Adam Richman man v food

When Man v. Food first began airing on the Travel Channel back in 2008, it became a sensation almost immediately, launching its largely unknown star, actor Adam Richman, into celebrity status as he traveled the nation battling massive mounds and spicy dishes so searing they were almost weaponized. While Richman had appeared on several shows before, this was his breakout. And little wonder why. From 72-ounce steaks to plates piled high with fries to the hottest wings in town and everything in between, Richman ate and quipped his way through four years of the show before rather abruptly ending his run in 2012.

Richman later admitted that he had grown depressed and unhappy with himself due to his weight gain and poor health largely predicated by the way he had to eat to make the show work. Man v. Food was off the air for the next four years until the Travel Channel decided to reboot it with a new host, Casey Webb, in 2017.

After leaving the show centered on competitive eating, Richman lost weight (reportedly shedding 60 pounds in all) and got himself in shape. He stayed active in the food world, hosting several other programs and appearing as a judge on others. While the reasons for Richman’s leaving Man v. Food are anything but funny, his run on the show was always amusing, even when things did not go according to plan. Or perhaps all the more so when things did not go that way.

Ghost pepper hot wings almost created a medical emergency for Adam Richman

Adam Richman eats hot wings

Rarely afraid of super spicy anything, on one occasion Adam Richman was forced to quit just two wings into a five hot wing challenge. He was attempting the rather crassly named "Fire In Your Hole" challenge at Munchies 4:20 Cafe wherein a competitor must simply east five of the restaurant’s spiciest wings. There was a 95 percent failure rate to the challenge, due to the fact that the wings were coated in a sauce made from ghost peppers.

Richman was quickly reduced to panting and stumbling about behind the restaurant, drinking milk and sucking on ice cubes, and fearing he was going to pass out. It later emerged that the staff of cafe had engaged in some foul play, doctoring the recipe of the already fantastically spicy wings with a bottle of chili extract, adding so much heat as to make the wings all but impossible to eat and likely not even safe for consumption. The heat and spice Richman experienced was likely akin to that of being assaulted with pepper spray used by law enforcement or in self-defense.

Richman later called what the cafe did "cavalier and very dangerous" and was understandably upset to have been taken advantage of unfairly, not to mention robbed of the chance to fairly take on the "Fire In Your Hole" challenge. Now, let’s never talk about said challenge again.

Adam Richman regularly goofed off in the outtakes

Adam Richman

It’s always hard to know which scenes are going to make the cut while a television program is being filmed, and often some of the funniest and most memorable moments are those that unfortunately end up on the proverbial cutting room floor instead of in the show. Such was the case when Adam began clowning around in the kitchen during a visit to Rochester, New York, first imitating Olympic speed skate Apollo Ono by "skating" back and forth on the greasy kitchen floor, and then by "working out" his triceps by pressing down on a massive hamburger he’d soon be attempting to eat.

In the outtake clip, Richman said "everyone thinks I’m un-athletic" before proceeding to complete the amusing exercises. Knowing now how much the host of Man v. Food was suffering from depression brought on by his weight and lack of fitness makes the clip a little less amusing when watched in its entire context. Knowing that he went on to get leaner and healthier, however, brings solace.

In fact, Richman would eventually switch to eating multiple small 150 calorie meals daily and exercising enough to where he stripped naked and did a photoshoot (covered by soccer balls where needed) for Cosmopolitana testament he was happier with his body. His turnaround was impressive.

Adam Richman casually bit into a pepper during a monologue, not realizing how spicy it was

spicy pepper

We have all had those moments where we casually do something without thinking only seconds later to realize how bad an idea it was. From spilling a cup of coffee when turning your wrist to check the time to touching a hot stove to saying out loud what should have stayed quiet, it’s a common occurrence for us all. Most often, however, our little unthinking moments are not captured by the camera. For Adam Richman, often they were, such as was the case when he casually took a bite of a hot pepper while recording a monologue for an episode set in New Mexico.

At the end of his remarks, Richman casually takes a huge bite out of the pepper he has been holding, and you can see within a second or two that he has made a grave error. Richman’s hands raise, his shoulders tremble, his mouth is agape, and his expression clearly reads "Why!?"

Spicy ramen made Adam Richman weep, yet he finished the challenge

spicy ramen

Adam Richman once again put himself in danger of passing out (and likely went on some sort of spirit journey) while eating a massive bowl of super spicy ramen. And actually, drinking it is more the operative, because it was in the last minutes of his challenge as he slaked down the fiery broth that he truly entered a circle of hell.

Apparently, thousands of people have tried to eat an entire bowl of the spiciest ramen at Orochan Ramen, yet only a few hundred have succeeded. Richman joined the hallowed ranks of the latter, but not without sweat and tears flowing as he took on the challenge. He first consumed the noodles and other ingredients and then began to slurp at the remaining broth which is spiced with the restaurant’s secret recipe (that apparently other chefs have tried repeatedly to steal).

Richman completed the Special #2 challenge in the allotted 30 minutes, looking hilariously miserable while he did so.

Two Adams were defeated by stuffed 12 egg omelets

Adam Richman

What can you really expect when a man tries to eat a 12 egg omelet other than him not finishing said omelet, right? Such was the case when Adam Richman visited Seattle, Washington’s Beth’s Cafe. As it happened, Richman sat down next to another gent also named Adam and both tried to take on the Southwestern Exposure Challenge wherein they tried to eat an omelet consisting of a full dozen eggs and that is stuffed with beef brisket and other "Southwestern style fixings."

Perhaps even more remarkable than the fact that the two Adams came quite close to finishing the Southwestern Exposure Challenge omelets is the fact that apparently about one in ten people do complete all of the food involved. For these two eaters, they came close both comically (and literally) threw in the towel with looks of utter misery on their faces. The real kicker is that it turns out local Adam had once bested the mighty breakfast.