Sean Evans is well known on YouTube for his ability to eat extremely hot foods without flinching. He puts celebrities to the test on Hot Ones, eating a lineup of increasingly hotter chicken wings while asking increasingly deeper questions. Typically, the show has 10 wings, but occasionally, there will be two guests eating five each.
Created by Firstwefeast and Complex, Hot Ones is essentially one long commercial for either chicken wings, hot sauce, antacids, or entertainment. Check out these 20 legendary interviews and decide for yourself.
20. Rachel Ray S2E40
A Rachel Ray Thanksgiving episode is among the most iconic episodes of Hot Ones, where we get a new way of taking the test. Like me, Ray is picky about her wings. She offers to eat one Sriracha wing before going straight to mainlining hot sauces on a spoon. She’s one of the best in the food game, and this episode is full of great moments, like Sean mentioning he played high school football after opening a bottle of 100% Pain for her, followed by the sound editor throwing in a quick “hey.” By the end, Ray’s discussing her career from an FHM spread in the beginning to hanging out with Michelle Obama and getting dizzy.
19. Danny Brown S3E3
Danny Brown is one of the most interesting musicians in the game. He’s out in public looking, sounding, and acting like a crackhead, but he’s a damn genius. And he’s been in the game for a long time, so he has stories of everything from working at a buffet, the music game, and his unique sound. Brown is an underrated street philosopher who understands the trials and tribulations of blue-collar America. The best part is he ends it by talking about his love for his cats.
18. Bill Burr S7E9
Massachusetts comedian Bill Burr is the epitome of pasty, Irish, blue-collar Bostonian. Like his stand-up, this interview shows his every-man personality while he discusses being a “celebrity.” One of the better moments is when Sean points out he had a podcast before Marc Maron and Joe Rogan, even though they’re more popular. Burr can joke about it, because he’s a legendary comedian these days beloved by everyone in the country with good taste in comedy.
17. Brett Baker S3E23
Brett Baker is a Hot Ones superfan, whom the entire staff sees as a celebrity. Essentially, he knows the show so well that he can take over the role of host and make it every bit as good as Sean makes it for everyone else. The role reversal makes it clear the dividing line between YouTube and Hollywood – the Internet can participate. It’s a lot like watching Galaxy Quest at the end with the fans helping the crew.
16. Rhett & Link Part 1 S2E47
Good Mythical Morning stars Rhett and Link blend their taste-testing formats with Hot Ones at Brick Lane Curry House, which has an infamous spicy curry challenge. This off-season challenge essentially puts these three through torture while answering trivia about curry. Every correct answer gives them a break, and we learn quite a bit about peppers while watching all three suffer.
Rhett & Link Part 2 S6E11
And when they return, it’s only because LG sponsored them coming in to discuss the worst things they ever ate, including a Carolina Reaper pepper, the world’s hottest pepper, rating 1,569,300-2,200,000 SHU on the scoville scale. By the end, we get to see hiccups, laughs, tears, and a really great description of both the hot sauce flavors and mystery ice cream flavors, including durian.
15. DJ Khaled S1E8
For all his grandstanding, DJ Khaled can not handle his wings. This is easily among the most controversial episodes of Hot Ones. He starts talking about quitting a few minutes in and waxes poetic on all the reasons he’s going to. In the military, we know once people hit that wall, it’s over. He’s nonstop running his mouth about how crazy everyone is for doing exactly what he’s doing by showing up.
14. Terry Crews S4E12
Terry Crews is always entertaining, and he’s filled with amazing inside stories of Hollywood. Who would’ve guessed Andy Samberg is super serious in real life? Or that the cast of The Expendables was competing as much as you’d think behind the scenes. As he’s talking, you see Crews as a father and remember that he’s a good guy all the way around. He’s a physical beast, but he’s also intellectual, energetic, funny, and talented. He also starts losing his mind toward the end.
13. Action Bronson S2E38
Action Bronson is a modern-day Renaissance Man, representing Vice with a respected hip-hop discography, interview show, and food show. Hell, his albums are basically cooking shows in themselves, and he knows his food. Bronson is a great interview about leading the new wave of indie artists online while following a natural career progression. and he takes Sean to task for pouring sauce on for “the last dab.”
12. Charlize Theron S5E8
Charlize Theron is an award-winning South African actress who showed up on Hot Ones to promote her role in Gringo. She’s so much more than a pretty face (and she’s absolutely gorgeous) – Theron discusses training for fighting, ballet, and all the other wear-and-tear she puts on her body. She’s so well put together that even when the spice gets to her, she orders rice and succinctly describes the pain before flipping that bottle off. Theron is a great example of why Hot Ones was created.
11. Dax Shepard S3E10
Dax Shepard is a self-described fan of spicy food, and he’s quick to point out his distaste for the cold and old wings themselves. He’s also been around celebrity a lot since he came up with Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d. He even adds extra sauce to the last dab and takes another wing with even more just to show how insane he really is, setting the bar for everyone else behind him who wants to stake their claim in Hot Ones history. Phil DeFranco and his wife were not as impressed as Sean.
