The 19th season of the wildly popular YouTube show “Hot Ones” started in September, and host Sean Evans has placidly downed his own plate of wings while guests ranging from Kid Cudi to Cate Blanchett to Zoe Saldana have had borderline religious experiences as they climbed higher on the Scoville scale.
But in the seven years and 275 episodes since it started, “Hot Ones” has become A Thing, the kind of Thing that has started to show up in feature films and promo videos and parodies. A year after she played Beyonce in a “Hot Ones”-themed sketch on SNL, Maya Rudolph appeared on “Hot Ones” in character in an ultra-meta show-within-a-show scene from her Apple TV+ series Loot. (The fake — and loudly NSFW — clip went mega-viral over the summer and, if you’re like us, that’s literally everything you know about Loot.)
“It’s a testament to the mainstream popularity of that show,” Loot co-creator Alan Yang told Vanity Fair. “In the past, if you were doing that scene in a movie, it would’ve been The Tonight Show. But I think it was a little fresher that it wasn’t that.”
And now “Hot Ones” has been pulled into a film promo for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which will materialize in theaters on December 21. In the four-plus minute mini-episode, the title cat — introduced by Evans as a “legendary outlaw and hero” — eats wings, chugs leche, and answers questions about Kitty Softpaws.
Chances are, this isn’t the last time “Hot Ones” will show up onscreen before, during, or in a promo for something else. The more times that happens — or if those appearances get somehow less cool than Puss in Boots — there’s the risk that the real version will start to taste, well…bland.
“Hot Ones” totally shows up in a recent video round we call “EVE Online.” Check it out: