Fallon to get taste of Hillbilly Hotdogs
Huntington - Food Network chef and host Guy Fieri is going to New York on Wednesday night to be on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and he’s taking a little piece of Huntington with him.
Fieri called Hillbilly Hotdogs owners Sonny and Sharie Knight on Monday afternoon to see if they’d make six of their 15-inch chunked, covered and smothered “Homewrecker” hot dogs to use during his appearance on the show.
Fieri, who’s best known these days for his Food Network show “Guy’s Big Bite,” will be on “The Tonight Show” at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, alongside guests, actor Zac Efron and musician Sarah McLachlan.
“Guy called and said he was in New York and was going to be on the Jimmy Fallon show the next night and wondered if we would send him six Homewreckers,” Sonny Knight said. “He said he was going to try and get Fallon to eat one.”
Sonny Knight said he and Sharie are flying up to deliver the dogs in person and to spend a few days in New York City.
“Guy’s a great person, and it’s another blessed thing that happened to us because of the show and he keeps on giving because he’s that kind of guy,” Sonny Knight said of Fieri, whose dad is from Wheeling. “He’s like us, he likes to help people out ... and he is still humble for where he is at.”
Fieri first shone a light on Hillbilly Hotdogs in the spring of 2008 when he brought his hit show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” to Lesage, the original Hillbilly Hotdogs location, to film some of the culinary creations of Sonny Knight, who is from Lesage, and Sharie Knight, who like Fieri is from California.
Since then, he gave the couple’s restaurant at Lesage a four-page spread in his cook book, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip with Recipes,” and spotlighted them on a Best of “DDD” show as well.
Sonny Knight said Fieri’s original battle with The Homewrecker was an epic struggle he hasn’t forgotten.
“When Guy came here and filmed his show, that was his favorite,” Sonny Knight said of The Homewrecker, which has become the restaurant’s most famous large item. “He picked it up and pushed it into his mouth and kept pushing it and it got on his earring and he looked into the camera and said, ‘Did I get some on my bling bling?’ The worse thing though was that it was hot. Sharie makes a homemade habanero sauce, and she flooded it with the fresh sauce.”
The Homewrecker has been bested now by a new 24-inch dog that was built in October to beat out Alice Cooper’s The Big Unit as America’s biggest hot dog.
The couple, whose mammoth dogs and burgers have been featured on everything from Jay Leno and David Letterman to CNN Headline News, said the appearance of The Homewrecker is great news for the couple, which just sold franchise rights to Gary Adkins for the Huntington location at 1501 3rd Ave.
“We won’t make any money for probably two years, but it was worth it to release us so we can just be out at Lesage,” Sonny Knight said. “It’s just more fun out in Lesage.”
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