Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Papa John says he ate 40 pizzas last month, promises ominous "day of reckoning"

Photo: JB Lacroix (Getty Images)

Disgraced cheese grease magnate “Papa John” Schnatter has been laying low recently, which, you know, is what one generally does after being caught on tape using the N-word during a board meeting conference call regarding racial sensitivity training. While he’s popped up from time to time since last year to assure us he’s living his best life, a recent interview making the rounds this morning indicates we’ve all been duped by Machiavellian forces beyond our control.

See, we’ve had it all wrong, apparently: Papa John isn’t a racist, Nazi-endorsed pizza mogul almost inevitably assured to be the future subject of a Scorsese biopic. No, he’s simply the victim of a vast corporate conspiracy to remove him from his namesake indigestion empire, which is now run by someone he says has “no pizza experience.”

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Hmm. Well, even taking him at his word, Schnatter still seems a bit...off? A quick perusal of Twitter confirms we aren’t the only ones noticing it, either.

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For starters, after tracking down the actual interview, it would initially appear the 30-second compilation making the rounds on Twitter is pitch altered to make Schnatter sound as if he’s just huffed pizza oven cleaner, which might lend credence to Papa’s claims of merely being the victim of a smear campaign to rob him of his vast fortune largely built on arteriosclerosis. We say “initially appear” because, in actuality, the full clip from news station WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky, is somehow even weirder.

Over the five-minute interview, a concerned Stephen Johnson does his best to maintain a straight face as Schnatter swears his innocence, promising that his employees would be ecstatic if he returned. “They’d be cheering...They’d be doing back flips. They’d be bouncing off the wall,” says Schnatter.

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Then there’s the claim that Papa John himself ate 40 Papa John pizzas in the past month to check in on his former empire’s glory, only to find it lacking. “It’s not the same pizza. It’s not the same product. It just doesn’t taste as good.”

Even assuming Schnatter meant 40 slices of pizza in the past month, that’s still a terrifying amount of Papa John’s to consume. He’s also wearing his hometown’s high school baseball jersey, and repeatedly vows “a day of reckoning will come.”

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So yeah, he’s doing just fine, everyone.

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About the author

Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul's work is recently featured by Rolling Stone, GQ, The Forward, and The Believer, as well as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and TNY's Daily Shouts.