Joey Chestnut Wins Hot Dog Eating Contest Again ... Despite Vader Interruption

CHESTNUT CHOKEHOLD
UPDATE

10:55 AM PT -- NYPD sources tell TMZ ... 3 people have been taken into custody in regards to the incident at the stage earlier today. We're told charges are pending.

Joey Chestnut's inner dog wasn't going to be deterred by a would-be human torpedo, who tried derailing his wiener gobbling mid-competition ... but failed, 'cause the guy won anyway.

The reigning Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest champ successfully defended his title Monday in Coney Island, where year after year he comes back to devour dozens of dogs in a matter of 10 minutes. This year, he did it again ... downing 63 franks, far ahead of the competition.

DRAGGED OFF THE STAGE
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But something nuts happened about midway through ... a dude in a Darth Vader mask made his way onstage and made contact with JC -- and the King didn't take too kindly to that!

Check it out ... rather than let security haul the poser away (which they eventually did), Joey took care of this punk himself -- putting the whipper-snapper in a headlock and yanking him around a bit, before getting back to stuffing his face. He didn't even think twice about it.

We got video of the aftermath ... namely, this poor sap being dragged away to be dealt with -- but it's insane that Joey still won the race even with this major interruption.

THE GLIZZY CHAMP
ESPN

Ya gotta wonder if it actually affected the number of sausages he was ultimately able to inhale. While 63 is nothing to sneeze at -- and way more than anyone else got to -- it doesn't compare to his record 76 hot dogs from last year.

Maybe the dark side did actually get to Joey after all. Oh well ... congrats, man!

Originally Published -- 10:46 AM PT

Joey Chestnut Down For Eating Contest With TB12 ... After Hot Dog Showdown

BRING ON THE DOGS
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Joey Chestnut is the G.O.A.T. of eating food really fast, and he's ready to put another G.O.A.T. to the test ... telling TMZ Sports he would love to get in a head-to-head showdown with Tom Brady!!

We spoke with the 38-year-old tube steak titan ahead of his Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July ... and he said he takes inspiration from TB12's longevity and ability to compete in his 40s.

But, when Joey name-dropped Brady, we had to ask if the guy is willing to do a TB12 method-approved food showdown ... and since this is the food-eating king we're talking about, he naturally accepted the challenge.

Of course, avocado ice cream is one of TB12's favorite desserts -- and Chestnut has actually had some before ... although it sounds like he'd like to stay away from that food item at all costs.

"It's not the best," Chestnut said this week. "It's better than other weird ice creams like garlic ice cream."

Chestnut seems confident in whatever's put in front of him against Brady ... saying, "I don't know what he can out-eat me in."

"It would be awesome to eat against him in any food."

For now, Joey is focused on the glizzys at Coney Island ... and plans on beating his previous record of 76, if it's not too hot.

"If things go really bad, I'd be happy with 70 but if things are going really, really good, that 77 number looks very doable."

If Chestnut takes home first place, it will be his 15th championship and seventh consecutive win.

Oh, and if you're curious about what happens to JC's stomach after he consumes all those franks, keep watching ... he explains the aftermath in the clip!

VIRAL BURGER KING EMPLOYEE Job Offers Across Country Roll In ... Leave BK, Work For Us!!!

The Burger King employee who hasn't missed a day of work in more than 27 years could start a new career if he pleases ... he's getting flooded with job offers.

Kevin Ford, who went viral after posting a video of the mediocre gift bag he got on his work anniversary, tells TMZ ... potential employers have been hitting him up left and right, offering a wide range of career changes.

WHOLE LOTTA NOTHING

Kevin says he got a job offer from a company that restores classic cars, but he says it's not his thing so he passed.

While Kevin lives in Vegas, he says one job offer rolled in all the way from Charleston, SC, where a manager at a restaurant told him it would be an honor to work beside him. The manager's pitch, which Kevin also turned down, was working at a beachside restaurant with "unbeatable" tacos.

GRATEFUL FOR THE GIFTS
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Kevin tells us he has no plans to leave his steady job at Burger King, but if he ever gets the itch, he's got help ... he says a woman from Texas who specializes in resumes reached out, offering to craft him a new resume gratis.

There is one place Kevin would leave BK behind for ... he says his dream job is making music.

