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Joey Chestnut Put A Protester In A Chokehold And Still Won Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest


July 5, 2022 / Posted by:

If there’s one thing competitive eater Joey Chestnut is gonna do on the Fourth of July, it’s shove a bunch of wieners down his gullet faster than anybody else. And that’s exactly what he did yesterday at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Joey won the competition for the 15th time, devouring 63 hot dogs in just 10 minutes. Unfortunately for the 38-year-old Joey, that’s actually 13 hot dogs less than his all-time record of 76, which he set last year. Is our wiener-guzzler past his peak? Or was his performance affected by the protestor he put in a chokehold? Oh, did I forget to mention the protestor he put in a chokehold?

17 hot dogs into the competition, a protestor stormed the stage wearing a Darth Vader mask and carrying a sign that said, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.” The masked vigilante bumped into Joey, interrupting his hot dog flow. That was a big mistake (HUGE), because Joey immediately put the guy in a chokehold. Mind you, he didn’t stop chewing his hot dog. The protestor was ushered off the stage, and Joey went back to pounding back dog after dog. Here’s video of the incident:

Apparently, the protestor was one of three animal rights activists who were protesting Smithfield Foods, the company that supplies Nathan’s pork. Smithfield has come under fire in the past for animal abuse. The activists were arrested and, according to TMZ, charges are pending:

Joey was also dealing with a ruptured tendon from an injury earlier in the year. He showed up yesterday on crutches with his foot in a boot but told Fox News (via FanSided) that he didn’t think his injury would affect his performance: “I’ll be able to stand up and eat. I’m excited. I’m not eating with my leg.”


Despite his foot injury and the protester distraction, Joey still beat the second-place contender, Geoffrey Esper, by 15 hot dogs. Rookie James Webb came in third with 41 hot dogs. A star on the rise! Afterward Joey admitted that he wasn’t as fast as he’d been in previous years: “I slowed down, but it was a crazy contest.” Meanwhile, in the women’s division, competitive eater Miki Sudo reclaimed her crown after missing last year’s contest. She downed 40 hot dogs, ahead of last year’s champion Michelle Lesco, who managed to eat 26. Sisters are doin’ it for themselves!

Here’s Joey beating out the competition and gorging on 63 hot dogs:


That protestor is lucky that all he got was a brief chokehold. You get between Joey Chestnut and a hot dog while he’s in competition mode, and you’re risking your life!

Pic: YouTube

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