Adam Richman has been an actor and television personality for the last two decades, but odds are you know him best from Man v. Food, a reality television series that pitted the Brooklyn native against some of the biggest, baddest food challenges in the country.
The show ran for three seasons, with the fourth season being dubbed Man v. Food Nation. The premise of the show remained the same, only this time Richman would recruit locals to perform the eating challenges and he would serve as their coach.
“There was this big rumor that (I had to stop because of) medical issues, and that was not the case at all,” Richman said on Gio and Jones, explaining the show’s evolution. “Truthfully, I did 59 challenges, and I had done these challenges and they were all – at some point – kind of repetitive. Even as you try to make a TV show out of it, (you run out of angles). ‘It’s big, it’s quantity, it’s spicy, it’s a time challenge, there’s some sort of whacky, physical element’ – I think that you don’t want to wear out your welcome.
“The truth of the matter is,” Richman continued, “a kid from Brooklyn is never going to know about a steak challenge in Amarillo, Texas, if it’s not for the (thousands) of people who have tried it. And everywhere I went, people were like, ‘You got to get my dad on, you got to get my sister on, you got to get my mom on.’ It was a chance to sort of give them a shot. And that’s when Man v. Food Nation happened. And you know, it was cool. It was a cool experiment, but I think that all the shows that followed the Man v. Food stuff are really what kind of got to jazz me as well.”
Brian Jones announced that he proudly took down a 42-ounce porterhouse this past weekend. Richman, of course, has been there, done that. Still, the diehard Miami Dolphins fan has happy to retire and give other people a shot to take down these challenges.
In one of the more memorable moments in show history, Adam Richman watched Joey Chestnut take down a mammoth burrito in San Jose. The burrito, Richman said, was “easily the length of my arm,” and Chestnut “dusted it in a little over a minute.”
“It was like a Burmese python eating a pig,” Richman said. “Crushed it. And he said what he’ll do sometimes is he’ll try to pound a gallon of water in five minutes (before a competition). It stretches his stomach, but then he’ll just go to the restroom (and) he’ll eventually be empty. So I was doing stuff like that (before episodes). I had a few peaches and plums the day before (and) did the water thing.”
Peaches and plums? That’ll clean you out, Brian Jones joked.
“Roto-Rooter,” Richman confirmed. “I was just so ready to rock and roll. The thing is, when you’re completely empty and you throw in 42 ounces of steak, 48 ounces of steak, your whole system is like, nighty-night.”
While Richman won his fair share of challenges, food was occasionally victorious. In St. Louis, for example, Richman tried unsuccessfully to take down a gallon milkshake.
Let’s just say there was regurgitation.
“That was not one of my finest moments,” Richman said.