Kevin Strahle (born January 6, 1984), better known as the L.A. Beast, is an American professional competitive eater[5][6] who hosts a challenge-based channel on YouTube. Strahle started making videos in his hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey then moved to Los Angeles, California [8]. After several years at his home in California, he moved back to his hometown of Ridgewood, in New Jersey. As of December 2016, his channel has over 1.7 million subscribers, over 244 million total views.[4] In addition to his online presence, he has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[9][10] The Today Show Australia and Tosh.0.[13][14]

In 2015, Strahle led a successful campaign to bring back the soft drink Crystal Pepsi.

Early life

Strahle was born on January 6, 1984 and grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey.[2][7]

As a child, Strahle developed a love for eating[7] and later used his natural bulk to join the football team at Ridgewood High School.[162][16][17] It was there he learned the value of goals and his signature never-give-up attitude.[6] In his free time he would often accept money from his classmates to complete outrageous food challenges.[7]

After high school, Strahle was recruited to play football for the Fordham Rams of Fordham University in New York. In his four years on the team, he started on the offensive line in almost every game for the 2004-2006 seasons.[18]

In 2008, Strahle moved to Los Angeles[19] and obtained a job working for Pepsi. After two years of service, he quit after a manager told him he wasn't "persistent enough" to be a salesman within PepsiCo.[20][22] That criticism would later drive him to spearhead the 'Bring Back Crystal Pepsi' campaign.

Internet videos

While Strahle was in Los Angeles, he uploaded his first YouTube video where he performed a milk chugging challenge. Noticing the positive response the video received, he started his own channel under the user name "skippy62able". Having completed Fatburger's XXXL burger challenge[6], Strahle's roommate commented that he was 'a beast' for finishing it so fast.[19] Starting in 2011,[22] Strahle would often refer to himself as either "Beast" or "L.A. Beast", eventually choosing the latter as his official nickname.

In September 2015, Strahle and fellow eaters Takeru Kobayashi, Bob Shoudt, Patrick Bertoletti and Tim Brown assembled in Chicago, Illinois to consume an entire cooked goat.[23] This eating challenge was performed with the intention of lifting the infamous Chicago Cubs curse.[24] The Cubs would go on to win the World Series the following year.

Competitive eating

In November 2011, Strahle competed in his first professional eating contest at the Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship in New York City.[19][26][27]

In 2012, Strahle was ranked the 16th best competitive eater in the world, and ranked 17th in 2013.[6]

In June 2012, Strahle consumed 25 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifier in Cleveland, Ohio.[28][29] Though Strahle lost to eating veteran Crazy Legs Conti, he was beaten by only a quarter of a hot dog.

In February 2016, Strahle competed at Wing Bowl 24 where he ate a cactus live on stage. To qualify for the competition, Strahle ate 24 raw eggs in under four minutes.[30]

On May 3, 2017, Strahle broke the Guinness World Record for the most chicken nuggets eaten in 3 minutes by consuming 642.12 grams (22.650 oz) of chicken nuggets beating the previous record of 531 g (18.7 oz).[72]

Later that morning, Strahle also broke the Guinness World Record for the most bhut jolokia peppers eaten in 2 minutes by consuming 121.9 grams (4.30 oz) of peppers, beating the previous record of 66 grams (2.3 oz).[73][74]

On May 12, 2017, Strahle broke two additional Guinness World Records for both the most powdered doughnuts eaten in 3 minutes,[75] and the record for fastest time to drink a 32-ounce bottle (0.95 l) of pure maple syrup.[76] The previous record for most powdered doughnuts eaten in 3 minutes was 6 doughnuts, set by Shamus Petherick of Australia. It was beaten when Strahle managed to consume 9 whole doughnuts in the same amount of time. For the second record, Strahle drank 32 US fluid ounces (0.95 l) of pure maple syrup in 10.84 seconds, beating the former record of 26 seconds.

"Bring Back Crystal Pepsi" movement

In April 2015, Strahle rallied his fans to comment on Pepsi's official social media accounts with the hashtag "#BringBackCrystalPEPSI" in an effort to revive the once-popular soft drink.[31][32][33] This led to the creation of a Change.org petition and as of August 2016, it has over 34,000 signatures.[20][22][15][77] The popularity of the movement also produced 15 billboards placed all around the Los Angeles area.[15]

On June 8, 2015, Strahle received a message from Pepsi via Twitter, acknowledging his efforts to get Crystal Pepsi brought back to store shelves and hinting at the soft drink's potential return.[35][36] The next day, a Pepsi spokeswoman confirmed the message's authenticity.[17][38]

On July 26, 2015, Strahle released a song on iTunes called "The Crystal Pepsi Song" featuring production company That's Classic Media.[39] A music video was later released August 5, 2015.[41]

On December 8, 2015, Pepsi announced the re-release of Crystal Pepsi in a limited quantity sweepstakes.[77] On June 2016, Pepsi announced that Crystal Pepsi will be released in the US on August 8, 2016 for an eight-week run.[32][33][36][41][77]

Notable challenges

Eating

Drinking

Other Stunts

World Records

Strahle currently holds four Guinness World Records, which include the following feats:

  • Most chicken nuggets eaten in 3 minutes (642.12 grams). Beating the record previously held by Todd Fernley (531 grams) on 26th February 2016.[10][10]
  • Most Bhut Jolokia chilli peppers (Ghost Peppers) eaten in two minutes.[10]
  • Most powdered doughnuts eaten in three minutes.[10]
  • Fastest Time to Drink a 32 oz. Bottle of Maple Syrup.[10]

See also