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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. koufaxmitzvah - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Sounds like a bread pudding man.


    • historiophiliac - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Voltaire? Probably. Adult dessert enthusiasts have a tolerant yet sophisticated palate.

      /shoots with silly string

  2. woodenulykteneau - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Self-proclaimed purists, for the record.

    • kopy - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Is there really such a thing as a hot dog purists? Those people should be eating sausages anyway.

  3. RoyHobbs39 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I assume Voltaire would only want French’s on his dog. What do they use at Comerica?

  4. tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I eat my hot dogs with only ketchup.

    I don’t much care for mustard on anything.

    Well, you think what you want about me; I’m not changing. I like… I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Wait, I take that back.

      I haven’t always ONLY eaten ketchup hot dogs.

      When I was a kid I would dip my Friendly Frank in my orange soda.

      Also once when I was real little I almost died choking on the casing of a hot dog so I remember for awhile I had these really fucked up hot dogs that my mother had peeled. Finally I was like “I’d rather die than eat this weird looking crap.”

    • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      So…where do you best like you hot dogs–on planes, trains, or automobiles?

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        I’m not sure I understand your question. It sounds like a reference to something but I guess I don’t get the joke.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        Your comment was an almost word for quote by John Candy in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” Thought you were referencing the movie.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        I’m not familiar with that movie. Is it recent?

      • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        1987. John Candy and Steve Martin. It’s hilarious.

        Here’s the full quote, it comes in a part of the movie where Steve Martin’s character has thoroughly berated John Candy’s character:
        “Del: You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right. I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you, but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me. I’m not changing. I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.”

      • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        You gotta be messing with me; how does one have that exact a quote without having seen that movie?

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        How weird.

    • bigharold - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      “I eat my hot dogs with only ketchup.”

      That explains a lot about you.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        I like to think it explains a lot about society since I am smarter, handsomer and more strong than everyone else.

        Maybe you ought to rethink your hot dog habits.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        You see that “sexier” didn’t make the catsup man’s list.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        I gotta do all the extrapolation for you?

        Typical mustard eater.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        Whatever. I’m on the record as being polycondimentarous. No h8.

      • bigharold - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        “.. since I am smarter, handsomer and more strong than everyone else.”

        Narcissist much?

  5. spursareold - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Ketchup on a dog is for kids.

    • gabeguterres - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      And Communists. Putting ketchup on hot dogs is un-American.


      • misterj167 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        That’s exactly what I would say to my wife, whom I loved more than anything in the world, despite her wanting ketchup on her hot dog. “Here’s your hot dog, you Communist”, I would say, as she smiled back at me.

        It’s one of the few things New Yorkers and Chicagoans have in common (I grew up in Brooklyn, live in Chicago now): ketchup is for burgers, mustard is for hot dogs, and there are places here in Chicago where they will refuse to put ketchup on a hot dog for you, you have to do it yourself.

        I’m sorry the hot dog guy lost his job, but on the bright side, perhaps he can find work here:

    • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Frankfurters were invented in Frankfurt, and people there only put mustard on them–so ketchup on hot dogs is in-German!

      • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM


  6. proudlycanadian - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    I prefer to see hotdogs on the baseball diamond, assuming they can field their position. The stuff that you are supposed to eat, contains some rather gross animal body parts.

  7. threefingerclown - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Dirty Harry sides with the vendor…

    • bigharold - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Big Harold Approves of this message.

    • crackersnap - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Nothing demonstrates a fact quite like the example of some actor parroting the words of some writer who has built an entire world that will follow his rules alone in order to prove his own point of view.

  8. dawgpoundmember - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Wow, now I’m happy that no one complained earlier this year when my friend went all Delmon Young on some guy for putting ketchup on his hot dog at Comerica. Well it was the second home so it was probably the same guy getting the wrath of the vendor.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      If he went Delmon Young on the guy I’m assuming it was a kosher hot dog?

    • bigharold - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      “..the wrath of the vendor.”

      Isn’t that episode 12 in the Star Trek series?

    • dawgpoundmember - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      Unfortunately buck he went sexual preference, not religious, and I do not know Harold, I never seen star wars.

  9. kcq101 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Lafayette or American?

  10. daveitsgood - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Well if that’s the stance they want to take, that explains perfectly why Detroit is bankrupt, monetarily and morally. Pro-ketchup? What’s next? Catsup? No sir, this will not stand. Those cake eaters.

