Hosted by Sean Evans, Hot Ones has become quite the phenomenon.
It started as a YouTube show from First We Feast back in 2015. Since then, Evans has been putting celebrities in the literal hot seat.
It’s the show with hot questions and even hotter wings. Evans asks the celeb guest a series of well-researched questions while they eat several chicken wings. Sure, that sounds simple enough, right? I should mention that those wings are all doused in hot sauce. And as they go down the line, the wings get progressively hotter. That last wing is marinated in a hot sauce that measures over 2 million Scoville units. For reference, that’s more than twice the spice of a ghost pepper.
It’s hilarious to watch celebs try to eat all those hot sauces while they have to keep answering questions. They’re literally sweating while Evans keeps asking them about social media photos.
It’s also really interesting to see who manages to handle the heat. I have been surprised many times to see who can eat all ten wings like it was no big deal. And there are also plenty of celebs I thought would have no problem but didn’t make it to the end.
On top of all that, I am pretty impressed that Sean Evans goes toe to toe with his guests every time. He also asks really interesting and well-researched questions throughout the episodes. He skips the usual questions you might already know the answers to and digs a little deeper.
Altogether, it makes for a simple, yet really interesting, concept. It’s pretty unique, and it’s clearly working. As I’m writing this, there are currently 269 episodes across 19 seasons. Both the show and host Sean Evans have been nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards, and the series has won Streamy Awards and a Shorty Award. The show has also started appearing on streaming giant Hulu.
If you haven’t tuned in to Hot Ones yet, it might be a little overwhelming. Do you start at the very beginning, or do you jump around? Should you just skip to the celebs you love?
Even if you have watched the show, there are likely episodes you haven’t caught yet.
That’s why I’ve gathered some of the most memorable episodes from the show’s run so far. The best of the best. These are the greatest Hot Ones episodes that deserve a good binge-watch.
I was a little disappointed that Gordon Ramsay didn’t do his Hot Ones challenge with beef Wellington, but at least he criticized the quality of the chicken wings in true fashion. Ramsay suffering through painful hot sauces was more entertaining than most, just because he’s usually the one delivering the torment. I’ve never seen someone mainline Pepto Bismol and throw chicken wings off the set quite like Ramsay.
The best part? Gordon Ramsay came back for another chance at the gauntlet, showing up for the Hot Ones Holiday Extravaganza. This time around, he sprayed Evans down with the Pepto Bismol.
Paul Rudd is probably the nicest, most wholesome dude in Hollywood. Plus, he’s apparently found the Fountain of Youth because I don’t think he’s aged one bit. Anyway, we learn about his hidden talents and his pride in his hometown of Kansas City. But hey, look at us, turning Rudd’s last dab into a glorious meme.
David Blane is well known for illusions, feats of endurance, and setting world records, right? But if you ask me, his greatest magic trick was eating that Carolina Reaper pepper without flinching. Yeah, he did that. As you can imagine, none of the hot sauces phased him either. I’m starting to get concerned if Blane is not a real human.
I’m biased because I’m a huge Natalie Portman fangirl. Her episode could have been boring, and I probably would have still put her on my list. Luckily it wasn’t boring as she answered questions through her tears. She promoted her doc Eating Animals and spoke about the environmental effects of factory farming. Oh, and she talked about the really important issues, like if eating a taco from the top makes you a psychopath.
Yeah, Sean Evans hosts Hot Ones, but have you ever seen the only episode where he sits on the opposite side of the table? In the third season, Evans had to sit in the hot seat while Hot Ones superfan Brett Baker asked him a few hot questions. It marks the only time Evans didn’t host the show. Apparently, he was once on track to become a weatherman before he started slingin’ sauces to celebs.
Lizzo came out the gate with the confidence I was expecting, declaring she survived the one-chip challenge and telling Sean Evans, “So, try me.” Turns out, she really is 100 percent that B. The wings were hot enough that she took off her shoes (???) and dropped some knowledge about where to find the best vegan plantain sandwich. But it was also really cool to hear about the Minneapolis music scene and how classical music training influenced her career.
Alton Brown graced Hot Ones with his presence for season 5, where he talked about foodie culture and stashing food in his left cheek for later. He loved one of the show’s hot sauces so much that he drank it out of the bottle and took it home later. He doesn’t love grocery stores, though, because “people buy crap” and it bums him out.
If there are chicken wings and hot sauce, you know the Mayor of Flavortown has to check it out. Fieri dished on his funkalicious vocabulary, and not really liking bowling shirts. He talks about the importance of teaching kids to cook (aw!) and how he doesn’t care one lick about his critics. And he makes it through the gauntlet like a champ while recalling that time he threw autographed Hot Pockets to a mob of fans.
Forget Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, because the award-winning actor got ten degrees of Hot Ones wings. While he sets his mouth on fire, he tells stories from more than 40 years in the biz. Achieving zero gravity for the film Apollo 13 sounds wild – and frankly, kind of scary! And hey, you’ll never guess what he did to get himself into Studio 54 in the days before he was famous.
I already liked Shaq thanks to his massively successful NBA career. He was a huge superstar while I was growing up. I don’t know what I expected when I sat down to watch him eat several extremely hot wings, but I don’t think I ever expected to see the NBA legend brought to tears! He had some really interesting stories, and I learned he holds the record for the largest purchase in Walmart history. He and Evans also had a makeshift free-throw contest!
Weird Al Yankovic
Have you ever wanted to eat like Weird Al? He stopped by Hot Ones and dropped one of his signature recipes: the Twinkie Wiener Sandwich. Perhaps you saw it in 1989’s UHF. According to Yankovic, you just split a Twinkie like a hot dog bun, put the hot dog inside, and add some spray cheese on top. A true culinary masterpiece.
Legendary comedian, actor, and stoner Tommy Chong stopped by Hot Ones to climb high on the Scoville scale. Direct from his grow house in Cali, he reenacts a lost scene from The Lion King and describes the biggest toke of his life. Strangely enough, the 77-year-old star seems just about immune to the spice levels, keeping his signature laid-back vibe throughout the entire thing.
I’m pretty used to Chelsea Handler going off the rails in the name of comedy, so it’s not that surprising that she spins out while taking on the gauntlet. Hilarious as always, she explained how she got into comedy: by having to speak in front of a DUI class in her early 20s. She opens up about plenty of other topics, like skiing and thirst traps. And if you were wondering about her rumored relationship with 50 Cent, she’s ready to dish on that, too.
DJ Khaled earned a spot on this list, not for giving us a heartfelt interview or for making it through all ten wings. No, he’s here for entertaining us with the worst episode of Hot Ones that ever happened. The dude flew in the chef from his own restaurant to ensure the quality of the chicken would be up to his standards – and then didn’t even eat ‘em. Sean Evans deserves a special award for stomaching the round of hot wings and DJ Khaled simultaneously.
“If I stop, it doesn’t mean I give up,” Khaled claimed.
“Yes it does, by definition,” Evans replied.