I can
understand where they go.
Him, I don't understand.
Where do you think
those hotdogs are?
They may be in his leg,
they went into his mouth,
I mean, maybe he's
got a secret exit.
He really captured the American
imagination and we loved him for that.
[dramatic music]
[Maggie] Suddenly, there was a
fire, it created opportunities.
It created an opportunity
for their organization to become big
because the kid
was bringing press.
There is nothing
greater than the belt,
the victory and the trophy.
And even though it wasn't
an American who won,
it's congratulations,
thank you very much.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Takeru Kobayashi.
[crowd cheering]
[Crazy Legs] We're not gonna
have to answer the question,
is this a sport anymore,
we're gonna answer the question,
where can this sport go?
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
We realized that
we had a sport
but that we did not
necessarily control that sport.
So, we quickly got organized
and got all our eaters
together on a leave.
[lively upbeat music]
At the same time, reality TV
was blowing up in the U.S.
[audience applauding]
[Announcer] It's the
Glutton Bowl,
the World's Greatest
Eating Competition.
Welcome to Santa
Monica, California
where this arena
has been transformed
into the world's
biggest buffet.
Takeru, The Tsunami, Kobayashi.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
Kobayashi and MLE were
growing on parallel tracks,
both helping each other.
[Announcer] A
bucket of brains.
[audience cheering]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[audience cheering]
[Man] Think of it as
a pate, a liver pate.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Announcer] Takeru Kobayashi
is approaching 10
pounds of cow brains,
ladies and gentlemen, let me
state that is a world record.
[Announcer 2] How
is it possible?
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[bell blaring]
Got a star, the
prince of Tsunami,
the king of competitive
eating, ladies and gentlemen.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
He is the greatest
athlete in the world.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Announcer] There in
the Nathan's Famous,
we're coming up to the
adoring honor of his fans.
They are throwing
roses, I believe, Ryan.
They may not be
roses, carnations,
but still a significant
show of respect.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[dramatic music]
[Announcer] Tonight, it's
survival of the fittest.
It's man versus beast.
[Announcer] At 1,089
pounds, meet the beast,
the Alaskan Cruncher.
[Man] Now, again,
the contest begins
as soon as the bear
eats the first hotdog.
And it is underway.
[lively upbeat music]
And there's Kobayashi
using his technique,
he breaks them in half.
Well, the bear is
scooping them up.
The bear is now looking at Kobayashi,
can you believe that?
[Joey] Looking back,
I can remember me
and my little brother
watching Kobayashi on TV.
So, we started researching
and we found that he
was pretty unstoppable.
[Announcer] Kobayashi
has got to be panicked.
We have a winner.
We saw him lose
to a Grizzly Bear
so we knew he was beatable.
Definitely made me wanna
prove that I could do it better.
[Grizzly Bear growling]
But I was a long way from
being in that position.
[Interviewer] Were
you afraid at all?
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
Yes, he was very
scared of the big, big bear.
[Grizzly Bear growling]
[crowd cheering]
It was all starting for
me, I was a table ender.
I was so nervous and
excited, oh, man.
[Rich] Kobayashi had won
handily for four years.
To compare Kobayashi
to Tiger Woods,
is a slight against Kobayashi.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
Three, two, one.
[lively music]
There was a local competition,
we stalked it to the
asparagus festival
and of course, he won.
[Joey] I drive over to
my parent's house
where my mom helped
me do the practice.
We would grill up all the
hotdogs in my mom's kitchen,
plate them up and
then time it off.
I stuck around, not because
I wanted to cheer them on
and go, ah, Joey,
you could do it, son,
but it was more, please, God,
don't let him choke to death.
She was my first coach really.
[Joey] It was a secret how
much it meant to me.
Kobayashi, there he is,
is still the man in charge,
the man to be beat on
a world record base.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[George] ESPN coverage of
the contest
changed what it meant to
and changed the
way people saw it.