In the meantime, Kevin's GoFundMe is up to $162,000 and counting ... including that $5k donation from David Spade ... and he says he's got real estate agents in Vegas offering to help him buy a home, with one offering to give up half the commission to seal a deal.

Kendall Jenner Spotted with Devin Booker ... Amid Reports of Split

Kendall Jenner might not be as single as everyone thinks ... she was just spotted spending some alone time with Devin Booker.

The two were together at Soho House in Malibu Sunday ... seemingly in good spirits as they passed each other some flirty looks.

Rumors have been spreading that they were done for, but these shots seem to paint a different picture -- or, at the very least, someone might be having second thoughts.

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Multiple outlets have recently reported KJ and DB split, although the sources remained vague on details.

Kendall posted online over the weekend, showing her tanning naked, amongst other photos from her camera roll ... and Devin dropped a like on the post.

Devin's been with Kendall for a couple of years now ... they even went to Kourtney Kardashian's Italian wedding last month.

If the couple's really calling it quits, looks like a spark might've reignited.

Daily Harvest What Gall You Have!!! Customer Sues After Organ Removal

UPDATE

12:58 PM PT -- Daily Harvest tells TMZ ... "While we do not comment on pending or potential litigation, as soon as we received reports suggesting a possible link between the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and an adverse reaction, we immediately took action and launched a voluntary recall. We have reached out multiple times directly to consumers who received the product, instructing them to dispose of it and not eat it."

UPDATE

"In parallel, we launched an investigation to identify the root cause, working closely with the FDA, multiple independent labs, and a group of experts that includes microbiologists, toxin and pathogen experts as well as allergists. All pathogen and toxicology results have come back negative so far, but we’re continuing to do extensive testing so we can get to the bottom of this. Everyone who has been affected deserves an answer, and we are committed to making this right."

A woman is suing Daily Harvest, the organic food-subscription company, claiming its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles have upended her life, causing her gallbladder to be removed, liver damage and all sorts of other problems.

Carol Ann Ready claims back in May, she bought the product through her online subscription. The same day she ate the Crumbles, she began experiencing abdominal pain and gastrointestinal distress.

It got so bad she couldn't handle it ... she said on a pain scale she was either 9 out of 10 or possibly 10 out of 10. So, 2 days later she went to the ER and got pain meds and was told to go home and eat a bland diet.

Now here's the crazy part ... she went home and several weeks later ate more Crumbles and it made a bad situation desperate. Her abdominal pain intensified so she went back to the hospital.

Doctors found she had elevated liver enzymes, and she stayed in the hospital for 4 days. Doctors concluded she had both liver and gallbladder dysfunction. She was told she may have to endure the pain indefinitely. They told her the best course would be to remove her gallbladder, which they did.

It's unclear if she continues to have liver problems, but she says she continues to suffer significant pain and she'll need time to see doctors and that could mess up her career.

She's suing for more than $75,000 -- btw, that's just a placeholder. She'll probably ask for a lot more.

As we previously reported, the company has told its customers not to eat the Crumbles and they are investigating. Scores of customers have complained of severe pain and various medical problems connected to the product.

Originally Published -- 6:28 AM PT

David Spade Donates Thousands To Viral BK Employee

David Spade seems moved by the Burger King employee who got a mediocre goodie bag in recognition of 27 years without missing work ... giving him money and making him laugh.

Kevin Ford, who went viral this week after showing off his company gifts, tells TMZ ... his daughter let him know someone named David Spade donated $5,000 to his GoFundMe, but he wasn't sure it was the comedian himself, until he checked his Instagram inbox.

David slid in Kevin's direct messages ... telling him to keep it up after 27 years on the job without a break, and even cracking a joke about waiting a few more years before finally taking a day off.

Kevin tells us he's a huge fan of David's, so to get a donation plus some fun back and forth with Spade is surreal.

With David's $5k donation, Kevin's GoFundMe has now raised over $30,000 ... with the money going to help him visit his daughters and grandkids in Texas. He also says he wants to use the dough to buy a new Ford hybrid.

Kevin's going to take a day off eventually ... and hopefully before David's deadline.

Viral Burger King Employee Hoping For More Than Goodie Bag & Cake ... Still Grateful for Gifts, Fundraiser

WHOLE LOTTA NOTHING

The Burger King employee celebrating 27 years on the job says he felt let down by a mediocre goodie bag from his company, and yet ... he's still expressing incredible gratitude. Ya might wanna grab some tissues.