10. Kevin Hart S2E31
Kevin Hart is always a joy to watch, and he’s at the top of his game eating chicken wings. It’s almost as if the show was made for this interview right here. He starts off with Tapatio and discusses his early career while wearing dark shades, chains, a designer jacket, fancy watch, and everything Real Husbands, As he discusses more of his famous years, he takes off the glasses and starts fearing he’ll “shit fire.” Hart is one of those early interview whose animated reactions made Hot Ones a hit.
9. Logic S4E21
Logic is quickly pulling himself from the underground because of his honesty as much as his rhyme skill. He’s an interesting man with a lot of great stories about being a black sheep in the music industry. He knows he’s a nerd and an outcast, and he’s fully aware of this. His fanbase will likely always be a niche, but it’s a smart niche who will likely be hardcore with him through to the end. His proudest accomplishment feels like it was going 35-0 on stage in Mario Kart, and he ends it solving a Rubik’s Cube and answering trivia.
8.Philip DeFranco S5E12
Philly D is one of the most popular YouTube hosts in history, and he’s still delivering daily content with a much more mature outlook on the business. His show is a great place to learn the ins and outs of influencers and other online creators, as he grinded through the beginning of YouTube. Watching him on Hot Ones is as entertaining and informative as anything behind the scenes of DeFranco. He goes out of his way to set a record for YouTube in his competition against traditional celebrity. Also check out his H3H3 podcast for another great Phil DeFranco interview, you beautiful bastards.
7. Stone Cold Steve Austin S9E12
Steve Austin is arguably the baddest professional wrestler of all time, and he’s just as stone cold as you’d think while eating wings. He reminisces about some great wrestlers, like Dynamite Kid, The Rock, (even Mike Tyson) and others, while showing off his knowledge of farming. He even discusses what it was like drinking all those beers in the ring. It feels like at any point, he may snap and hit Sean with a Stunner. This is why Austin is a legendary Texan.
6. Ja Rule S1E5
The first season of Hot Ones sets the stage with a slew of rappers, as Sean was initially a hip-hop freelance journalist for Complex. The show is still finding its legs at this point, but he does know how to conduct an interview. If you’re a fan of 90s and 00s hip-hop, you’ll love reminiscing by watching a pre-Fyre Festival, pre-Trump Ja Rule discussing politics, the media’s portrayal of rappers, his beef with 50 Cent, and even Meek Mill and Drake. Ja still has fire, and it’s not just from the wings.
5. Kristen Bell S9E11
Kristen Bell is a spicy food champion and one of the more interesting interviewees about philosophical subjects. She’s determined to compete with her husband Dax Shepard for a spot on the Hot Ones Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Sean hits her with questions about life, the afterlife, and her hit NBC show, The Good Place. Bell gives white chicks everywhere something to be proud of.
4. Ken Jeong S8E4
Ken Jeong is always a wild card, and it’s easy to forget he’s an actual licensed medical doctor. He discusses his days in medical school while also moonlighting as a stand-up comedian. Learn what it was like working with Donald Glover, Zach Galafianakis, and other legends. He also discusses lesser-known projects, like an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary he directed about Reggie Ho. It’s hard not to smile watching Jeong suffer as the scovilles are cranked up, he gets to doctoring, and you realize this is who he is.
3. Tommy Chong S2E3
Cannabis icon Tommy Chong brings Sean into his world, which is a much more comfortable setting than we’re used to seeing. For this, he gets a plug straight up front for his Chong’s Choice brand of cannabis products. This is one of the most chill conversations, watching Chong discuss the old days with all sorts of fascinating stories, like meeting Michael Jackson as a kid, doing drugs with Jimi Hendrix (his impression is great), smoking weed with Snoop Dogg, and more. His Cannabis Cup stories made me smile thinking of my own times at cannabis events.
2. Neil deGrasse Tyson S3E17
Hot Ones reaches its intellectual peak with Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing astrophysics, despite hacking the show by getting a plug up front. Tyson has amazing stories and discusses great moments in science, like talking a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Barrack Obama. He’s an interesting guy, no matter what he talks about, and hearing him dissect the scientific possibilities of rap lyrics. It’s interesting to hear Tyson essentially call Immortal Technique an idiot and responding to a GZA lyric with “…….we’re good.”
1. Gordon Ramsay S8E1
Gordon Ramsay is clearly a hero of Sean’s, and I love watching him too. This British celebrity chef is absolutely savage in critiquing American chicken wings, the show, and the heat in his mouth. As the spice kicks up, he keeps reminding himself that he’s doing this for his children. And like any episode of Hell’s Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsey’s swear-laden rants are topped off with a masterful cooking class. I never knew you were supposed to add the butter to scrambled eggs so late in the game, much less cook them in a saucepan.