They learned about the eaters
in a very personal
and close way.
[Announcer] Look
at Sonya Thomas,
what an unbelievable
vision in the sport.
She loves hard-boiled egg.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Announcer] Kobayashi
is the five-time champion.
Joey came out giddy
like a newcomer
but he's gonna leave
a real man.
Look at those guns,
ladies and gentlemen,
look at those guns.
This man, I got to
get back to the gym.
[Announcer] In many ways,
he's the story of the day,
the man from San
Jose, California
up there in asparagus country.
I was legitimately surprised
that I got top three.
It started right then
and there, I think.
[Gersh] Kobayashi had won
so many times in a row
that it was kind
of getting boring.
We were trying to
find somebody to hype.
[lively music]
[Man] Someone said Kobayashi
can never be beaten
by an American
and that America will
always be embarrassed
by his qualities.
[Man] If anyone in America
can beat Kobayashi,
I believe it's Joey Chestnut.
[Man 2] Joey
Chestnut is our hope.
[dramatic music]
[Announcer] Five different
rounds of five different foods,
from potato skins
to cheese fries.
The Alka-Seltzer US Open of
Competitive Eating has arrived.
One of the guys we'll be
watching is Joey Chestnut,
who did so well
at the Nathan's Famous
Hotdog Eating Contest.
How will he do in Vegas?
[audience cheering]
[Will] Well, to say Joey was
shy in the beginning
is an understatement.
I get nervous
sweats and I stutter.
[crowd cheering]
Getting on that stage,
eating in front of the people
and you're making eye
contact with these people
and some people are smiling,
some people have a look
of absolute horror.
[crowd cheering]
Sometimes, I hear gasps,
those are the ones
that really bother me,
the gasps like, [inhales],
like, oh my God.
[Announcer] This is really
a big win for Shannon Vice.
[Joey] I grew up not thinking
that eating to pure
indulgence was bad.
Here at this house,
food was comfort.
It was your friend,
so to speak,
and when you were sad you ate,
and those are all
different kinds of things
of why we eat or overeat.
[Joey] My dad is a
music teacher,
we would go to these Drum
and Bugle Corps shows.
We'd just pick up pizzas
and some of them
never made it home.
We would split two large
pizzas on the way home,
we'd both get our own.
We would just eat them.
Yeah, and then, come home-
I never heard
about those pizzas.
Yeah, well, they were gone
and then come home and
look for something else.
It was kind of just a bonding.
[Announcer] ...ladies
and gentlemen.
[crowd cheering]
[crowd chanting Kobi]
The one person I kind of
wanted to emulate was Kobayashi.
I eat way more herky-jerky,
Kobi actually ate more graceful.
Kobayashi sees it
as almost an art.
[calm orchestral music]
The winner is Kobayashi.
[George] The rules of
the universe do not apply
in the 144 pounds that
comprise Takeru Kobayashi.
He is an alchemist,
who has transformed
athletics into mathematics,
mathematics into poetry
and poetry into history.
I just thought he
was one in a billion.
It turns out he just
knows how to train.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[water trickling]
Normally, I use hot water...
[speaks Japanese]
[Woman] Three, two, one.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[sausages sizzling]
[Will] Joey started training
and he took it very,
very, very seriously.
Joey just hunkered
down and trained
and trained with one focus
and the focus was to
beat Takeru Kobayashi.
I was gaining, I was starting
to figure out a technique.
I'm playing a previous year's
contest in the background
so I can try to get amped up.
[Announcer] Final word
before the competition begins.
[Man] Three, two, one, go.
Come on Joe, come on.
You know you got this, come on.
Keep pushing, keep
pushing, you can do this.
We were a big family, we
ate big dinners together
and sometimes if my mom
made something good,
that would disappear
really quickly.
You'd have to eat fast or
my dad would steal from us.
All of our kids ate like this-
They're guarding,
that's quite obvious.
Is that obvious?
