Why Ken Jeong Didn't Want To Go On Hot Ones - Exclusive

Originally, Ken Jeong was not going to appear on "Hot Ones" in 2019. But, if you're one of the 18.8 million people who've delighted in his eventual episode, you probably noticed that the comedic actor takes pleasure in spitting out phrases like "gutter of my hatred for Sean Evans," waging war against the show's host. It's nothing personal. Jeong just didn't want to be there. The actor assured Evans that he "had three silent panic attacks" before showing up to eat chicken wings slathered in hot sauce, and he wasn't saying it just for comedic effect. 

Here's what the cameras didn't show you. While he sweated and desperately reached for the glass of milk throughout the ordeal, Ken Jeong's wife, Tran Ho, sat on set and masterfully downed her own batch of the spicy food. "My wife loves hot wings even more than me," the "Crazy Rich Asians" star revealed to Mashed in an exclusive interview. "They gave my wife a plate of hot wings and she loved that, she could handle the fight way more than me." In fact, as Jeong divulged, you can write Tran a thank you letter for the whole interview even existing at all. 

Ken Jeong's wife made him do the episode of 'Hot Ones'

Simply put, Ken Jeong is just not a hot sauce fanatic. That's something you probably caught on to while watching his "Hot Ones" episode, around the time when the "Community" actor is about to bite into a chicken wing slathered in Scoville level 20+ sauce. He pauses — as if to eulogize — "I just feel like these are landmines." (To his credit, Jeong made it to Scoville level 60 in the interview before truly feeling the heat.) 

But, if you saw the episode (which first aired in 2019), did you catch the moment when the actor looks straight at his wife off-camera? "Somewhere in that video, you see me just saying, 'Hi Tran, this is so painful, look how my mouth is on fire,'" Jeong told Mashed during a recent interview. That's because, had she not had a hand in it, her husband wouldn't have even dared to show up to do the interview. "I was actually very nervous," Jeong admitted. "I didn't want to do [the interview] in the beginning, and then my wife had convinced me, and then she actually came with me on the set." 

Thankfully, Ken Jeong's next public food escapade isn't hot-sauce related. During the Super Bowl, you can catch him and "Community" co-star Joel McHale fighting it out over how to best eat Planters nuts. In the meantime, don't forget chime into the debate on Twitter with #PlantersAllorOne to tell the world how you eat them!