Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hot dog champ Joey Chestnut on ESPN’s 30 For 30: The Good, The Bad, The Hungry

Takeru Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut
Photo: ESPN Films

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, July 2. All times are Eastern. 

Top pick

30 For 30: The Good, The Bad, The Hungry (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Director Nicole Lucas Haimes’ excellent 30 For 30 installment concerns one of the all-time-great rivalries in the history of televised competitions. We write not of Frazier vs. Ali, nor the Red Sox vs. the Yankees, nor the New York Knicks vs. fans of the New York Knicks. We write, of course, of Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut, two champions of the competitive eating world—most notably, of Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which will take place this year on July 4, once again. (For more on the saga and Haimes’ affecting documentary, pay a visit to the Washington Post.)


“It’s weird, because I lived it,” Chestnut told The A.V. Club of his experience seeing the documentary. “I’m used to only seeing things through my eyes. That sounds weird and selfish, but especially because of the competitive aspect, I wasn’t aware that Kobayashi was so emotional about things in his life. [It was jarring] to see his perspective on things, more than I ever have. Any sport is competitive, but I guess I wasn’t as nice as I could have been.

“Looking at how volatile everything is… so quickly, it can deteriorate. And that’s kind of the thing that got me. It was a great rivalry, and then things got in the way, and it ended, and I might as well just make the best of it. That’s one of the things I walked away with. You never know when things are gonna end. Make the best of them.”

Regular coverage

Wild card

Songland (NBC, 10:01 p.m.): Tonight’s Songland sees songwriters competing to have their tunes featured in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbes & Shaw, so if you’ve ever been curious about the best words to rhyme with “Jason Statham” or really enjoy puns involving The Rock, this is your moment.


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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.