No, it wasn't.
[Announcer] It's the 100
anniversary and we are underway.
Come on, keep working,
keep working, let's go.
Yes, come on, keep pushing.
[Joey groaning]
Get it down, let's go,
breathe, get it down, come on.
Keep pushing, keep
pushing, keep pushing.
You need to stretch it
out, come on, come on.
Two, one, come on, there we go.
What do you think?
I slowed down, I was
gagging, that's what it was.
There was gags on
the fourth try.
I don't know, what
was that about?
[Joey groaning]
Everything was a
self-fulfilling prophecy.
If we said there was
a championship belt
that was lost in Japan,
there was, right?
If we said that we had a
rivalry with the Japanese, we did.
If we said there was a circuit
of events, there was, right?
And everything sort
of just came true.
[lively music]
These circuit of eating
events beyond Nathan's
really began to grow
and we've kinda capped out
at about 65 events a year.
[Announcer] Live from
Chattanooga, Tennessee,
it's Krystal burgers
and lots of them.
[crowd cheering]
[suspenseful music]
A lot of people are saying that
this is Joey Chestnut's day,
it could well be.
And there goes the
world record.
The record was 69,
both Kobayashi and
Chestnut are through it.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Announcer] Can Kobayashi
make it through 100?
Can Chestnut catch him?
The horse has broken
away from the pack.
Kobayashi remains the
dominant eater in the world.
[crowd cheering]
[lively rock music]
Hey guys, this place
is going wild out here.
[crowd chanting Kobi]
[Joey] I realize that I
hate him.
[background noise
drowns out the speaker]
91 Krystals man, that's
a great job, you did great.
[crowd chanting Kobi]
[Announcer] Kobayashi
has taken the championship.
What is he doing that
nobody else has thought of?
He can't just be
that much better.
There's a lot of nights
where I can't get to sleep
'cause I'm thinking about
why can the Japanese man
eat so much more
than everybody else?
It was so much easier
for me to motivate myself
when I thought Kobayashi was
purely the enemy, my nemesis.
[lively music]
[car engine roaring]
[Joey groaning]
I have a ball I chew.
When I'm chewing it, I'm trying
to simulate that I'm eating.
I'm helping those muscles
push the food down
a little bit more.
It's not something that
there's written about,
there's no trainers,
everything is trial and error.
[suspenseful music]
And I just, these are
all little muscles
that are moving pounds
and pounds of food down.
When they get tired,
the food sits in the back of your throat
and you get nauseous.
[breathing rhythmically]
I swallow air as I'm
raising my head up,
I take these gulps of air.
I have three gulps
up on my way up
and three gulps
on the way down.
[breathing rhythmically]
[Joey groaning]
[Will] Do it again.
Very gradually you start to see
Joey as this real threat to Kobayashi.
Kobayashi really became
an icon of American culture
and a celebrity.
Oh, Japanese guy, aren't
you [beeps] full yet?
He was as American as
a Japanese guy can get.
[Man] Meet Takeru Kobayashi,
the world's fastest eater.
[lively music]
Takeru left the subculture
and entered the mainstream.
[speaking in Japanese]
[Announcer] There are
some things money can't buy.
For the quick snack,
there's MasterCard PayPass.
I remember there was a
Saturday Night Live episode,
a great cartoon
by Robert Smigel.
[Commentator] He
looked pretty good there.
The Mets might be
able to use him.
That's crazy to think
that he's on The Simpsons.
As the great Kobayashi
says... [speaks Japanese]
What does that mean?
That's gonna hurt coming out.
[bell blaring]
[calm music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[somber music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[somber music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[crowd cheering]
[dramatic music]
[Joey] There was a Nathan's Hot dog
qualifier in Tempe, Arizona,
and I demolished the record.
I knew I was going to, I
was excited, I was ready.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[suspenseful music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Joey] Not long after
my qualifier,
I learned that Kobayashi
had a jaw injury.
