Danish Boys Choir Eats Ghost Peppers and Continues to Sing

They succeeded in creating the hottest track of the year.

By Ethan L. Johns
December 21, 2017

Image: Chili Klaus/YouTube

Religious revelers may sometimes find that the joy of singing in harmony with others can be so powerful that it brings tears to their eyes. But if Christmas carolers and choir members want to be sure to get the drops flowing without all the vocal training, all they need to do is add a few extra Scoville heat units.

That’s exactly what Danish comedian and musician Chili Klaus (real name: Claus Pilgaard) had in mind when he staged a concert with the Danish Herning Boys Choir, just in time for Christmas caroling season. In the video posted to his YouTube page, Chili Klaus wishes the world a “merry Christmas,” after shiftily hinting that he wanted to add “a little extra passion to the music.”

Passion, in this case, came in the form of very hot peppers. The men and boys of the choir began singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” with tact and poise. Then, about halfway through the song, they all paused to pop peppers in their mouths. Things quickly started to deteriorate. The collective skin tone of the group went from a wintery, Scandinavian pale to noticeably red as eyes started to bulge and the sweat started to flow. Yet, even as the coughing started and their expressions conveyed a deep sense of oral agony, somehow they managed to get through the song—and sounded darn good while doing it, too.

Pilgaard staged a similar event in 2014 with Danish National Chamber Orchestra, at which the adult musicians sweat their way through a performance of “Tango Jalousie.” He has been known for his chili-related humor, notably at the expense of others (he once sent a Brazilian TV host to the hospital), though he partakes in the heat as well.

Worried about the poor kiddos in the boys choir? Pilgaard told Buzzfeed that he graduated the heat of the peppers to match their ages, “to make a common experience for all of them.” The youngest boys got cayenne and other less-spicy peppers while the adults were treated to ghost peppers, which are over 100 times hotter than jalapeños.

How did the parents feel? They were waiting in the wings, probably crying from laughter, with “milk, ice cream and bread.”

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns