It is impossible to scour every strange corner and subculture of the internet. YouTube, in particular, is a labyrinthine archive of music videos, beauty bloggers, gamers, Khloé Kardashian body transformation video collages, Kylie Jenner face transformation video collages, conspiracy theories, debunkings of conspiracy theories, advertisements, people who play household objects as musical instruments, large photogenic families lip-syncing in SUVs, and the “Gangnam Style” video.
Not all genres of YouTube entertainment are created equal, though, and I choose to only honor the best of the best. And so, presented without further ado, and definitely without further explanation from me, here are 10 of the most notable chicken wing reviews on YouTube, 2016, ranked by me:
10. “Pizza Hut’s Jim Beam® Devil’s Cut™ Spicy Bourbon BBQ Chicken Wings Review w/ JKMCraveTV” by Joey’s World Tour
Views to date: 111k
I first encountered Joey’s World Tour, a video channel where a man named Joey reviews various fast-food items, while exploring the larger world of Quiznos YouTube reviews last year. I am sorry to tell you that Joey continues to open his videos by squealing “I’m bee-yaaack” in a Cartman voice. It’s hard to move past that, but ol’ Joey gets so psyched about eating chicken that it’s also hard to stay mad at him for a South Park impression. But then he eats his chicken in a ferocious, lip-smacking, grotesque theater, and I’m back to furious.
3 out of 10 chicken wings
9. “Popeyes® $5 Boneless Wing Bash REVIEW!” by Joey’s World Tour
Views to date: 147k
Joey innovates a chicken wing sandwich by placing the bone-free wing within a biscuit, which I respect, but he still does the Cartman voice, which I do not.
4 out of 10 chicken wings
8. “Kool-Aid Hot Wings Review” by Wreckless Eating
Views to date: 33k
This short and snappy chicken wing review is totally fine. It’s not a bad chicken wing review. Everyone seems like they’re having fun. But this ain’t amateur hour. What’s up with the shoddy sound quality?
6 out of 10 chicken wings
7. “KFC COLA BBQ WICKED WINGS FOOD REVIEW” by Greg’s Kitchen
Views to date: 23k
Greg is a gregarious Australian and I really like to see what weird limited-edition fast foods American joints roll out in other countries, so this fairly boring review gets a few extra points for alerting me to the existence of pop-flavored wings, which sound impressively gross.
7 out of 10 chicken wings
6. “Burger King Chicken Wing Review” by Awesome Eats
Views to date: 8k
The reviewer says he’s in Germany, which is fun, and it’s always good to have a reminder that love for wings knows no geopolitical border. I like how philosophical this reviewer gets at the end about the subjectivity of taste. “That’s my experience of the greatest chicken wing in my world,” he concludes, staring at the camera like a real Kierkegaard. “Of course, your chicken wing is different than my chicken wing, and your world is different than mine. So, take this with all good fun, because there is no such thing as the greatest chicken wing in the world. It’s not there yet.” Damn.
7.5 out of 10 chicken wings
5. “Buffalo Chicken Wings From the Anchor Bar, Buffalo NY” by KBDProductionsTV
Views to date: 73k views
Vlogger Ken Domik is an incredibly thorough reviewer who breaks down prices and nutritional content and throws in a little history as he eats his wings. He has a touch of that specifically Canadian Nardwuar geekiness as he narrates his chicken experience in obsessive detail, and I appreciate his rigor.
8 out of 10 chicken wings
4. “Zaxby’s Wings & Things” by The Report of the Week
Views to date: 36k
The Report of the Week — a YouTube channel in which a transfixing Michael Haneke villain named John methodically reviews a wide variety of fast food whilst wearing a gigantic suit — is my favorite weird YouTube food channel. (New York magazine’s Select All interviewed him earlier this year about his growing cult celebrity.) Typical Report of the Week commentary: “It seems like a reasonable chicken place.”
8.5 out of 10 chicken wings
3. “Sonic Hot Honey Boneless Wings” by The Report of the Week
Views to date: 36k
Another classic from John, rocking his slicked-back Gordon Gekko hair as he discusses the importance of sauce for his audience.
The Report of the Week also has a series of energy drink reviews called “Energy Crisis” and I highly recommend watching it.
8.5 out of 10 chicken wings
2. “ASMR: Popeyes® Magnolia Blossom Chicken REVIEW!” by Joey’s World Tour
Views to date: 470k
Our man Joey is back! I have to tell you, this is his weirdest and most disturbing video ever, and I have literally watched hours of this man eating at this point. I’ve come full circle on Joey and now regard him as an auteur of the grotesque. As you’ll notice, he flagged it as an “ASMR” video. “ASMR” refers to autonomous sensory meridian response, a pleasant tingling sensation many believe to be triggered by certain soothing sounds; there is a thriving YouTube community devoted to videos that produce this effect, and apparently, Joey wanted in. This review opens with a close-up of his whispering mouth and features his attempt to do his now-signature Cartman “I’m bee-yak” voice in a comforting whisper.
“The CIA should use this video to interrogate people,” is the top comment on this video, and it is a valid opinion. So why my high ranking? I must honor the sublimely awful. Cronenberg would be proud. This is a horror film of unique power.
9 out of 10 horrifying chicken wings
1. “The Pengest Munch Ep. 6: Chick King (Tottenham)” by Chicken Connoisseur
Views to date: 2.9 million
Not to be rude to all the other chicken wing reviewers, but this one is on another level. First of all, our host is a dapper Brit who allegedly is a teen, but whose age is actually something of a controversy. He says stuff like, “It caught me off guard, because it was hench. My mind was like rawrrrrr, this burger’s hench.” If the Food Network isn’t recruiting this genius, they are doing something wrong.
100 out of 10 chicken wings