[suspenseful music]
[Interviewer] What
was your reaction
when you first heard
about the challenger?
[Joey laughing]
My first reaction was probably
the same as everybody else's,
it was a little
bit questionable,
I mean, if he had
announced the jaw injury
a week before I broke his record,
that would be one thing.
But a week after I broke
his record by six hotdogs,
that's questionable, I mean,
I'm not calling him a liar.
[Takeru speaking in Japanese]
The number one ranked
eater in the world,
he comes here today a
rather or amazing burden,
he has a jaw injury.
He has arthritis of the
jaw, he has jawthritis.
[crowd laughing]
He had inflamed
tissue in his jaw,
we called that jawthritis,
the research division
of the International Federation
of Competitive Eating
called that jawthritis.
And that created a huge
amount of publicity
in the run-up to the Fourth
and that's what it's all about.
Give me that day a press.
At the end of the day,
whether or not I should be,
that is the barometer
of success for me.
How much free media did we get?
[Announcer] The bus
carrying the competitors
arrived with 16 of the
17 gurgitators on board.
The one participant not on
that bus was Takeru Kobayashi.
[George] The emotions were
really in turmoil
and there's Joey trying to
sort of make a sense of it all.
He didn't know whether
Kobayashi was going to compete.
[Will] We didn't know
what the deal was,
maybe he's trying to
sandbag this competition.
I was using that as
he's not gonna catch me,
he's not gonna surprise me.
[crowd cheering]
[Announcer] Look at this
enormous crowd out here.
They're saying it swarms
well above 30,000.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[crowd cheering]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[suspenseful music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[speakers speaking off mic]
[crowd cheering]
[Announcer] He is the great
Takeru Kobayashi of Japan.
[background noise
drowns the speaker]
I felt amazing, so focused.
So ready to just get it on.
Yeah, it was on.
[suspenseful music]
[man groaning]
[crowd cheering]
Early on I knew we were
pretty much neck to neck.
[crowd cheering]
[suspenseful music]
The crowd was cheering
right from the start
and it felt like
they were for me.
[Announcer] Two dogs between
Chestnut and Kobayashi.
[crowd cheering]
My clock is down so
the people can see.
Judges get down.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[crowd cheering]
Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut
in a dead heat, 55 to 54.
[crowd cheering]
It was a knife
fight to the death.
[crowd cheering]
[Announcer] Joey has broken
his own record,
Kobayashi is right
there with him.
He never would
have expected this.
-This is gonna be--
-[Announcer 2] 61.
Now is the moment of truth.
[All] Three, two, one.
[crowd cheering]
[Announcer] That's
a Kobayashi reversal
within the framework
of the competition,
I'm afraid the judges
are gonna call that.
[Gersh] Kobayashi ate the vomit
that was coming out onto his hand.
To me, that's not the
mark of a failure,
that's the mark of a champion.
[suspenseful music]
Many people believe
that Kobayashi should
have been disqualified,
but our commissioner
did not catch that.
Ladies and gentlemen of
Brooklyn and the world,
in second place with 63 hotdogs
and buns, Takeru Kobayashi.
[crowd cheering]
And Nathan's Famous...
[crowd cheering]
[crowd chanting U.S.A.]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
We have our confidence back,
the dark days of the last
six years are behind us.
In first place with 66 hotdogs
and buns, Joey Chestnut.
[crowd cheering]
Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey,
Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey.
[Joey] I never imagined as
everything culminated
to that perfect thing.
You beat the person
you wanna beat,
you hit the numbers
you wanted to hit,
I'm not sick, I'm able to
smile after the contest.
There's so many little things
that I was able to accomplish.
I pushed this man who
everybody thought was a machine
or was unbeatable to break, to
break in front of everybody,
and that sounds to mean
to be happy he barfed.
It really means a lot
that I pushed him past
his breaking point.
It wasn't his jaw that broke,
it was his stomach
that gave way.
