Footlong - The Present

1998 Footlong events of interest:

December 14-20:Chris and Gerry hit the west coast head on!

December 17-18: Chris called in to say the Footlong interview with the oldest living hot dog eater (well, he's 88 and has been eating basically only hot dogs since he was 11 months old) went quite well. They also enjoyed their stops at the legendary Tail O' Pup and Oki Dog. Vegas would be the last stop on their journey before heading home.

December 14-15: The Footlong crew landed in San Francisco just long enough to rent a car, pack their bags (one damaged by the airline, but who needs lights, right?), and fight over who would drive their Ford Corona (?) before driving 4 hours for a nice 15-minute interview. On the 4-hour drive back to San Fran, Chris had this to say about the rental car:

"We really should have taken the (rust-filled, homey Footlong) van. But we've made our rental car a simulated van. We unplugged the power steering and brakes, pulled off some hubcaps, took out the backseat, and installed a captain's chair... and the only thing we've noticed about the west coast -- nothing rusts! So we had to spray paint the rental car a rust color to get the true Footlong van effect."

Gerry's thoughts on the rental car: "It ain't no Chevy Camaro."

Other observations:

    • Crew member Kevin Miller has already been deemed the "chick magnet." The reason? "His blue hair," says Mr. Patak. "It's better than walking around with a little puppy... women are just drawn to the hair."
    • The guys also had the good fortune of filming a beautiful west coast sunset. Chris described it simply as, "vibrant and orange, just like Newark."

September 22 & 24: Chris and Gerry screened their 22-minute Footlong work-in-progress as part of the NYC Independent Feature Film Market. Reaction to the screening was very positive, and Chris even managed to score some free mints wrapped in a Kodak Gold film wrapper.

July 20th - July 31st: The Footlong crew took to the road for two fun-filled weeks of hot dog exploration and excitement.

July 29th: Chris called today from just outside the Oscar Meyer factory in Madison, Wisconsin. To be more specific, he was calling from inside the Footlong van. Seems the fellas thought they'd drop off a business card or two around the factory, only to find out that they were kinda', like, trespassing. Innocent mistake, but security was pretty convincing in letting them know they should go elsewhere. Problem was, at the time of Chris' call, they hadn't figured out how to leave the area. And on every street they turned, more security was there waiting. Hence, the abbreviated conversation below:

"We ate a lot of good hot dogs today, took a tour of a huge
manufacturing plant, stopped in at Usinger Sausages and got to try summer sausage... oh my God, more security -- they're EVERYWHERE -- tomorrow we're heading to Todoroff's and then off to Ohio... Gerry, turn here, no, no, not here! Ahhh!"

uly 28th: Chris called in to headquarters today wild with excitement. Seems the gang got a call out of the blue to ride on a hot dog bike in St. Louis. He didn't go into any more detail on the matter, but photos should be forthcoming.

"The radio interview went really, really well. It was great. In fact, everyone in St. Louis has been amazing. We've gotten funds, been put up in hotels, everything. St Louis gets a big thumbs up from us! The trip's gone real well so far. We had a great time in Frankfort, especially Gerry. And Janet Riley gave us a cool quote saying that all the hot dogs sold in Major League baseball ballparks every year "could reach from New York to Los Angeles if they were placed end-to-end." So Gerry and I, our new thing now, is to measure as we go. At the St. Louis Arch, we measured out the distance underneath." (Not sure if Chris meant they actually measured the distance with hot dogs or just figured out how many hot dogs could be placed end to end.) Now we're off to Chicago, then Michigan. We'll be back Friday night. Probably late."

July 26th: With Gerry and crew member, Kevin Miller, threatening to leave Chris and the Footlong project to start "Railroad Tracks: The Movie," the three have just finished experiencing all the joys of Frankfort, Indiana, and the town's hot dog festival. Here's what they had to say when they called into headquarters:

"We're in Indiana, and just finished up the festival here. We've seen a lot of corn. We had a great time ... it was a lot of great fun, and we actually took on the big hot dog mascot named "Franky" in a basketball game... we won, but (later) we got beat by an 8-10 year old girl crowd. All and all, we're still winners. Just remember that, we're always winners. We'll talk later. We're going to get margaritas at Pepe's."

July 22nd: Rumors that Chris, Gerry and crew member, Kevin Miller, spent the first three days of their journey locked away in jail were proven unwarranted this evening when Chris called into headquarters:

"We did some great interviews with Art Donavan (former Baltimore Colts football player, heavy eater and occasional David Letterman guest) and Janet Riley (of the Hot Dog and Sausage Council). We went to the hot dog lunch today (on Capitol Hill for National Hot Dog Day), and took a little dip in the pool. We ran around and threw hot dogs up in the air at the Washington Monument. Gerry's now presently lighting himself on fire (sound of Gerry in background screaming). And Kevin has announced his next project will be "Canoe Movie." That would be a movie about canoes. That's the deal, pretty much besides having tons of people (guys -- we hope) say, 'ha ha, they have 'footlongs' too, ha ha ha ha' and the fact that we forgot Rhode Island on the map (painted on the Footlong van) -- no offense to Rhode Islanders... or people who really do have footlongs. That's the long and short of it."

July 4th: Gerry scarfed down 9 hot dogs in 12 minutes as part of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Then he got mocked by local NBC newscasters during that evening's newscast.

June 7: The Footlong crew was in beantown for the Boston Hot Dog and Pickle Festival. (Photos.)

April 24-25: Chris and Gerry headed upstate to the Alfred University Hot Dog Festival. (Photos.)

Plus, enjoy this little interview the guys did while traveling on the New Jersey Munchmobile: