EATING MACHINE Joey Chestnut chomped his way to a sixth straight victory at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Championship at Coney Island.
The San Jose, Calif., resident and three-time champion of Sportsradio 94 WIP's Wing Bowl tied his 2009 record of 68 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes. He remains the world's top-ranked competitive eater.
Three local professional eaters — Royersford's Bob "Notorious B.O.B." Shoudt, Drexel Hill's Micah "Wing Kong" Collins and Downingtown's Sean "Flash" Gordon — competed in the Major League Eating event but got nowhere near Chestnut's numbers.
Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas, the only woman ever to win Wing Bowl, won the women's contest with 45 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes. The action was streamed live at noon on ESPN3.com and aired at 3 p.m. on ESPN.
Meanwhile, at 2 p.m. not far from Coney Island, the debut of a rival hot-dog contest, the Crif Dog Classic, featured South Jersey's Dave "U.S. Male" Goldstein and fellow local pro eater Dave "Tiger Wings and Things" Brunelli.
La Salle guy in ‘Ted'
La Salle University grad Ralph Garman can be seen, briefly, in "Ted," the box-office smash about a foulmouthed, drug-using, talking teddy bear and his best friend, played by Mark Wahlberg. Ted is voiced by the film's writer/director, Seth MacFarlane, who regularly uses Garman to perform voices on "Family Guy." Garman's hardly the only local connection to the film. Actress Jessica Barth, a Northeast High and West Chester University graduate, plays Ted's girlfriend, and Mila Kunis' character is supposed to be from Philadelphia, according to her Facebook profile shown early in the film. At La Salle, Garman was an honors student and "could imitate all of us," recalls Brother Gerry Molyneaux, a professor there who had Garman in several classes and worked with him on The Masque, La Salle's student-run theater group.
Get well soon, Harry
Best wishes to reformed playboy Harry Jay Katz, who is in serious condition in Temple University Hospital. He was admitted Friday for emergency abdominal surgery, according to his wife, Debra Cruz Katz. She says he's in a medically induced coma. He can't receive calls, callers or flowers, but friends can send cards to him in Room 943 at the hospital, 3401 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19140. Katz is expected to remain in the hospital "for at least two weeks, maybe more," his wife said.
Out and about
Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn, who is here shooting USA's upcoming "Political Animals," and "CSI" actor Hill Harper took part in the July 4 Celebration of Freedom ceremony in front of Independence Hall. The pair joined Gov. Corbett, Mayor Nutter, Wawa Welcome America! Executive Director and City Representative Melanie Johnson, and Cynthia MacLeod, superintendent of Independence National Historical Park, to read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and the Washington Letter. The 1790 letter, from President George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I., is now on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
Ed Welburn, General Motors' VP of global design, brought his father, Ed Sr., on a visit to the Simeone Automotive Museum last week. The locally raised auto exec, who oversees 10 design studios worldwide, wanted to see the "American Muscle" exhibit of cars that will show through July 15 at the Southwest Philly museum. The "American Muscle" car show features 20 classic-performance cars from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s. They got a personal tour from museum owner and neurosurgeon Frederick Simeone.
Groundbreaking Marines honored
Carroll W. Braxton, father of NBC10 reporter Monique Braxton, was among 20 local men who served in the Montford Point Marines, the country's first African-American Marines unit, who received a Congressional Gold Medal last week in Washington, D.C. His daughter happily accompanied him to the ceremony.
‘Good Times' guy at Laff House
"Good Times" actor and comedian Jimmie "J.J." Walker will be selling copies of his new book, Dyn-O-Mite! at the Laff House (221 South) when he headlines the club July 26-28.