We spoke to 54-year-old Kevin Ford -- who works as a cook/cashier at the BK in the Las Vegas airport -- about how his employer chose to mark his anniversary. While the video of him showing off the bag contents went viral, Kevin doesn't want anyone thinking he's ungrateful ... he just found the reward a little lackluster.

GRATEFUL FOR THE GIFTS
TMZ.com

He tells us HMS Host, the company from which Burger King hires, sent him what felt like stuff they had lying around the office.

Kevin's been around long enough to know that pre-COVID, employees would get checks for their anniversaries with the company.

That being said, Kevin told us he's just thankful to have a job in these difficult times, and doesn't want to throw shade at his company.

The good news is that with more than a quarter-century under his belt, someone DID step up to show appreciation -- Kevin's daughter.

He got emotional while telling us about his daughter's GoFundMe fundraiser for him to visit his grandkids in Texas, and it's already passed the $3,000 mark. Kevin says he'll use it to take a day off and possibly get a new car -- American and hybrid. Smart.

A spokesperson for Burger King tells TMZ ... "The Burger King brand and its many franchisees nationwide are committed to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the thousands of people serving across a wide range of roles — all dedicated to providing our Guests a world-class experience."

They continue, "Following review with this location’s franchisee, we’ve learned that this video depicts a Team Member in receipt of a peer-to-peer reward in recognition of a short-term positive performance/experience. The franchisee offers its Team Members a robust employee recognition program, which includes the recognition of tenure milestones and monetary awards."

We reached out to HMS Host for comment ... so far, no word back.

Daily Harvest Lentil + Leek Crumbles Recalled ... Customers Hospitalized, Gallbladder Removed

Daily Harvest -- a food subscription company known for pre-made vegan meals -- is being slammed by scores of customers who claim the company's Lentil + Leek Crumbles have caused debilitating stomach pain, liver and gallbladder damage and other problems.

One customer says the product caused so much gallbladder damage, doctors were forced to remove it. And get this ... she added, "The crumbles were delicious by the way." Thank you Mrs. Lincoln for that.

D.H. has recalled the product and says it's launched an investigation.

Another customer says he suffered abdominal pain, fever, nausea and fatigue, but then things got even worse ... his liver readings were sky high, and the guy doesn't even drink.

And yet another user says he's been sick for weeks. There are customers who say things got so bad they landed in the hospital.

After asking customers to toss the product, D.H. got mocked mercilessly, after posting, "An important message regarding our French lentil + Leek Crumbles. Link in bio with details." Customers felt the company should have sounded an alarm rather than burying "details" in the bio.

The company has since taken the post down and put replaced it with an update, saying "Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our customers and we deeply value the trust you put in us and our food every day. We will update you as soon as we know more."

Reza Farahan Drag Shows Are Art, Non-Issue for Kids ... TX & FL Should Focus on School Shootings

WE HAVE TO STAY FOCUSED
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Reza Farahan says politicians have screwed up priorities, and clearly have no clue what goes on at drag shows since they're trying to make laws blocking kids from attending them.

We caught up with the former "Shahs of Sunset" star in L.A. and asked what his thoughts were about the new potential legislation in Texas and Florida ...  which would make it a crime for parents to bring their children with them to drag revues.

Reza says it's not just misguided, it's heartbreaking -- he doesn't understand why drag shows are being sexualized by folks who know nothing about them. He says, these shows are nothing but a group of people who are expressing themselves and entertaining people in their own way.

He adds, the shows are a form of art ... all about folks living their best lives and expressing love and happiness. Reza insisted, politicians simply love to sensationalize anything related to the LGBTQ+ community.

Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton recently said he was filing the potential bill after recent footage went viral of kids in Dallas attending a drag show.

Reza's especially incensed Texas leaders are picking this fight so soon after the horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, TX -- and says gun violence is an actual issue they should focus on to protect children.

UFC's Calvin Kattar Planning Post-Fight BBQ Sesh ... After Fight In Austin

MEATY MATCHUP
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Calvin Kattar's looking forward to Saturday night -- not just because he's headlining a major UFC card -- the MMA star's planning to hit up a delicious BBQ restaurant right after his fight.

"Excited to be out here. Texas is awesome," Kattar told TMZ Sports ... "Looking forward to getting some barbeque after the fight."

