No Brain, No Pain: Chili Pepper Division

This weekend, my brother reminded me of this gem from a college football game broadcast on ESPN in 2007. I remember watching this live and nearly choking to death from laughter. Fun!

In this clip, sideline reporter Rob Stone visits the Chili Pepper Institute at New Mexico State. While there, he tries to act all tough in the face of some the most tongue searing substances in the world. The head of the institute hands him a tiny pepper, which Stone does not treat with the proper respect.

PROFESSOR: This is the Bhut Jolokia, the world’s hottest chili pepper.

STONE: [crunch]

PROFESSOR: A million Scoville units.

STONE: What is that?

The timing and cluelessness displayed here is amazing. This man knows he’s at the Chili Pepper Institute. He is well aware that chili peppers are hot. And yet, he immediately chows down on something without any idea how spicy it might be. Better yet, when told exactly how spicy it is, he continues to act with misplaced bravado and ignorance. “What is that?

Shortly after taking a huge bite of THE HOTTEST THING IN THE WORLD, Stone starts to experience some serious distress. The professor hands him some milk, but it does him no good. “I’m not even feeling it,” he says, as his brow rapidly moistens with sweat. The professor doesn’t help Stone’s state when he informs him that the effects may last five to six hours.

Watching this video again for the first time in years, I suspect this whole scene may be somewhat staged. However, I also suspect that Stone was told by his producers to take a big bite out of the hottest pepper known to man without any clear idea of just how hot it would be. In either case, it led to pure televisual hilarity.