Hot dogs, the mysterious sausage-like meat that millions of Americans eat per year, are being celebrated today, on National Hot Dog Day. From the folks at the famous Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest to the foodies who grill them up in the backyard, everyone loves to eat these wonderful creations.
Here are five celebrities that love hot dogs just as much as the next guy, but maybe not as much as Joey Chestnut — who ate 72 at this year’s Nathan’s contest.
1. Martha Stewart
In an interview with Bon Appétit, Stewart confessed that hot dogs are her favorite night-time snack. “After a long day with no dinner, sometimes I have to stop and get a hot dog.” Stewart’s go-to order is two hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard. Her love for hot dogs stems from her childhood: As she told Bon Appétit, her family was “too poor to go out and rarely went to restaurants,” but they always had time for fudge sundaes and hot dogs.
2. Marlene Dietrich
When people think hot dog, L.A. may not come into mind. But, that doesn’t mean movie stars can’t indulge in some frankfurters. According Steve Rushins book, "The Caddie Was a Reindeer: And Other Tales of Extreme Recreation," Marlene Dietrich’s favorite meal was said to be “hot dogs and champagne.” Fellow Hollywood icon Humphrey Bogart, too, was once quoted as saying, “A hot dog at a game beats a roast beef at the Ritz.”
3. Babe Ruth
“The Sultan of Swat,” “The Great Bambino,” yes, George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. loved hot dogs — and he loved them a lot. The long-time Yankee and Hall of Famer reportedly ate twelve hot dogs and drank eight bottles of soda between a double header during his heyday. The large amounts of hot dogs and soda, unsurprisingly, caused severe indigestion, and Ruth had to be rushed to hospital to seek medical help.
4. Franklin Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was a big fan of hot dogs. In June of 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited FDR at his Hudson Valley home. FDR decided that he would serve the royal couple hot dogs and beer for dinner — which was the first time a British monarch set foot on its former colony. The New York Times even ran an article about this occasion: “King tries hot dog and asks for more.” Fifty years later, President Bush held a state dinner with guests from Britain, including FDR’s 98 year-old cousin Daisy Suckley — who was at the Roosevelt's 1939 hot-dog dinner. “I was sitting two tables away," she said. "I saw them bring a silver dish with two little hot dogs on it to the King and Queen. But I was not near enough to see whether they ate them. It’s all so silly.”
5. William Perry
William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry, former NFL star, won the qualifying round of the 2003 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and went on to compete in the finals. Weighing in at 400 pounds at the time of the contest, he ate 12 hot dogs in 12 minutes to win the qualifier. His opening odds to win it all were not that great — he had a 100-to-1 shot at being crowned the champ. He would go on and lose in the finals to Takeru Kobayashi (seen above), who ate 44.5 hot dogs compared to Perry’s 4.