People always ask us how we come up with some of the weird animal parts that are used in our eating stunts. Honestly, all you have to do is spend a little quality time with some butchers and meat packers and you'd be surprised how much you can learn.
Of course, we've all seen the usual cuts of meat that wind up in the grocer's freezer. But have you ever wondered what becomes of all the other stuff? Some of it gets shipped outside of the country, some of it is used for pet food, and some of it winds up in the stomachs of Fear Factor contestants.
Obviously, we only serve our contestants foods that are approved as edible by the USDA. But, let me tell you, the government gives the thumbs-up to some pretty weird stuff. Like pig rectum, for example.
Imagine our delight when we learned we could use pig rectum on the show. Just think of it. Pigs will eat anything. And all the stuff that pigs eat eventually winds up going right through the rectum. Is that really something you want going into your mouth?
We ordered a big box of rectums - known in the butcher business as "bung" - and they arrived at our office in a frozen block. Upon thawing, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that these rectums were bigger than we had ever imagined. Each one was at least a foot long!
We boiled up a couple of them in our Fear Factor kitchen. They were white and rubbery with a salty, fatty taste and - surprise! - a bad smell. A few of us tried a bite and agreed it was disgusting.
The problem was in figuring out how many of these things a person could eat in one sitting. So we put in a call to Johnny Tong, a part-time sideshow performer who sometimes serves as a professional taste tester for the show. Johnny's got a pretty tough stomach and is willing to try just about anything.
Johnny came to the office and we placed four cooked rectums in front of him. He chowed down his first rectum in three minutes and finished off his second one in another three minutes. Hmm, we thought, could this be too easy?
No way. After eating his second rectum, Johnny was showing signs of slowing down. The fatty taste was really starting to get to him and he seemed ready to hurl. He was working on his third rectum when he hit the wall. Voila! We decided the contestants would have to eat up to four of them.
Now all we needed was some kind of game to determine exactly how many rectums -- 0 to 4 -- each contestant would have to eat. With the help of the Los Angeles Police Department, we came up with a game involving targets and high-powered CAR-15 rifles.
It's not every day that our contestants get to fire off a couple of rounds of ammo and chow down a few rectums. You're not going to want to miss this one.
by RICH BROWN