Just over 10 years ago, television producer Steve Molaro ordered a pizza from the Domino’s website. Like anyone using the online system, he made his selections with a set of radio buttons labeled “whole,” “left,” “right,” and “none.” He selected “none” cheese. He selected “none” sauce. And he selected “left” beef.
Thus was born what is arguably the internet’s most famous pizza: None Pizza with Left Beef.
On October 19th, 2007, Molaro posted the results of this experiment on his humor blog, The Sneeze. First, he ordered a pizza to see if the toppings would truly arrive on the “left” or “right” side as he requested. As an afterthought, he decided to see what would happen if he additionally ordered a pizza without sauce, without cheese, and with beef on the left side. A “None Pizza with Left Beef,” as he called it.
The first pizza’s toppings were not on the correct sides, but it was the second pizza that won our hearts—even if it wasn’t exactly delivered to spec.
“The whole pizza was so small and light it must have shifted during delivery. And the little beef pellets didn’t have any sauce or cheese to hang on to, so a few lost their footing from the left half,” Molaro wrote. In other words, it was a none pizza with mostly left beef.
A decade later, we’re older and wiser. Customers have since made all sorts of crazy orders to restaurants, including requests for pizzas cut into isosceles triangles and pentagrams, and for various drawings on the box. They’ve even attempted to order a cheeseburger without cheese, beef or a bun. In other words, it’s become a meme.
Asked if he’s proud of his cheese-less achievement, Molaro told New York magazine, “I do have two teenagers I’m proud of. But they can be surly and ignore me a lot, so None Pizza With Left Beef may be my legacy.”
None Pizza with Left Beef has become an ingrained part of our culture. It looks like the cookie emoji if you squint your eyes. It pops up again and again on Imgur. It has inspired a BuzzFeed post, the true mark of internet fame. You can buy a None Pizza with Left Beef necklace on Etsy. And maybe this isn’t the mark of a cultural phenomenon, but it was my phone background until I replaced it with the following work of art:
Given the importance of this momentous occasion, we have reached out to Molaro and will update this post when I hear back.
It’s been a wild 10 years, None Pizza with Left Beef. Thank you Steve Molaro. Thank you Domino’s. And here’s to another 10 years of either cheering up or ruining the days of pizza chefs across the globe.