Almost Famous: The Stars of Social Media

Q&A: YouTube Star ‘Shoenice’ Chugs Deadly Amounts of Liquor for Fame

"Another time, I drank rubbing alcohol and was paralyzed for a day."
A typical day in the life of Shoenice. (Screengrab: YouTube)

A typical day in the life of Shoenice. (Screengrab: YouTube)

The YouTube sensation known as Shoenice has proven that shock factor can still get you to the top. He’s achieved Internet fame by filling his channel with eating and drinking stunts that leave viewers with their jaws on the ground.

In his three years on YouTube, Chris Schewe has uploaded more than 550 videos, the vast majority of which showcase his outrageous stunts that could be fatal for others. The most popular videos are his alcohol “slams,” wherein he downs entire bottles of liquor in seconds. From the comfort of his own home, he’s slammed a bottle of Patrón (14 seconds), a bottle of Everclear (15 seconds), a small bottle of Bacardi 151 (6 six seconds) and four Jegar bombs (33 seconds) among many, many more. He’s also eaten condoms, a tube of painter’s caulk and Kim Kardashian.

To prove he isn’t faking it, Mr. Schewe unseals everything he slams on camera. He also gives lengthy soliloquies both before and after the stunts, and in the final moments of the post-slam banters, viewers can often see the intoxication ensue. He’s no stranger to aftermath videos either.

Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 15, Mr. Schewe has often wondered if that relates to his obscure consumption abilities. He claims he became able to up the extremeness of his stunts around that time, but doesn’t think that explains it all.

“Mind over matter,” he told Betabeat. “I’m drinking a bottle of glue. I know it’s not toxic, but most people can’t even touch a bottle to their tongues.”

From years of helping the homeless and doing stand up comedy to slamming his way to YouTube fame, the Denver resident — who moved there for the legal marijuana and “is never leaving” — has lead an interesting life.

Betabeat spoke with Mr. Schewe to learn more about the videos and the guy behind this unique talent:

Why are you able to eat and drink the things you do in your videos, and how did you first learn about your ability to do these stunts without harming yourself?

I’ve been doing it for as long as I remember. In elementary school art class people would just dare me to eat stuff, so I’d do it on a dare, not because I liked it. I used to try to make everyone laugh, and in 8th grade, I realized I could drink a lot of liquor. I just slammed it all. Everyone hated me when I went to parties back in the day. Yeah, it’s just my body is like a leather boot now. I go to the doctor and get a thumbs up on my checkup.

How did you get started on YouTube, and how do you get the ideas for your videos?

I joined in 2010 when I started uploading jokes, then I went buckwild and started downing everything in the medicine cabinet. Basically, my wife at the time didn’t agree with it, but I had bigger plans, so I moved on and the YouTube kept growing. Probably 90 percent of my videos are requests and there are probably 300 to 400 messages with requests a day. People usually send me something or PayPal me the money to go buy it.

Has anyone suggested a stunt that you wouldn’t do?

Yes, I won’t eat anything that breathes. I won’t eat any kind of human waste or blood. There’s a lot of vampires out there on YouTube. The number one that I get and won’t do is “eat your own shit.” I just tell them, “You first. Send me the link.

Do you test out these alcohol slams and eating stunts before you record them for your channel?

No, I just go with it. I’m 45 now, and everything I’m doing on YouTube is something I did at a party 25 years ago. I slammed my first three beers with no hands in under a minute when I was 15 at these twins’ Sweet 16.

Are there any that ended badly or that you later regretted? Tell me about the worst one you ever did.

When I slammed a bottle a of Devil’s Spring 160 proof vodka, I fell asleep and people that were over couldn’t wake me up. They drove me to the hospital and had my stomach pumped. When I came to, there was a tube down my throat and I was mad at my friends because I knew I wouldn’t have died. Another time, I drank rubbing alcohol and was paralyzed for a day. I couldn’t see straight and thought I went blind. Not doing that again.

Some people would say that your alcohol slams are your most shocking stunts, but which ones do you find the most outrageous?

I’d say eating the cactus. It was really rough. Also, eating a pine cone took forever. A toothpick, anything wooden, really. I definitely have a tolerance built up for the alcohol by now. I have the world record for a keg stand in Albany, NY. I’ve always had this talent. You have those eaters that can eat however many hot dogs in minutes at the annual Nathan’s contest. Well, I couldn’t do that, but they couldn’t slam a bottle of liquor.

Can you tell me about any videos that you have coming up?

I’m turning more towards pranks now. I have a camera crew that’s moving from Atlanta to Denver, and we’re going to be the next Jackass. I’m going to do Forrest Gump talks where I start talking to people about the most outrageous things another human being could think of; that’s going to be outrageous. This eating and drinking thing — in the next six months to a year — I’m going to lead that out of my lifestyle.

I also have a Shoenice variety channel. Currently, there’s a 30-minute documentary on there that I hope will be made into a full-length  Hollywood movie about my life. I’d like Matt Damon to play me. I think he would make a great Shoenice. Don’t you think he’d make a great Shoenice?

Is there anything else I haven’t asked about that you’d like to tell me?

Just that I have some really good weed and I’m about to smoke it once I’m off the phone with you.

Follow Sage Lazzaro on Twitter or via RSS.