Ander Christensen went viral on Wednesday after his speech about the absurdity of boneless chicken wings gained traction on multiple social media platforms. Christensen believes the phrase “boneless chicken wings” doesn’t make any sense and asked his local city council in Lincoln, Nebraska to officially rename the dish to something more appropriate like “wet tenders” or “saucy nugs.” But the man clearly had more to say, and he decided to tell it to us directly.
“Boneless chicken wings are just chicken tenders, which are already boneless,” Christensen said in his two-minute speech. “I don’t go to order boneless tacos. I don’t go and order boneless club sandwiches. I don’t ask for boneless auto repair. It’s just what’s expected.”
Christensen’s message has resonated with people across the globe, with one Twitter user putting it best: “I did not expect this argument to actually make so much sense.”
Gizmodo talked with Christensen on Wednesday afternoon to get some more information about his one-man food campaign, and what it’s like to become an internet hero overnight. Christensen also reveals that he could be giving President Donald Trump and Joe Biden a run for their money in November.
If you haven’t watched Christensen’s speech from Monday that’s probably a good place to start.
Gizmodo: What prompted you to speak at the Lincoln City Council meeting?
Ander Christensen: Well, to be honest, I found that there’s just so much conflict in the world right now and there’s just so much noise. Like, if you don’t stand up for something, then you’re being silenced and you’re basically saying that you’re for this thing. And so I realize that I’m passionate about something. I can’t be silent about it. And, based on the reaction, clearly I’m not alone.
Gizmodo: How receptive do you think the council members were to your proposal?
Christensen: You know, they actually have been doing a fairly good job. They’re politicians. They’re good at putting on a face, but it seems like they might actually reach out to me now, so I’m excited.
Gizmodo: I noticed that some people were laughing in the audience. Why do you think people were laughing at you?
Christensen: You know, I think that they were expecting something different. Once I got into the meat and potatoes, if you will, they realized that it was not a laughing matter and we were able to go on with serious business. But I think the unexpectedness of it was really what triggered that.
Gizmodo: Well, if you don’t see action at the local level, do you think this requires federal legislation?
Christensen: Absolutely. In fact, you can post this if you want, I’m officially going to be running for president.
Gizmodo: Oh, really?
Christensen: Yes. Yes. It’ll be Saucy Nugs For President. And if you have any good suggestions of wing locations that I need to visit on my campaign trail, then [email] firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll check. I’ll check these places out. [Note: Christensen has also purchased saucynugs.com and saucynugsforpresident.com, though they don’t have any content yet.]
Gizmodo: Are you familiar with the memes about chicken wings just being chicken nuggets, or was this an independent thought?
Christensen: You know, I actually have not seen those things. My wife tends to make fun of me for being meme illiterate. So this wasn’t something that I had heard from on memes. I do know that many people are passionate about this, as I am and I have heard other people express similar opinions, and at some point time, you have to just stand up for what you believe.
Gizmodo: Sure. So are you worried now that this could be a plagiarism scandal for your presidential campaign?
Christensen: I don’t believe it is. I think that the concern for plagiarism is weak at best, and anybody who would concern themselves with that would probably not be behind my message anyway. I’m trying not to be too divisive about things, you know? And to be honest with you, I’m not against boneless chicken wings as a food. If you want to live a half measure of a life, go ahead. You can do that. That’s your decision. But unless you’re going to strap those things to the side of an airplane, you can’t just call them wings.
Gizmodo: You proposed a number of different alternative names for boneless chicken wings, including Buffalo-style chicken tenders, wet tenders, saucy nugs and trash. What’s your preferred name?
Christensen: My preferred name is Buffalo-style chicken tenders. I think that that’s something that would be easily available for companies to adopt. For the sake of my my own usage, I like saucy nugs. But as far as legislation goes, I will be pushing Buffalo-style chicken tenders.
Gizmodo: I noticed your dad is on the city council. How does he feel about your chicken nug advocacy?
Christensen: He’s actually been very supportive. He had no idea what I was going to do, which tends to be typical of his and my relationship in the sense that I just like to do things to mess with him. But he had no idea what I was going to do there that day. All I knew was that there were lots of people going to these city council meetings and I figured they’d be the best place to have my voice heard.
Gizmodo: Gotcha. And my final question, would you call yourself a hero?
Christensen: I wouldn’t call myself a hero. I’m just a guy who goes to restaurants, sits down, and gets offended by what I see.