MLE Vault - May 3, 2004: Crazy Legs Conti & The Popcorn Sarcophagus

MLE Vault - May 3, 2004: A look back at Crazy Legs Conti and The Popcorn Sarcophagus

Watch Crazy Legs Conti eat his way out of 60 cubic feet of popcorn.

Conti Survives 'Popcorn Sarcophagus'

In a never-before-attempted stunt, renowned competitive eater Crazy Legs Conti was buried alive under more than 60 cubic feet of popcorn inside a life-sized popcorn box known as “The Popcorn Sarcophagus."

Conti sought to eat his way out of the box in time for the premiere of the documentary, “Crazy Legs Conti -- Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating” at the Tribeca Film Festival.

An emergency medical technician was on hand for this death-defying stunt, which was overseen and moderated by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Conti breathed through a custom-fitted snorkel as he ate, and was equipped with an emergency communications system in the case he became overwhelmed by the popcorn. The color-coded system – green for “all systems go,” red for “danger,” yellow for “alert/need more butter” – enabled IFOCE officials to smash through the plexi-glass viewing panels if Conti’s life was in jeopardy.

Richard Shea, who introduced Conti as the "Houdini of Cuisini," held a sledgehammer throughout the event in case an emergency occurred. After eating what appeared to be eight cubic feet of popcorn -- a number considered impossible by most -- Conti eventually conceded that he could go no further.

"Evil Knievel had Snake Canon, I have the Popcorn Sarcophagus," Conti said. "I will try this again and again until I overcome the challenge."

“Crazy Legs Conti and the Zen of Competitive Eating,” an Oyster Productions film, follows Conti in his attempt to climb the ranks of the nation’s top competitive eaters. Conti has competed against the world’s top gurgitators, including Takeru Kobayashi, Cookie Jarvis and Sonya Thomas, in a range of disciplines such as oysters, hot dogs, pancakes and string beans.