He's gonna eventually
that everybody comes
down from the top.
[Interviewer] That's
good, I wanna rephrase that.
Kobi actually can
say what he wants
but what he doesn't
know is he's gotta learn
and I'm gonna teach him.
What's gonna happen, are you
gonna set the record straight?
Tell me what, you
know, what I mean?
[Translator speaking
in Japanese]
[Translator] What do
you want him to say?
[dramatic music]
[Translator] I
lost once to him
but I'll be able to show
my true strength this time.
Tonight, Battle of the Birds.
We have 200 pounds of cranberry
sauce, an entire turkey.
We are joined now in the
booth by Takeru Kobayashi,
the legend from Japan himself.
Is the jaw still bothering him?
[Translator] The injury has
been a problem it still hurts.
[lively music]
Ladies and gentlemen,
let the battle begin.
[calm music]
[Announcer] He is not
even chewing that food,
it's reptilian, he is
swallowing it whole.
He does not want his
fans around the world
to think he's not gonna try.
[George] And Kobi
has fallen down,
goes Kobi, down goes Kobi.
What happened?
[Translator speaking Japanese]
After that event I went
back to my room and I wept.
I silently wept because
something was lost,
we had lost something.
We had a hero and he was
no longer invulnerable.
I wept.
[both laughing]
[Woman] And a little closer
into your belt...
[camera clicking]
[Interviewer] Can I ask you
how much you've earned
last year at all?
I'm almost embarrassed
that I make so much to eat,
but last year I was
in the six figures.
I made over 100,000
from eating.
[camera clicking]
[Woman] Nice.
[train engine roaring]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[George] He is
back, he is healthy
and he wants his title.
His bowel is royal like a
serpent ready to strike.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Takeru Kobayashi of Japan.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[speaker speaking off the mic]
The difference between
last year's rules
and this year's rules are
instead of 12 minutes,
they're only doing 10,
and they're also putting
a limit
on the amount of
cups you can use.
Instead of an unlimited amount
of cups to dunk buns in,
we're limited to six.
We found material that
showed in the early years
the contest was 10
minutes and not 12,
and to honor that tradition,
the actual beginning
tradition of the contest,
we changed it to 10 minutes.
The eaters said, listen,
this is a bad idea.
I thought this sucks.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Maggie] I wish George had been
able to take an extra step
to think about these people
and how much they were
training as athletes,
the time and energy they
were putting into the sport,
and what it meant to change
rules by two minutes.
To an athlete that's huge.
[George] They are complaining
that the water was
too warm or too cold,
they wanted more cups,
this, that, the other thing,
they didn't have
time to prepare.
Okay that is not the focus,
that is an absolute distraction.
The focus is the contest
and those guys have
always had a fair contest.
[crowd cheering]
[background noise
drowns the speaker]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Joey] We were pushing
each other to limits
that neither one of
us initially thought
we were gonna go to.
Two, one.
[George screaming]
Oh my good gracious,
this may be trouble.
I need an official call.
Ladies and gentlemen, at the
end of our 10-minute regulation
we have come to an
absolute complete tie.
[crowd cheering]
The International Federation
of Competitive Eating
is prepared for anything.
Apparently, we hadn't
anticipated a tie.
That period of time felt
like about two hours.
For me it was perhaps the most
dramatic moment in the sport.
Ladies and gentlemen,
bring up five more hot
dogs and buns...
[crowd cheering]
Yeah, I had a feeling he just
made it up because he said,
all right, it's gonna be
a five-hotdog eat-off.
And I was like, what? And he's like,
"You wanna eat 10 hotdogs?"
And I was like, "No."
[crowd cheering]
First one done with
five hotdogs and bun,
the first-ever overtime.
Count it down with me.
The first one to get five down.
Put it in your mouth,
the mouth is clean.
It's easier than five
and now I'm looking.
So, it was quick thinking.
