Kevin Strahle (born January 6, 1984), better known as the L.A. Beast, is a professional competitive eater[5][6] who hosts a challenge-based channel on YouTube. Strahle started making videos in Los Angeles, California before moving back to his hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey,[7] and eventually to Santa Monica, California.[8] As of March 2016, his channel has over 1.5 million subscribers, over 207 million total views, and is the 1,094th most subscribed channel on YouTube.[4] In addition to his online presence, he has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[9][10]The Today Show Australia[12] and Tosh.0.[13][14] Strahle is well known for his extreme endurance in lengthy, painful, and seemingly incompletable challenges.

In 2015, Strahle led a successful campaign to bring back the soft drink Crystal Pepsi.

Early life

Strahle was born on January 6, 1984 and grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey.[2][7]

As a child, Strahle developed a love for eating[7] and later used his natural bulk to join the football team at Ridgewood High School.[15][16][17] It was there he learned the value of goals and his signature never-give-up attitude.[6] In his free time he would often accept money from his classmates to complete outrageous food challenges.[7]

After high school, Strahle was recruited to play football for the Fordham Rams of Fordham University in New York. In his four years on the team, he started on the offensive line in almost every game for the 2004-2006 seasons.[3][18]

In 2008, Strahle moved to Los Angeles[19] and obtained a job working for Pepsi. After two years of service, he quit after a manager told him he wasn't "persistent enough" to be a salesman within PepsiCo.[20][21] That criticism would later drive him to spearhead the 'Bring Back Crystal Pepsi' campaign.

Internet videos

While Strahle was in Los Angeles, he uploaded his first YouTube video where he performed a milk chugging challenge. Noticing the positive response the video received, he started his own channel under the user name "skippy62able". Having completed Fatburger's XXXL burger challenge[6], Strahle's roommate commented that he was 'a beast' for finishing it so fast.[19] Starting in 2011,[22] Strahle would often refer to himself as either "Beast" or "L.A. Beast", eventually choosing the latter as his official nickname.

In September 2015, Strahle and fellow eaters Takeru Kobayashi, Bob Shoudt, Patrick Bertoletti and Tim Brown assembled in Chicago, Illinois to consume an entire cooked goat.[23] This eating challenge was performed with the intention of lifting the infamous Chicago Cubs curse.[24] The event gained notoriety after the Cubs won the 2015 National League Division Series shortly after the eating incident transpired.

In January 2016, Strahle announced his intention to be the fastest person to walk across the continental United States.[25]

Competitive eating

In November 2011, Strahle competed in his first professional eating contest at the Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship in New York City.[19][26][27]

In 2012, Strahle was ranked the 16th best competitive eater in the world, and ranked 17th in 2013 respectively.[6]

In June 2012, Strahle consumed 25 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifier in Cleveland, Ohio.[28][29] Though Strahle lost to eating veteran Crazy Legs Conti, he was beat by only a quarter of a hot dog.

In February 2016, Strahle competed at Wing Bowl 24 where he ate a cactus live on stage. To qualify for the competition, Strahle ate 24 raw eggs in under four minutes.[30]

"Bring Back Crystal Pepsi" movement

In April 2015, Strahle rallied his fans to comment on Pepsi's official social media accounts with the hashtag "#BringBackCrystalPEPSI" in an effort to revive the once-popular soft drink.[31][32][33] This led to the creation of a petition and as of June 2015, it has over 33,000 signatures.[20][21][34] The popularity of the movement also produced 15 billboards placed all around the Los Angeles area.[34]

On June 8, 2015, Strahle received a message from Pepsi via Twitter, acknowledging his efforts to get Crystal Pepsi brought back to store shelves and hinting at the soft drink's potential return.[35][36] The next day, a Pepsi spokeswoman confirmed the message's authenticity.[37][38]

On July 26, 2015, Strahle released a song on iTunes called "The Crystal Pepsi Song" featuring production company That's Classic Media.[39] A music video was later released August 5, 2015.[40][41]

On December 8, 2015, Pepsi announced the re-release of Crystal Pepsi in a limited quantity sweepstakes. On June 2016, Pepsi announced that Crystal Pepsi will be released in the US on August 8th, 2016 for an eight week run.[32][33][36][41]

Notable challenges



Other Stunts

  • Inserting his hand into a jar full of hot ice[65]
  • Placing his hands inside gloves filled with bullet ants for 10 minutes [66]
  • Solving a Rubik's Cube blindfolded while walking barefoot over a large pile of Lego bricks [67]
  • Trying to cross a butter-covered floor with an armful of presents[47]
  • Inhaling various vaporized alcoholic beverages[19]
  • Ripping 30 phone books in half in 3 minutes[48]