The world-famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile toured the Capital Region this week and spent some time parked outside the WAMC studio in Albany. WAMC’s Lucas Willard caught up with the drivers of the 27-foot hot dog on wheels.
Keagan Schlosser – or Chili Cheez Keagz – and Chad Colgrove – also called Chadder Cheese – spend their days criss-crossing the country in what might be America’s most famous food-shaped vehicle.
“Yeah, it’s not a bus or a car, it’s the Wienermobile. But if you’re really curious, it sits on a forward cab box [truck], that’s the chassis. But no, the Wienermobile. It’s all custom built including the blue skies up above. That’s not in every car,” said Schlosser.
“Yeah, we got our ketchup runways and we do have a little bit of a mustard stain down there. We also got our mustard walls, and as Keagan says, we have our blue skies,” said Colgrove.
“You can never have a bad day with the blue skies,” said Schlosser.
There’s no food on board, and no bunks or bathrooms, either. But there are six seats in its red-and-yellow interior. The first Wienermobile fired up in 1936.
WAMC’s staff welcomed the Wienermobile outside The Linda and posed for some photos.
There are actually half a dozen Wienermobiles that tour the country. And the pilots say they were lucky enough to cut the mustard. The interview process takes months and Schlosser says fewer people have driven the Wienermobile than have been to space.
“We have to be really creative with our interview process and Chadder Cheese actually has a really great story of how he got this job,” said Schlosser.
“Yeah, so I first saw the Wienermobile when I was 6 years old and I was at a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Now, eventually, the Wienermobile wasn’t supposed to be even be there, they just saw all of us cute little Boy Scouts out there and thought, ‘Oh, this is a fun way to spark smiles.’ It was amazing. I got my first picture and my first wiener whistle back then. And then every year since, I just so-happened to see the Wienermobile, from 6 to 22. When I was in middle school and high school, my mom was always like, ‘Take your picture with the Wienermobile!’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I want my picture,’ being a teenager. And my mom was like, ‘Oh, you never know, maybe one day you’ll want to drive it.’ And then, here, going into college, I saw the Wienermobile once again near campus and sent a picture to my mom, ‘Saw the Wienermobile.’ And I started talking to the current hot-doggers back then, seeing how they get to travel around the country and just make people happy with their jobs, and I was just, ‘Maybe I do wanna drive this thing!’ So when I applied I sent in a timeline from 6 to 22 with a picture of the Wienermobile every single year,” said Colgrove.
Schlosser and Colgrove are tasked with driving the giant frank across the East Coast for their year-long stint.
In addition to media stops, the pilots are also assisting with local charities. The Wienermobile served as a unique Meals on Wheels delivery vehicle for older-adult care organization LifePath during its Capital Region visit.
The hot dog puts some miles on the clock.
“Though I don’t know by day, but about average on a week is about 500 so…it changes depending on how far we’re going, so sometimes we’re doing kind of a shorter drive time, some days we’re going through multiple states,” said Colgrove.
“Yeah, but we travel to a new city each week,” said Schlosser.
The Wienermobile’s visit drew some fans.
Amy Bothwell pulled over to take a look while driving into Albany with her husband.
“We were listening to The Roundtable, and even Ray Graf was like, ‘Well, in other news, besides the hot dog being here…’ It was very funny, and so I said, ‘We’re one block away, let’s stop.”
If you’re lucky enough to catch the gassed-up glizzy, you might take home a souvenir, too – the Wiener Whistle.
You might remember the song.
“If I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener…”