[background noise
drowns the speaker]
Then they also said whoever
has them cleared the fastest.
I don't know how they
fully enforced that one.
[crowd cheering]
They wanted a very clean
mouth but I raised my hand
before I was done and
Kobayashi saw me raise my hand,
I think he slowed down.
Joey Chestnut.
[crowd cheering]
Before they declared me
the winner, I had a plan.
[crowd chanting Joey]
[Translator] I think I lost
because I wasn't quick enough
in the rematch for
the five hotdogs.
Tell him
congratulations for us.
[Noriko translating
in Japanese]
Thank you much.
-[Interviewer] Will we see him again?
-[Noriko translating in Japanese]
Of course.
I would just like
to ask Kobayashi
if there's anything to say?
I love you.
[crowd cheering]
We had a great rivalry,
there was nothing like it.
Two greatest at the
time going head to head.
[calm music]
Joey Chestnut
up to 93 Krystals.
[crowd cheering]
[lively music]
With five and three-quarter
P'Zone in six minutes,
the Pizza Hut P'Zone
Challenge winner,
Takeru Kobayashi of Japan.
[crowd cheering]
[background noise
drowns the speaker]
[dramatic music]
[crowd cheering]
Kobayashi just tried to
go up there and do his best
and inspire people
and have a good time
and people made him a villain.
[people cheering]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[Joey] America on the
Fourth of July,
I think when Major League
Eating made the headline
in the contest America vs.
Japan, it hurt Kobayashi.
It made him an enemy.
Three, two, one.
[crowd cheering]
Give it up for my man
Joey Chestnut right now.
[crowd cheering]
[Joey] I started to realize
that the previous years
weren't just me being lucky,
he was not nearly
as unbeatable.
He was human, very
human, very human.
[celebratory music]
[crowd cheering]
Go forth, go forth,
go forth America.
I have always used
pro-American rhetoric
and the belt is
a national prize,
from the day the belt was made.
You think I want Kobayashi
to win six years in
a row necessarily?
If he wins, he wins but that's
not great for the narrative.
The issue is as someone
who's competing in this
from an international basis,
you have to understand that
there's an American hero
and you can be a hero
in the same exact way,
but you can't be
an American hero
because you aren't American.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[lively upbeat music]
[sausages sizzling]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
George and Kobayashi
were on a collision course
because of Kobi's
vision for the sport
was totally different
than George's.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
People started asking question
about him not competing.
[George] What Kobayashi
wanted to do
was have the ability to
establish eating contests
and compete in eating contests
that weren't MLE
eating contests,
which he has the
right to do, okay?
But why would we put him
on the Fourth of July stage
and make him the
champion of the world
so then he can go
do a non-MLE contest
or a non-Nathan's contest,
why would we do that?
And that was the crux of it.
It was with the lawyers
and then everybody went
further into their corner.
[suspenseful music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[crowd cheering]
The big news is that
six-time champion, Kobayashi,
will not compete today.
[Maggie] How is it that
you tell your story?
We went through seeing
something or, like free,
we're like, no, it's
not save the dolphins.
It's not like we're no,
but it is free Mandela.
And we all came up with
free, we're like it's free.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
We felt the contest
was gonna go on
with or without Kobayashi,
I'm not sure he did.
[crowd cheering]
[Crowd] Five, four,
three, two, one, go.
[suspenseful music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[suspenseful music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[crowd cheering]
I turn around and
all I see was Kobi
farther away than I
could get in my grasp,
sprinting up the stage.
And I see him shaking
hands with fans
on the corner of the stage,
and suddenly, I see somebody
doing this motioning.
[crowd cheering]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
Ladies and gentlemen,
thank you very much
for coming here today.
Do yourself a favor, check out
the freakshow, the sideshow,
check out the wonder wheel.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[people clamoring]
[Man] So the police had
to get him for trespass,
they took him away.
[crowd clamoring]
[Joey] Once he got arrested,
I called him crazy a couple times.
