2016 was rough, 2016 was garbage – on this we can agree. Yet from the ashes of that annus horribilis rose a mighty, chicken-fueled phoenix: The Chicken Connoisseur. The public had many questions when the Connoisseur first came into the limelight: Was this to simply be a one-hit-wonder? Was this a mere meme, or a long-term source of entertainment? Just how old is this guy, exactly? We didn’t know, but man did we want to find out. Now that it’s 2017 (otherwise known as twenty-serpentine, the year to keep ’em guessing), we can properly assess the level of cultural impact that the Connoisseur and his much-beloved series The Pengest Munch will have upon the world, if not history – and it’s looking bright.
The truth is that The Pengest Munch and its enigmatic creator and star were never a flash in the pan. The show had been going for nearly a year before the sudden media storm that saw its views jump from the thousands to the millions overnight. This is not something that was done on a whim, it is a well-planned, well-produced show. As Elijah (the Connoisseur’s real name) stated on that terrible ITV interview, he had intended to be a food reviewer from the very start – success was always on the cards.
You can relive the awkward magic by watching the video above
What is it that makes the show so fantastic? Let’s break it down. First of all: The host. Elijah has carved a spot for himself as a truly unique personality – something that is pretty damn hard to do on YouTube, a platform full of people desperately trying to be unique. He uses his local slang, but he mixes it with a range of vocabulary much wider and more scientific than one might expect to appear in a conversation about discount chicken. This dude talks about chicken like it’s the Large Hadron Collider and it’s fantastic.
Aside from the novelty of the way he speaks, there’s also something incredibly charming and heartwarming about it in a broader sense. Here we have a young black British man who is not willing to betray his roots, but who also makes no attempt to play down his intelligence. This might not seem like a huge deal, but seeing as there are a comical amount of extremely racist people on YouTube, it’s always great to see someone not only willing to be themselves, but to also project a positive and entertaining image of their local community. Would we go so far as to call him a role model? Possibly. He is, after all, a true entrepreneur, making the most of his individual expertise to take home the big bucks.
The second key to the series’ success is undoubtedly its slick cinematography and editing. The production, which is handled by a London-based photographer by the name of Elishama Udorok, is professional and often eye-popping yet doesn’t seem over-produced. It’s another fantastic example of a homegrown talent flexing their skills.
The pair’s hard work has more than paid off. The show has millions of views, legions of fans and one of the best like-to-dislike ratios this intrepid reporter has ever seen on YouTube dot com. Elijah has even been invited onto various shows, both online and terrestrial – to almost no success. The truth is that no interviewer seems to understand how to interview this guy because they all either underestimate him, patronise him or just don’t seem to know who he is (time to re-watch that ITV interview). Fans have begun begging him to keep his videos as they are and to resist the temptations of a televisions show or sponsored series. Normally this would be terrible advice, but in a world of failed YouTuber TV projects, this actually makes a lot of sense.
Okay, we know that the show is silly – but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fantastic and arguably better than 90% of the boring, repetitive, unoriginal nonsense that gets posted to YouTube on a daily basis. In an age of endless challenge videos and people stealing videos – or stealing videos but under the guise of reviewing them, we need to hold original channels up on our shoulders like our lives depend on it. We think this channel is outstanding (piff, if you will) and we’re just going to keep harping on about it all year so you might as well give in and subscribe. Forget anything else you’ve heard: This year will belong to The Pengest Munch.