Kattar, the 34-year-old, #4 ranked UFC featherweight is one half of the Fight Night card Saturday night in Austin ... where he'll take on 37-year-old title contender Josh Emmett.

The featherweight weight limit is 145 pounds ... very light for a muscular, 5'11" fighter like Calvin.

So, no brisket before the weigh-in and fight (easier said than done in a place like Texas) -- but that doesn't mean his friends aren't indulging in the local fare -- something you'd think Kattar would NOT want his boys to do in front of him while he's cutting weight.

But, Calvin -- who has wins over Giga Chikadze, Dan Ige, and Jeremy Stephens -- isn't just a savage in Octagon.

"I have them bring [BBQ] home, eat it in front of me, I like to smell it. I'm sick, man. I like to watch them enjoy themselves. You know, we're only out here for so long, so if I can't take it in, I want them to."

(Calvin's clearly an awesome friend)

As for where a win leaves him in the division, Kattar isn't sure ... but he knows a win continues the momentum in the right direction.

"It's always one step closer with a win, that's all I know."

CK added ... "That's out of my control. Only thing that is in my control is the fight Saturday night and that's where my focus will be."

BETTER WITH AGE
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We also talked to Emmett (more fighting talk, less food). Josh is ranked 7 in the division ... and believes an (impressive) win could set him up for a title shot against either Alex Volkanovski or Max Holloway.

Both men are super confident they're winning this fight ... only one can be right.

Ayesha Curry Selling 'Can Cook' Shirts For Charity ... After Celtics Fans' Jab

Ayesha Curry is turning Celtics fans' famous diss into a great cause ... creating a  line of "Ayesha Curry Can Cook" shirts that'll benefit charity.

If you missed it, a bar in Boston took a shot at Steph Curry's wife -- a chef and a cookbook author -- before Game 4 of the Warriors vs. Celtics NBA Finals series last week ... writing on a sign outside of their business, "Ayesha Curry Can't Cook".

Steph later clapped back at the diss by wearing an "Ayesha Curry CAN Cook" shirt to his postgame press conference following Golden State's win over the Cs in Game 5.

The back and forth between Curry and the bar went viral -- and, when Steph ended up winning the title, he made sure to let Boston know he didn't forget about it.

Seems Ayesha didn't either ... 'cause she's now launched a line of "Ayesha Curry Can Cook" shirts through her brand Sweet July.

In announcing the sale of the tees -- which are going for $28 apiece -- Ayesha said all proceeds will benefit @nokidhungry, an org dedicated to helping end childhood hunger.

Steph -- the Finals MVP -- loved the idea ... leaving laughing emojis in the comments.

Ex-Boxer Julius Francis Knocks Out Man With One Punch While Working Security Gig

Former heavyweight boxer Julius Francis -- who famously fought Mike Tyson in 2000 -- showed he's still got thunder in his hands ... knocking out a man cold while working a security gig on Saturday.

The ferocious punch went down outside of BOXPARK Wembley in the U.K. ... after a man appeared to get into a confrontation with security guards for an unknown reason.

In video of the incident, shot by a bystander, you can see the man in the du-rag was clearly not pleased with Francis and other guards ... screaming at them, and seeming to shove some of them as well.

As the guards were trying to get the man away from the area, the guy stepped toward Francis -- who clearly didn't like that.

Video shows Francis hit the man square in the jaw with a quick right hook -- sending him straight to the ground. The man appeared to be out cold for several moments.

No word on if the guy suffered any significant injuries.

Local law enforcement, meanwhile, said in a statement they are investigating it all.

"Police are aware of footage circulating on social media showing an incident involving security staff and a member of the public outside Boxpark in Wembley."

"An investigation into the circumstances, including to establish the identity and welfare of those involved, is underway."

They added no arrests have been made at this time.

Francis fought professionally 48 times in the 1990s and early 2000s -- famously losing to Tyson in a January 2000 bout in Manchester.

The 57-year-old former pugilist -- who ended his career with a 23-24-1 record -- also famously fought Vitali Klitschko in 1998, losing by TKO.

Steph Curry Claps Back At Boston Trolls With T-Shirt ... 'Ayesha Curry Can Cook'

Steph Curry beat the Celtics on the court on Monday night -- and then he got the victory against their fans off of it immediately afterward, rockin' a T-shirt that trolled the hell out of some heckling Boston supporters.