  11. vicvega422 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Ketchup on a hotdog is straight sacrilege.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      I’m pretty sure eating hot dogs in general is sacrilegious to all religious and medical beliefs systems.

  12. billyweber - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    I have a dream that one day my children will be judged not on what they put on a hot dog but the context of their character

  13. raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Comment from the post this past weekend:
    “micknangold – Sep 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM
    I would have fired him for trying to tell fans not to use ketchup.”

    Micknangold must be an insider!

  14. poprox13 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Ketchup makes everything better! Can you believe some people put mayonnaise on hot dogs??? now thats just wrong!!

    • nderdog - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      If that’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right. The best hot dogs for me have mayo, mustard, ketchup and cheese on them. That’s just about enough to hide the taste of the hot dog itself.

  15. Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    My hatred of mustard of all kinds is so over the top irrational, I don’t even like holding the bottle for my wife. So big negative on mustard. Ketchup it is for me.

    And as much sauerkraut as I can foist upon the dog and bun before the bun becomes a vinagar sponge. Then it’s nasty

    • hojo20 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      Dad, is that you posting?

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      To each his own Jason. But you hate mustard and love sauerkraut? That makes zero sense.
      You gotta’ explain that. Did something happen back in the day to traumatize you?
      Cause’ to this day I can’t eat backed beans because of an incident in the 4th grade.
      Stupid Jimmy Taulman.

      Qualification: I love me some sauerkraut. It’s the German side of the family coming out.

  16. weaselpuppy - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Hot Doug’s and Yesterdog are the twin quasars at the center of the Bun Meat Universe.

    ( Oh and of course, Lafayette)

  17. hildezero - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    That’s fine by me. I don’t even like ketchup anyways. It’s nasty.

  18. fusionix7 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    It depends on the mustard. Most likely it’s only French’s, or worse at the ballpark. I can’t see being that passionate about mustard when you only provide marginal quality mustard. If he gave the customers a dirty look because they don’t want to eat a hot dog with only generic mustard he should be canned.

  19. lawson1974 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Ketchup on a Dog is gross. But hopefully no one is coming to blows over it.

  20. salsashark2004 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    I am a mayo only man when it comes to hot dogs. I can accept ketchup if necessary but not if I can help it. However, one thing I cannot do, one thing I will never EVER do, is eat a hot dog without a bun. I have seen it done and it is horrifying.

    • weaselpuppy - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      mayo? this isn’t freaking Belgium, commie.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      What? No beans and weenies?

      • salsashark2004 - Sep 13, 2013 at 1:12 AM

        I would say that once you mix it with beans, it becomes something other than a hot dog so it doesn’t count.

  21. skerney - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    If you work in the food service industry, don’t be rude, combative, or ridiculing to customers. You run the risk of getting fired.

  22. southpaw2k - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    At Camden Yards they have a condiments race on the jumbotron halfway through every game. Ketchup, mustard, and relish run the bases with different outcomes and twists every time. Every race I have ever watched I have always rooted for, and will continue to root for until the end of time, ketchup. I rarely ever use mustard on anything, and I despise relish with every breath I take.

    • DJ MC - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      First off, Go Ketchup!

      Second, have you figured out the secret to who wins that race?

    • historiophiliac - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      I eat all three on a hot dog at once!

      • Gamera the Brave - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        Condiment apologist!

      • historiophiliac - Sep 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM


  23. DJ MC - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    I eat ketchup and mustard on my hot dogs. I don’t care if anyone considers that strange or wrong, it’s my choice.

    If I’m buying a dog from you and you want to gently chide me for my choice, I can play along with that. But if you get aggressive about it you bet your out-of-tune tucus I’m going to complain. I want to eat a hot dog, and you are trying to sell it to me, so you are going to put whatever I want on it.

    If I want to go into Ruth’s Chris and put ketchup on my $50 dry-aged, jet-broiled ribeye I will*. That’s my choice as the consumer.

    *Not that I would. I mean, come on: I’m not a goddamn troglodyte.

  24. heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Freaking ketchup apologists… You all make me sick!

    Booooo!!!! Storm the Heinz factory!

    / warms up pitchfork with torch.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM


  25. pkswally024 - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    I need some Rutt’s Hut

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