Ever dream of hitting the open road in a 27-foot long rolling hot dog? If you’re one of the lucky college graduates picked from more than 1,000 applicants every year, buckle your “meat belt” (yes, really) and lean into a once-in-a-lifetime road-trip experience.
As the home of the World’s Largest Fork, The Food Channel has the unique honor of having other larger-than-life friends drop by as they travel about the country, from hot dogs to peanuts to potatoes to green giants. I can personally attest that Hotdoggers are some of the most engaging people you’ll ever meet in a gigantic meat wagon.
The Hotdogger lifestyle takes dedication. Traveling in pairs and clocking 500 miles a week, these brand ambassadors crisscross the country stopping at parades, charity events and county fairs, preaching goodwill and the hot-dog gospel along the way. The passenger rides “Shot-bun” (yes, really), and is charged with enthusiastically waving and interacting with passersby while the driver navigates the 10,000-lb. frank on the road.
Ask A Hotdogger
Maddie Murphy, a recent University of Missouri graduate, discussed life in the dog with Bon Appetit.
What’s the most difficult thing about driving the ‘mobile?
There’s no rearview window or mirror. It takes up about four normal parking spaces. We have to learn how to parallel park it in Hot Dog High training. You have to be patient. But we normally get prime parking spots because people are excited to see us.
There was one couple who were Wienermobile fanatics. This woman started a Facebook campaign to bring it to her wedding, and a team drove her and her groom around in their wedding dress and tux. This year I drove her on her three-year anniversary.
What music do you listen to on trips?
My teammate, Sisco, and I like the same type of music, really upbeat. Our favorite was the Pandora Family Road Trip station. Once in a while, we put on the Oscar Mayer jingle—we have it in every genre.
Best method for hot dog prep?
I love a hot dog that’s grilled. Something we learned about in our journey is that there’s a big debate: Team Mustard versus Team Ketchup. I personally just love mustard. We all have nicknames—my formal Hot Dogger name is Mustard Maddie.
What hot dog innovations are happening?
A lot of little kids eat hot dogs in the most interesting way—with Mac and cheese. This one kid loved ranch on his dog. Mom said that’s the only way he would it eat.
For more than 80 years, this grin-inducing icon and its affable stewards have been delighting fans across the country. If you ever spot a Hotdogger on the road, give a wave, sing the song and smile! Keep tabs on the Wienermobile via Twitter, Instagram or download the Wienermobile app for iOS and Android.