ON MAY 19, 1946, THE GREATEST BOOZER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND SCREAMED OUT HIS FIRST DEMAND FOR SOMETHING TO DRINK.
Born Andre Roussimoff in the French town of Coulomnier (to Boris and Mariann Roussimoff for those keeping score at home), Andre the Giant excelled at being big. By age 12, he already carried 240lbs on his 6'3" frame. Some know him as Fezzik from The Princess Bride. Others know him from his epic rivalry with Hulk Hogan during his years in the WWF. Some of you poor bastards don't yet know him at all.
I know, Dear Reader, what you're thinking: "Greatest boozer in the history of mankind, my ass!! You should’ve seen me in Vegas for my 21st!!” I’m sure you handled some horrendously liver-damaging, frat-bro level business in Vegas that fateful Tuesday. Yet let me educate you, my drunken friend:
It is likely that The Giant consumed more booze in his 46 years on this planet than the following persons will in their entire lives combined: you, your best drunken mate, your drunken mate’s fraternity president acquaintance, your drunken mate’s fraternity president acquaintance's alcoholic father, that drunk braying like a giggly mule down the bar from you, his wine-tasting soccer-mom wife, and all of his wine-tasting soccer-mom wife's weekend mimosa-guzzling flock.
- Wylie Withers, Booze League Commissioner.
“Big boast, pal!” you say. “Put up or shut up!” Fair enough. Let’s take a look at why we at The Booze League wholeheartedly dub Andre the Giant The Greatest Boozer in the History of Mankind.
He drank 119 cans of beers in under six hours
That 1,428 ounces of beer. That’s 238 ounces every hour. That’s just shy of 20 cans/hour. Basically a beer every three minutes. That being said, look at how ridiculous a can of beer looks in his gargantuan hand…
He drank 127 pints of beer in one night
Andre then passed out in the lobby. The night staff of the Omni William Penn were too few in number to move the The Giant and resorted to throwing a piano cover over him, surrounding him with a velvet rope, and letting him doze.
His all time record is 156 pints in one sitting
Let’s Play Beer Math! One pint equals 16 ounces, which means that 156 pints equals 2,496 ounces. That’s almost 20 gallons of beer in one sitting. That’s around 4 sixth barrel kegs of beer. All by himself. In one night. Let that sink in for a moment.
7000: the estimated number of booze calories he consumed daily
“Daily” in this context means: “Every. Single. Day.”
Andre drank every bottle of vodka on the plane on a flight to Tokyo
According to Ric Flair, it was a flight from Chicago to Tokyo, which is about 13 hours. In The Giant's defense, that's a long time trapped in a vacuum sealed tube over the Eastern Hemisphere surrounded by people a quarter of his size.
Six bottles of wine was his warm up before WWE wrestling matches
Yeah yeah, Janet, STFU about that bridal shower where you went wine-tasting in Temecula.
He once ran up a 40k bar tab with his favorite drink, the american
The American is a 40oz, multi-liquor concoction that Andre would guzzle relentlessly. For some insight as to what this massive crafted cocktail tasted like, we go to Cary Elwes, Andre’s co-star in The Princess Bride:
"I’ve never tasted airplane fuel," Elwes said, "But I imagine it’s very close to what that must taste like. It’s very potent indeed, and I remember coughing a lot. But to him, it was like chugging water.”
He once responded to a Last Call with an order for 40 drinks
You might hear stories like this from celebrities or hip hop artists clubbing in Hollywood, looking to grab some attention and making it rain drinks before the after party. But for The Giant? There's a good chance most of those 40 "last ones" were for him. And he probably went looking for a liquor store afterward...
There’s no denying the man was a badass when it came to crushing booze. A Booze-Crushing Badass. Cary Elwes remembered him and his epic drinking stamina a few years ago in an interview with The Daily Beast:
"The man was extraordinary. He never even slurred his words or was tipsy! He was absolutely a man who could consume vast amounts of alcohol and not have it affect him at all. I’ve never seen anything like it. I went drinking with him after our first screening in New York, and I was sipping a beer all night—which he thought was very funny. There was no way I was going to compete with that, because I knew he could consume 100 beers in one sitting."
The Giant would’ve turned 71 on May 19, 2017. This year his birthday is on a Friday. Get your ass out there and honor his memory appropriately! (And hashtag that shitshow #boozeleague)
Wylie Withers is the Commissioner of the Booze League and Co-Host of the BoozeCast. He spent many years as 1/3 of the comedy improv duo The Merry Misfits of Doom before pursing a Masters in Boozing (with a Marketing focus). His posterior was featured on the final episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, earning him his SAG card. He'd like to give a shoutout to his liver and left kidney for always being there for him. Follow him on Twitter @wyliewithers or reach him via email firstname.lastname@example.org.