Epic Meal Time's YouTube Success Brings Home the Bacon

PHOTO: Epic Meal Times Harley Morenstein with the "Boss Bacon Burger," which includes ground bacon, stuffed with bacon, covered in bacon sauce and topped with bacon strips.
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Lasagna made with 45 burgers, liquor and bacon, a "boss bacon burger" with ground bacon, stuffed with bacon, covered in bacon sauce and topped with bacon strips, and a deep-fried PB and J tower filled with jars of Nutella and, oh yes, bacon.

These are just some examples of the monstrous meals dreamed up by the guys of "Epic Meal Time," an Internet food show where they create an insane conglomeration of near infinite calorie value. The Thanksgiving episode that famously included a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig packed upwards of 72,000 calories.

The episodes have earned "Epic Meal Time" millions upon millions upon millions of views on YouTube and they have over 2.4 million subscribers to their YouTube channel.

Harley Morenstein, a 26-year-old from Montreal, is the face of "Epic Meal Time" -- not to mention the brain, mouth and stomach.

"It's not a cooking show. It's a celebration of food show," he said.

A couple of years ago, Morenstein was a substitute teacher who had dreams of hitting it big on the Internet. He said he and his friends dabbled in web contests, and even won an award from pianist and composer John Tesh for a tribute video.

Their success didn't come by accident. Morenstein and his buddies decided there was a market for an Internet food show and licensed the domain name, "Epic Meal Time," even before posting their first video.

"People are always like, 'did you expect this?' and I was like, 'no, I expected to waste my time producing scum that no one's going to like,'" Morenstein said.

Morenstein said the show takes about $1,000 each to produce, but are self-sustaining, thanks to aggressive advertising and sales. "Epic Meal Time" sells everything from bacon salt to bacon popcorn to bacon spread, and, oh yeah, it sells t-shirts too.

"'Epic Meal Time' is a brand, it's more than just a show," Morenstein said. "We have a whole merchandised line... There's so many aspects to it that I never thought I would be involved in."

The former substitute now makes a living doing this, even though he admits he still lives with his parents.

In his weekly game of one-upsmanship with his friends, the guys push themselves to eat more and more, and worse and worse food. But Morenstein said he doesn't feel like he is responsible for sending a unhealthy message to his millions of YouTube viewers.

"The truth is, I'm down to die for this," he said. "If you're going to say that I'm the reason why the fat kid is eating all those cheeseburgers, it would be a crazy thing to say. The kid is probably going to eat cheeseburgers anyway."

But so, we had to ask, what makes a meal epic?

"[The] number one thing and it's always underrated: Friendship," Morenstein said. "Friendship tastes amazing and it smells even better."

"Nightline" went behind-the-scenes as the guys prepared a meal for one of their episodes -- a dessert involving ice cream, Jack Daniels, bacon and more bacon.

The next thing Morenstein said he is going to eat? "Nightline."

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