‘Empty Nester’ beats Ten Stack Challenge at Charlie’s -- then does it again

Monday, July 30, 2018
Laying waste to 10 patties at Charlie’s on Saturday, “Empty Nest Adventures” co-host Bob Campbell (left) not only bests competitor Adrian Peters, but beats the previous Ten Stack Challenge record by 14 seconds, at 3 minutes, 17 seconds. For good measure, Campbell did another Ten Stack afterward.
Banner Graphic/Brand Selvia

If you’ve ever watched “Man v. Food” on the Travel Channel, you know that there are some crazy food challenges out there. Adam Richman has run the gambit of them, from eating some very hot chicken wings, to somehow keeping down two gallons of ice cream.

But last Saturday evening, one local man would’ve probably given Richman a run for his money. That’s because he was able to hunker down not one, but two, Ten Stack Challenges at Charlie’s.

He also set a new challenge record, eating his first 10 patties in three minutes, 17 seconds, beating the previous record by 14 seconds.

After doubling his pleasure on the Ten Stack Challenge, Bob Campbell displays the T-shirt Charlie’s manager Troy Scott awarded him after Campbell’s incredible 20-burger night.
Banner Graphic/Brand Selvia

That same individual also just happens to co-host a weekly comedy show that is followed by people from around the world.

Bob Campbell, a former firefighter with the Greencastle Fire Department and owner of Sunset Ink Custom Printing, is a jovial personality with a full beard. Both are equally matched by his co-host Mike Chadd, a pilot who works for Fed-Ex.

What they have in common is that they are both “empty nesters.” With their children gone away from home, they have much more free time to do things that they want to do. And that includes making people laugh.

The Ten Stack Challenge was the basis for another episode of the Empty Nest Adventures, a show during which Campbell and Chadd have done some zany stuff.

One of their earliest videos shows them trying not to step on LEGO bricks and mousetraps (and doing so blindfolded) as they retrieved bean bags from a table. Chadd retrieved fewer bags and had to eat a piece of Limburger cheese.

This time around, Chadd let Campbell take on this food challenge solo. ”I’m better with the hot stuff,” he said matter of factly.

The “beards” typically will challenge each other, but a year’s worth of content has seen a variety of antics and hilarious commentary.

The duo produced their first video in August 2017, showing the challenge they called the Mousetrap Roulette. The game was simple, using a cardboard blind, mousetraps and a built-in Lazy Susan.

That video has reached a still-modest view count of almost 68,000 people on YouTube, but it set the theme for the show.

The second video showing the challenge Mousetrap LEGO Mayhem has gotten many more views, with a count of 129,000 people who have watched the dudes suffer.

At face value, this may not seem like much of an accomplishment. But given how early in the process the Empty Nest Adventures were, a following was evidently taking shape.

“We had 20,000 views in the first week for that video,” Campbell said. “We knew that this was getting a good start.”

Before too long, Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame had chimed in. The duo was also featured on “Right This Minute,” which gained them national recognition.

As the show has continued on, 1,500 to 2,000 people have consistently tuned in to watch as their antics have happened live.

And the wives have been there every step of the way, assisting with the filming and brainstorming. They get their opportunity to “punish” their husbands for losing a “Beards vs. Beauties” competition.

Currently, the Empty Nest Adventures Facebook page has 140,000 followers, in addition to 5,500 subscribers on YouTube. These numbers don’t belie their worldwide audience.

“We’ve got people in Amsterdam waking up at two in the morning just to watch our show,” Campbell said. “A lot of people overseas have been drawn to it.”

Both Campbell and Chadd believe that the show’s unpretentious craziness has sustained the following it has gained.

“I’ve had people tell me the show is a mix between ‘Jack-Ass’ and ‘Duck Dynasty,’” Campbell provided. “I think they’ve been drawn to the empty nest point of view; something about the restlessness and freedom that comes with it.”

He also described a particular incident that occurred at a bar in Nashville, Tenn., one which is a testament to the power of social media.

The two ran into a woman who recognized them as the “beards” from the Empty Nest Adventures and wanted a picture taken with them. The individual also happened to be a contestant on the “Bachelor.”

“I’ve seen hundreds of funny videos,” Chadd added, “but I don’t think people would recognize but a few of them. That’s how far we’ve been able to reach and connect with people.”

Even with their decidedly out-of-county fan base, Chadd said that both he and Campbell have not lost touch with their local roots.

“Bob and I grew up in town,” he said. “We go into Kroger and say hi to other people we see. We’re still people, and the show is grounded in that. It’s about being honest and us being us.”

For his part, Charlie’s’ general manager Troy Scott hoped that Campbell’s Ten Stack Challenge would foster growth on both sides.

Campbell’s printing business has supplied the T-shirts that his employees and many others wear, a service that has not gone unnoticed.

“I hope that it gets people excited about the challenge and helps make more people aware about Charlie’s,” Scott said. “I also wanted to help Bob and bring more attention to Empty Nest, so it was a win-win.”

Even though his “Twenty” Stack Challenge was not as humorous as sticking his hand in a mousetrap, Campbell believed that the Empty Nest Adventures has served a greater purpose.

“It’s been really nice to lift people up with all of the negativity that we see today,” he said. “Everyone wants to laugh.”

Few would question that assessment after seeing the “beards” and their tomfoolery.

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