Daymon Patterson takes the driver’s seat with TV show
BY LORI RACKL TV Criticfirstname.lastname@example.org July 29, 2013 3:06PM
‘BEST DAYM TAKEOUT’
Back-to-back premiere episodes on Chicago and New Orleans 9 to 10 p.m. Wednesday on Travel Channel
Updated: July 29, 2013 6:48PM
‘Sweet baby Jesus,” Daymon Patterson says to an open box of Pequod’s Pizza as he sits in his car’s driver’s seat.
He scoops up a thick slice, cheese spilling down the sides.
“Oh, look at the pepperoni trying to escape — don’t go far, Boo,” Patterson coos, popping the stray slice of salami into his mouth.
The 6-foot, 5-inch, 390-pound Patterson is a bit of an expert when it comes to eating behind the wheel. His colorful, unorthodox and occasionally bawdy food reviews reported from the front seat of his car catapulted the 35-year-old father of two into a YouTube sensation.
And then the Travel Channel came calling, offering Patterson his own television show.
Debuting Wednesday on the wanderlust-centric cable net, “Best Daym Takeout” sends Patterson — or Daym, as his social-media fans know him — across the country in search of the top take-out eats.
The premiere lands Daym in Chicago, where he has to decide what’s the best grub: the pizza at Pequod’s, a Superdawg hot dog or an Italian beef from Mr. Beef.
A blend of boredom and curiosity is the fuel that propelled the Connecticut native onto YouTube roughly three years ago. While working as an assistant manager at Walmart, Daym would spend his lunch hour driving around, shooting video with his portable Kodak camcorder.
“I created this personality, a little news reporter if you will,” Daym says. He’d post short stories on YouTube about random things he saw — a broken down tow truck getting towed, a cemetery in need of some TLC. If a video gleaned 50 views, he dubbed it a success.
Daym thought it would be fun to branch out and cover a topic he loves: fast food. With his Kodak camera mounted on the dash, he weighed in on Burger King’s French toast sticks and uploaded his report to YouTube.
“I received more views off of that one review than I had for everything else I did before,” Daym says. “I was like, ‘Individuals like watching people eat? Nah, this can’t be right.’”
He turned his critical taste buds’ attention to Subway’s barbecue pulled pork — “Is that possum meat?” — and McDonald’s Shamrock Shake — “Hold on, time out. I think I tasted a little Andes candy in there!” But it was his exuberant analysis of Five Guys Burgers and Fries that vaulted him to the next level.
“Let me light one of these joints on fire,” Daym says to the camera as he fishes a crisp French fry out of Five Guys’ grease-stained, brown paper sack. “Mmmm. You bite the fry, the fry bites back!”
The nearly seven-minute video has racked up nearly 5 million views on his YouTube channel, Daym Drops. It went viral last August after popping up on the influential website Reddit, often referred to as the front page of the internet. That’s where auto-tune masters The Gregory Brothers found it. The musicians remixed the review into the catchy ditty “Oh My Dayum” — a video that’s garnered more than 15 million views.
Next thing you know Daym is doing guest spots on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” reviewing the return of McDonald’s McRib and picking apart Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler on Valentine’s Day.
“Now I have 138,000 subscribers on YouTube — that all happened in less than a year,” says Daym, who quit his job as a buyer for CarMax in Hartford, Conn., last fall to focus on front-seat food reviews.
“I’m just a regular, everyday guy,” he says about his trajectory from humble YouTuber with a couple hundred subscribers to the star of his own TV show. “I’m still in shock.”