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The Singing Hot Dog Man at Comerica Park has been fired

Sep 7, 2013, 9:00 AM EST

Ballpark hotdog

Anyone who has been to Comerica Park for a Tigers game in the past decade or so is likely acquainted with Charley Marcuse, better known as The Singing Hot Dog Man. Well, he is singing at Comerica Park no more: he’s been fired by Sportservice, the company which manages the vending for Tigers games.

Marcuse was a polarizing figure at Tigers games. Some folks loved him. Some folks hated him. That latter group included the Tigers, who have wanted him gone for years and who complained to Sportservice on multiple occasions about his singing and eventually got him to agree to only sing between innings so as to lessen the distraction.

Which, fine. But it’s pretty friggin’ hilarious that in an age where ballparks blast music constantly at ballparks some guy doing some fake opera about hot dogs is considered a distraction. Personally, I would have put an end to the Nickelback and crap like that before going after the hot dog guy, but that’s just me.

  1. ezthinking - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    The cross over of Nickleback fans (not me) and baseball fans is likely a 100 million times more than opera fans and baseball fans.

    I’m sure the Lions or Red Wings would appreciate his skills. Hmmmmm, maybe not.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      I don’t know about that. I bet a lot of old timer fans are more hep to the Met than alt-cheese rock.

      • convincedofthehex - Sep 7, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        Was he basing his opera on the Nickelback song Something In Your Mouth? Hot dog anyone?

  2. Bryz - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    So many vendors walk around just saying what they’re hawking – “Peanuts! Cracker Jacks!” – that anyone straying from the norm is a welcome sight. The Twins have one vendor that will yell “Dugout Dogs!” and draw it out for 20 seconds, sometimes drawing applause from the crowd once he finishes. Another vendor is a huge man (6’8″, 300 lbs.) and he will loudly clang his tongs whenever he’s selling hot dogs.

    Hell, the one line I will always remember from a vendor was in the Metrodome: “Nothing says ‘I hate the Royals’ like buying a malt cup!” I suppose some fans will buy your product no matter what you say, but being different is far more memorable and entertaining.

    Therefore, it’s a shame that the Tigers found his singing obnoxious. I could see that if I had to listen to it for the entire game, but the same vendor visits your section maybe 2-3 times a game. The Twins also have a singing program man at Gate 14 in Target Field, and I know he rubs some employees the wrong way, but again, I’m not sure if his singing is a bad thing.

    • 58seltzer - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Bryz, do you sit on the aisle? Because there’s nothing more annoying, even painful, than having that dude clang his stupid tongs in your ear. He’s obnoxious.

      That said, I’d probably rather listen to his stupid shtick than hear Day-O, Minnie the Moocher or that godawful “Everybody Crap Your Pants” song one more time.

      • Bryz - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        I work at Target Field as an usher, so I’ve heard his tongs many times.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP.
        Whoever was the first to play that in a ball park or arena should be drawn and quartered, and then severely punished. Ditto anyone who plays it again, starting….. now.

  3. louhudson23 - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    The point about the music blaring cannot be overstated. The sheer inanity of walk up music cannot be adequately described…and to have each repeated 3-4 times per game is only the gong to the migraine….give me a bellowing vendor any day…..

  4. Brian Donohue - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Well, he could use some lessons. Perhaps a frankfurter adaptation of Rossini’s Largo al Factotum would get him back in good graces.

  5. yowillie12 - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I long for the days when you could actually hear yourself think at the ball park. Now the blaring music takes away from the game. Teams cater to the 12 year olds and not the older people who have all the $.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Because the 12 year olds are more likely to get the older people with the money to cough up some of it.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        That is the Walt Disney way….

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Says the very fortunate to be a Dodger fan.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      I don’t think the 12 year olds are that much into Minnie the Moocher either. My nephew and niece love Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the stretch (which we all do together) and they like some of the other stuff (doing the wave or whatever) but I don’t think they love the other music so much they’d be heartbroken not to hear it. Honestly, they have an ear bud in one ear listening to their music most of the time anyway. Anymore, you can’t get my niece to watch a ballgame without One Direction as her background music — which means the person actually listening to the stuff blaring from the speakers is me. :(

  6. micknangold - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I would have fired him for trying to tell fans not to use ketchup.

    • paperlions - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Like all of the distractions that have nothing to do with the game that now infest ballparks, ketchup is for kids.

    • moogro - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Well, we were all thinking it. But it does bear repeating:

  7. rangersgrit - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Reblogged this on Dallas Sports Central and commented:
    What???? A singing hot dog man? It doesn’t get anymore American than that!! I’m hungry just thinking about it……..I’m starting a new “Causes Theme” Bring back the singing hot dog man!!!

  8. myenta9345 - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    For GODS sake it’s baseball AMERICAN TRADITION.JUST once can big buisness get lost.A singing vendor is great american TRADITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. imnotyourbuddyguy - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Good, he’s horrid.

  10. globalwork90 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Love my job, since I’ve been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I’m making it online…go to this site home tab for more detail—>>> http://goo.gl/0oImC3

  11. frank433 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Only time I saw him up close at Comerica I saw him hassling a couple of 10 year olds about ketchup for their hot dog. They looked confused, but he was actually yelling at them. I don’t care what your stance is about ketchup or mustard only on a hot dog, you don’t make young kids feel embarrassed about it.

  12. corecontrarian - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    The times I saw him “hassling” fans for requesting ketchup it was done in a light-hearted joking manner though I suppose I could see children taking it the wrong way.

    Also, though I know the Tigers restricted the innings that he could sing, this is the first that I heard that the Tigers “have wanted him gone for years”. Surely they could have advised the vendor that they didn’t want him and the vendor surely would have made an accommodation for their important customer.

    For what it is worth, as a season ticket holder, I didn’t have a strong opinion on Charley either way. He didn’t bother me but I wasn’t real enthused by the act.

  13. globalwork90 - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    my buddy’s ex-wife makes $68/hour on the . She has been without a job for nine months but last month her payment was $20888 just working on the for a few hours. Read more on this site go to this site home tab for more detail—>>> http://goo.gl/0oImC3

    • dvdlgh - Sep 8, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      So she”s a hooker?

  14. sparty99 - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    I don’t have an issue with Charley’s shtick…as others have said uniqueness is cool. I still remember the dancing groundskeeper at old Tiger Stadium. But anyone who’s seen his Twitter feed knows he’s been openly antagonistic toward the Tigers when they came down with an order he didn’t like (someone asked him to stop singing during the playoffs and he directed fans to complain to the Tigers’ Twitter feed). Additionally, from what I’ve heard, Heinz wanted him gone because he complained about ketchup so much (not a joke, that apparently happened). If he was just a singing hot dog vendor who toed the company line, he’d still be around. He ultimately chose his own fate.

    • Kevin Gillman - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      He became too big for his own good it seems. If he has his own Twitter feed, the ego can hurt him.

  15. crackersnap - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Ah “Tradition”. It seems not that long ago when the way for an employee to get to define the job was to become…an employer.

  16. padraighansen - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    So let me get this straight: The guy who made hundreds of millions, if not multiple billions, off of a little, annoying nome walking around saying “Pizza! Pizza!” is pissed at a singing hot dog vendor?

    What a hot-and-ready $5 douche.

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