I looked at him walking
away as a weakness,
but it's not purely a
weakness or being scared.
It's a little bit of strength.
I'm amazed that he
was able to walk away.
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[calm music]
[Yasuo speaking in Japanese]
[calm music]
[crowd chanting Joey]
[Will] Now, Joey shines
in the spotlight.
He likes talking to people
and I think that was probably
his most difficult
thing to overcome.
When you meet people
you say what you do
and I'm a competitive eater
and it took me a long
time to say that.
It took me years and years
even after I was the champion.
I'm embarrassed about how
much thought I put into it.
No, this your life, this
is your livelihood now.
This is how you make
your money,
that's not anything to
be embarrassed about.
This is how you pay your bills.
You should be [indistinct],
it's your pride, man.
[Joey] Maybe I lack a
little bit of empathy.
I can understand his
frustration a lot more now
because of the way MLE handled
the situation with him,
I was able to get
my deals changed.
[crowd cheering]
[suspenseful music]
It's kinda sad that he made my
arguments a little bit easier.
I didn't expect the rivalry
to end the way it did.
We did make each other better.
After a decade of victory,
Joey is the gold standard
for hotdog eating
in that he has his
own condiment line.
I'm producing a mustard
and a couple condiments,
an amazing spicy mustard.
[lively music]
[crowd cheering]
Joey's greatest gift
is his ability to dream.
I think in life and in
sports we limit ourselves
because we look at something,
we look at the best
of something
and we say, well,
that guy's the best,
there's only one best,
how can I be the best?
And we limit ourselves,
and Joey didn't do that.
He's the champion,
he's an amazing eater,
he's probably the greatest
eater in the history of mankind,
and I won't even say mankind,
I will say in the history
of the animal kingdom.
[crowd cheering]
Joey, congratulations on
your eleventh mustard belt
in these hot, humid conditions.
How did you get it done today?
Oh my god, I found a
vicious rhythm, 74 hotdogs.
Oh, man, I murdered it.
Joey Chestnut.
[crowd cheering]
[sausages sizzling]
Hi, can I have
two classic ones
and the one Mac and chips?
-And what's your name?
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
We're just here to tell
you that he still eats,
he still eats every
year as a competitor,
but he also eats
here today for you.
[crowd cheering]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[calm music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[George] We asked Kobayashi
back the next year,
we asked him back
the year after,
asked him back a bunch, a
bunch, a bunch of times,
he won't sit down with us.
A lot of people say,
why did Kobayashi quit?
Is he afraid of Joey,
is it the contract?
It's neither.
In my opinion, he quit
'cause he has a broken heart.
What happened was,
he thought that he was
the darling of America,
that America loved him more
than they loved anybody else.
And then, Joey came along
and it became evident
that they loved Joey more
and that broke his heart, and
I believe that's why he quit.
[Interviewer] When you said
that Kobi had a broken heart,
I think you were right, but
I think for the wrong reason.
I think it may have been you.
Well, if that's the case,
I would feel horrible.
And if that is the case,
I would have to say,
you have to come to
me with that, right?
You have to come to me and
say, you make me feel lousy,
and I would say, I will never
make you feel lousy again.
That would be the answer,
it would be a very
quick, I apologize,
I will never make you
feel bad again, done.
Who was it who
described Kobayashi
as a man with the
flesh of an archangel?
Who was it who did that?
His bowel coiled like a
serpent ready to strike.
There was no one in his life
who ever built him up
like that other than me.
And if he came back tomorrow,
do you know what I would say?
I would say people
have mocked him
and I would go, that's
where I would go,
and they drove him down,
that's where I would go.
And then, I would say, but he
is back and he is a warrior
and I would figure out
something elegant to say.
And there would be no one
who ever gave a better
introduction to Kobi than I.
[crowd cheering]
[calm music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[calm music]
[Takeru speaking Japanese]
[lively upbeat music]