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The singing hot dog vendor was fired for his anti-ketchup views

Sep 12, 2013, 5:10 PM EDT


Over the weekend we noted how Comerica Park’s famous singing hot dog vendor, Charley Marcuse, was fired. We presumed it was because of, you know, the singing. But that’s not what some people are saying. From the Detroit News:

There are rumblings the real reason was ketchup — or Marcuse’s disdain for it. Marcuse, at the ballpark and on Twitter, has been a strong crusader for only putting mustard on a frank. And some fans thought he got combative when they asked for ketchup. There were complaints filed.

Politics, man. Politics.

For what it’s worth, I respect the purists who go mustard-only on hot dogs. And, for the most part, that’s how I roll myself.  But I’ve liberalized my views on this over the past year or so. Men and women died for our freedoms in this country, and one of those freedoms is to put ketchup on a gosh dang hot dog if you want. And if that’s what you want, far be it from me to condemn you for it.

Or, as Voltaire put it, I may disapprove of what you put on your hot dog, but I will defend to the death your right to put it there, you know, on your hot dog.  At least I’m almost positive that that’s what he was talking about.

  1. jimatkins - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Not that I’m a health food maniac or anything, but you do realize you’re getting all worked up over a food product made from beaks and lips, don’t you?

    • timothynoble41 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      The Farmer John processing plant in Los Angeles is surrounded by high walls that are covered with hand painted murals. These walls are only a disguise to hide the disgusting filth and deplorable conditions which exist inside.

      • moogro - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        The pigs in the pig trucks start shooting shit out the side of the truck onto other cars when they go down Santa Fe, smelling the death coming.

  2. thomas844 - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    What a tomatophobe

  3. steelers88 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Sigh. What has America come to?

  4. rcali - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Well, according to NFL’s Roger Goodell, if it offends one person, then we better start talking about getting rid of it!

  5. henson58 - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Mustard is the only thing that should be on a hot dog or corn dog. I can proudly say I have never not once in my life put that devil juice known as ketchup on a hot dog or corn dog. I eat them the way God intended them to be eaten MUSTARD ONLY!!! LOL

    • quseio - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Mustard OR saurkraut ! and chile is ok but uncouth

      • timothynoble41 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest isn’t exactly a showcase for social graces and dining etiquette. I do understand your point, though.

    • tomdsm1 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      God didn’t intend mustard only to be on a hotdog. It was stupid Midwestern people that wanted to have something to call their own. You know… the same people that screw up cheesesteaks by putting peppers and mozzarella cheese on them and screw up pizza by cutting it in little squares. The last people that should be talking about how a food item is to be prepared are Midwestern people.

      But, to each their own. Put the wrong stuff on a cheesesteak. Just don’t make peppers and mozzarella cheese synonymous with the word Philly! I don’t put ketchup on my hotdog and call it Chicago style, do I?

      Yes, I’m from Philly and live in the Midwest. And I put ketchup on my hotdog!!! and cheesesteak!

      • timothynoble41 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        So much passion over a hot dog?

      • mikhelb - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        There was one time on a cinco de mayo I was invited to a “mexican party” in Los Angeles by friends who know mexican food only by “Taco Bell”.

        Their food consisted of:

        Ground beef tacos with a sweet sauce made of tomato paste and roasted california peppers (quite a few of my friends even passed on that sauce because it was “quite hot” for their taste).

        Burritos made with a hard shell of tortilla encased with a flour tortilla.

        Both of those included mozzarella, cheddar, lettuce and there was a big bowl of chili con carne and nachos.

        What… the… FFFFFFFUUUU???

        In México ground beef is not used to make tacos, for that you need a good steak to make “carne asada” which is cooked in a grill. Carne adobada is done with pork meat boiled with spices, then marinated with adobo, cooked and served on corn tortillas, onion, fresh coriander leaves, pieces of pineapple (either raw or cooked alongside the meat) and a variety of hot sauces NOT made with tomato sauce (some are just hot pepper with a bit of water left from the boiled meat+spices).

        To make matters worse: chili con carne is not even a mexican food (neither are nachos).

        Their taste buds were in ecstasy when I cooked for them on september 15 to celebrate the (real) mexican independence (5 de mayo is not the independence, it was merely a battle won to the then mighty french army, who later came back and bitchslapped the mexican army).

        I like my hot dogs with a bit of relish, sauerkraut, while taking small bites of habanero pepper (with seeds and veins) and gulping a good dark beer. Heck even grilled green onions taste geat with that combination. Just please hold on to mustard, ketchup and mayonaisse or cream.

    • timothynoble41 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Mustard only? Hah! The FDA permits a small amount of rat hair and rodent feces in hot dogs. Savory and delectable.

      • mikhelb - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        LOL it is a sad thing when you take into account that most so called “third world countries” have stronger production standards than the USA, because those countries are aiming to a global market with lots of different domestic standards, while most of the US products consumed domestically are not aimed at the international market and only meet certain standards.

        Same for antidoping tests, there are certain levels which don’t constitute a positive for the US, specifically MLB/MiLB, but those levels constitute a positive in hispanic countries where baseball is played AND not directly affiliated to MLB. A positive in the Mexican Baseball League (summer league) can be a negative under the stablished parameters for the US.

    • moogro - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Ketchup on any pork product? No.

  6. cur68 - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Mustard has antiseptic properties. Given what’s in hotdogs, that’s a good thing. Ketchup is a perfect growth medium for bacteria, so all it does is encourage that dog to kill you. Mustard only, folks. With spanish onion. Mmmmm…

    • drone501 - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      thanks after 50 yrs of ketchup and living near the heinz factory in pittsburgh, you sold me. lol

  7. Minoring In Baseball - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Pretty lame by the Comerica Park staff, and, again, who cares what someone else puts on their hotdog. I think Mike Illitch has more to worry about than franks..

  8. imnotyourbuddyguy - Sep 13, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    That’s not a Voltaire quote, it Evelyn Beatrice Hall in her biography on Voltaire.

  9. greymares - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Nobody I mean nobody eats more Ketchup than me. If I stopped Heinz would lay-off 10 people, that being said putting Ketchup on a hot dog if your above the age of 10 should trigger a mental evaluation. lol.

    • mmmpierogi - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      Well, Heinz is laying off a bunch of people here pretty soon (or just did), so you better start eating more of it.

      • mikhelb - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        Ironic: if Heinz were laying off people because there is so much consumption of ketchup, manual labor is not sufficient and are being replaced by machines to keep up with the demand created by our fella greymares.

    • mikhelb - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      You’re a ketchupivore.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Ketchup down one side…mustard down the other and onions on top.
    You people are wack jobs. Pffft…mustard’s ass.
    And just for the record…relish is terrible.
    Unless it’s hot relish. Anything hot/spicey…and I own that bitch.

  11. mazblast - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I’m a mustard-and-relish guy myself (maybe some onion), but I’ll defend not quite to the death an individual’s right to put whatever they want on their hot dog, or to express their opinion about it. This vendor was clearly being obnoxious about expressing his opinion.

    However, firing him because someone got offended by his shtick? Please. He may really feel this way about ketchup on hot dogs, but, come on, people, it’s also part of his act. Great gosh, can’t anyone express an OPINION anymore without someone getting all huffy and offended?

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