INTERVIEW: Dan Kennedy Discusses Food Challenges, Competitive Eating, and Top Food Records
Dan Kennedy is a competitive eater, YouTuber, and food record holder from Pennsylvania.
Dan "Killer" Kennedy has been in the competitive eating scene for over six years. He is known for his unbelievable eating skills and speed while taking on massive amounts of food. He also participates in eating contests, where he has won prizes including vacations and money. He has also helped raise money for charity by participating in certain eating contests.
Dan also takes on massive food challenges at home. It doesn't matter if it's an entire fast food menu or two massive breakfast sandwiches that he made himself.
Dan has earned a reputation for taking on the seemingly impossible, like taking down 17 pounds of pasta salad by himself in 26 minutes and 48 seconds. He also keeps time with a clock operated by a remote control. That's what I call dedication.
Dan records himself taking on food challenges and eating contests for his YouTube channel, where he has gained over 50,000 subscribers and a total of over eight million views, which has risen steadily over the past couple of years.
He starts his videos by welcoming fans to the city he is visiting and explains the upcoming challenge that he will attempt to take down. Dan maintains a positive attitude from the start of his videos to the end. He can switch from laughing to completely dominating when it's time to eat, proving that he takes competitive eating seriously while staying light-hearted at the same time.
Sometimes, Dan won't just take on one challenge and leave it at that. He will order two food challenges at the same restaurant and take them down in the time it would take to do one challenge. (We were shocked too!)
Check it out below!
Okay, so now you know a little bit more about Dan "Killer" Kennedy. We decided to dig deeper and talk with Dan about his nickname, his favorite food records, what his friends and family think of his eating stunts, and more!
FCN: Where did you grow up, and what inspired you to participate in competitive eating?
Dan: I grew up in Osceola Mills, PA. A 200 lb weight loss through diet and exercise. I celebrated it by doing my first challenge at the DuBois Diner, a 16-egg omelet challenge.
FCN: On your social media, it says you are an independent competitive eater that is top-ranked in the world. You also hold many food records.
What are your favorite food records that you have achieved?
Dan: There really isn't a ranking system for independent eaters, but I'd say I'm top 2 with Molly Schuyler, and as far as records, it's probably in the 100s.
My favorite food records are 109 KitKat bars eaten, 20 lbs of SpaghettiO's chugged, the most McChickens eaten (48), and 51 apple pies eaten in 10 minutes.
FCN: What year did you start doing competitive eating? Do you plan to continue doing it?
Dan: 2016. I don't have a set plan for retirement yet. The big stage could still be in my sights.
FCN: What did you do before entering competitive eating?
Dan: I own and operate a collision shop full time, 20 years and running.
FCN: You have won many competitive eating contests where you have also earned prizes, including money. What's your favorite part about competing other than the food?
Dan: I'm the greatest 2nd place guy in the business (laughs). My favorite part is traveling and the great people I meet.
Credit: Dan Kennedy
Credit: Dan Kennedy
FCN: You also upload food challenges and eating contests to your YouTube channel to over 50,000 subscribers. What is your favorite food challenge or eating contest that you have uploaded to your channel?
Dan: I enjoy anything that challenges me. Some of the team efforts with Molly and massive challenges are the fun ones.
FCN: How did you get your nickname?
Dan: When I lost 200 lbs, the FB (Facebook) group I was in always said I was killing it, so I became "Killer Kennedy."
FCN: Where do you see competitive eating in the next ten years?
Dan: The future is never set.
FCN: What do friends and family think about what you do?
Dan: Some are grossed out, and some think it's wild. My mom won't even watch (laughs).
FCN: Thank you again, Dan, for chatting with us and giving insight into your competitive eating career. Is there anything you would like our readers to know?
That concludes our interview with Dan "Killer" Kennedy. Whether it's inside or outside of competitive eating, he continues to put 100% effort into whatever he's attempting, and with a positive attitude to match. It will be exciting to see what Dan takes on next!
Until then, I'm grabbing something to eat!
Photo credits: Dan Kennedy.