Just minutes after Curry and the Warriors beat the Cs at the Chase Center in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in San Francisco, the Golden State superstar showed up to his news conference with a tee that read, "Ayesha Curry CAN Cook."

It was a simple, grey-and-black article of clothing underneath a zip-up jacket ... but it was the perfect clap back to some trolling that Celtics fans did before Friday's Game 4 in Boston.

If you missed it, outside of a popular bar, fans wrote "Ayesha Curry Can't Cook" on a sign to troll Curry's wife, who's a chef.

Steph clearly believed otherwise -- and his own trolling message hit perfectly following Golden State's dominating 104-94 win.

The 34-year-old, though, let the shirt do his talking for him, because when a reporter asked him about it -- he said simply, "You've got to ask around the room and ask Twitter. Yeah, yeah. Absolutely."

Game 6 is slated for Thursday night back in Boston -- and while it looks like Curry's got one-up on the haters right now, we're sure there won't be a quiet response in Beantown then.

Jimmy Fallon Dunks Hot Dog In Beer, Devours Both In Seconds ... At Rangers Game

Jimmy Fallon did his best Joey Chestnut impression during last night's Rangers playoff game in NYC  ... the late-night talk show host dunked his hot dog -- bun and all -- in his beer before devouring both, and spilling everywhere!

'The Tonight Show' host was in the building for game 5 of the Conference Finals game between the NYR and Tampa Bay Lightning ... when Fallon found himself on the big screen at Madison Square Garden, hot dog and beer in hand.

Fallon, a NY native, has clearly seen a Nathan's hot dog eating competition or two in his time ... Jimmy softened up the bun using his brew, before it all went down the hatch.

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Of course, if you've watched competitive eating, you know that's the preferred method for eating quickly.

FYI, Chestnut's record is 76 hot dogs/buns in 10 minutes. He routinely puts away over 70.

For Rangers fans, the antics off the ice were far more entertaining ... the team lost game 5 by a score of 3-1, and now trails in the series, 3-2. And, now the team must go on the road to Tampa ... where NY is 0-2 this series.

It's reminiscent of the New York Knicks fan a few years back who was captured on camera dunking chicken nuggets into her soda.

Jimmy, got plans on July 4th?? There's a hot dog eating comp in Coney Island ...

M&M Mars Factory 2 People Fall into Chocolate Tank!!! Rescuers Go in After 'Em

The good folks at M&M Mars have a genuine chocolate disaster on their hands ... 2 people got trapped in a chocolate factory vat -- not on purpose, we think -- and required a "jaws of life" type rescue.

What sounds like a scene straight outta "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" went down Thursday at an M&M Mars plant in Lancaster County ... not too far from Hershey, PA.

It's unclear right now how the 2 people fell into the vat, but authorities reportedly had to cut a hole in the side of the tank to get them out.

The first victim was reportedly rescued around 3:10 PM, and the second was extricated about 15 minutes later. No word yet on if the vat was filled to the brim or empty when the victims went down.

And, yes ... they're still victims, even if they were possibly swimming in chocolate.

No word on either person's condition right now, but according to reports they were alive when cops pulled 'em out.

The factory is known for cranking out a variety of sweet sweet products ... including M&Ms and Dove chocolate.

Johnny Depp Dropping $$$ on Indian Food!!! Celebrates Big Win

Johnny Depp broke the bank on Indian food while overseas ... spending the night with his closest friends to celebrate his massive win over his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Johnny and co. hit up Varanasi -- a restaurant in Birmingham, England -- Sunday night, and they did way more than just order a few apps to share. The joint's Operations Director Mohammed Hussain tells TMZ Johnny's bill was in the neighborhood of 50,000 British pounds, or about $60k.

We're told Johnny was joined by pal Jeff Beck and 20 other hungry friends, and the place was closed down to the public so they all could dine in peace.

Mohammed says he was shocked Johnny was stopping by his place, and says the actor was an extremely humble guy ... the two even chatted it up for a while in his private office.

6/3/22
HERO'S WELCOME!
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As you know, Johnny's been livin' like a rockstar in the U.K. after his big W in court ... missing the verdict but taking his time overseas to celebrate.

Johnny has said the jury gave him his life back, and a big part of his life has been music. In fact, when Johnny came to Hollywood, his goal was to become a rock star, not an actor.

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