visions of america

575-Pound Arizona Anusburger Mascot Guy Dead At 29

Haha, the guy actually died, at 29, because he weighed 575 pounds.It seems we’re working on an “Arizona Trilogy” today, as part of “Trilogy Week” here at Wonkette. (Yesterday was “Americans Unleash Vile Hate On American Muslims” day. Did you enjoy that?) Anyway, the third of our Arizona Stories today concerns 575-pound Blair River, a shockingly fat person who occasionally worked as the spokesmodel for the “Heart Attack Grill,” an Arizona eatery dedicated to producing the vilest vats of pure grease and fat and sodium available anywhere. Imagine, you are an alleged human and you live in Arizona and you’re surrounded by the Arizona slob architecture of Pizza Hut/Applebee’s/Jack In the Box and you think, “What Arizona needs most is a restaurant that would aggressively serve even more disgusting piles of poisonous shit.” And then you find a morbidly obese person who is literally committing suicide in his 20s, with his insatiable appetite, and you turn him into a video joke/promotion for your restaurant. Anyway, the guy is dead “of pneumonia” at age 29. Congratulations, everyone.

From the Seattle PI:

Go to the website of the Heart Attack Grill, and you’ll see a video of Blair River, tossing away a pair of pants that don’t fit, having his waist measured and chomping down on a huge burger.

It was all for fun to promote the Chandler, Ariz., restaurant that sells huge burgers and french fries cooked in lard and celebrates the wretched excess that is the worst of the American diet.

It’s not so funny today. River, 6 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 575 pounds, is dead at age 29, the Arizona Republic reports.

What the hell is wrong with this country? [Seattle PI/The Awl]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
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    1. Lascauxcaveman

      I dunno, isn't 575 lbs kinda small for beef cattle? He was barely veal; culled before his time.

  1. Ducksworthy

    Take that Michelle Obama! How many of your socialist vegetable eaters are willing to die for their cause?

    1. Doktor Avalanche

      Mr River is a true patriot who died in the line of duty opposing health nazis like MO. Semper Fudge, big fella!

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      How many of your socialist vegetable eaters are willing to die for their cause?

      Probably not many, since the idea behind healthy eating is to, y'know, live.

    1. DeeJayKitteh

      O/T, but it's ironic that my p would get smaller on a post about America getting larger. Ah well, good thing I'm secure about the size of my p.

    1. BerkeleyBear

      The casket in his case will have to be one of the Goliath models (I think that is the name, but it may just be superfattyjumbo box by now). Suckers basically can't be carried by human beings, so it'll be honorary pallbearers only.

  2. iburl

    Truth in advertising, I guess. Now if only they would start a political party whose slogan is "Right Wing victimization fantasies… worth dying for."

  3. Gopherit

    In all seriousness, there are almost no ambulances in Phoenix that could carry this guy to a hospital. The standard gurneys max out at 350 lbs. So thank you heart attack grill. Hope you have some place to stack the bodies of all of your "free" customers. Do you have a special drive thru for fatty scooters, too?

    1. OzoneTom

      I just saw an article that Dallas was having to upgrade their ambulance fleet to handle their super-size citizens.

      And now I find out that a new Heart Attack Grill is opening in Dallas.

      Who says that Texans can't be proactive?

    2. not that Dewey

      The standard gurneys max out at 350 lbs.

      And require at least 4 ft of lateral clearance.

  4. Cicada

    Better that he die a FREE man at 29 than live under the rules of Moo-shell "I EAT RIBS" NObama the health NAZI!!!1!! USA!

  5. memzilla

    Imagine having been this guy's Hoveround-brand lard rover, whimpering in pain everytime he used it. I guess we'll copy the Egyptians (again) and bury it with him.

    1. DoktorZoom

      As I said in the other thread, The Onion is starting to feel kind of superfluous.

      (Sorry for the multi-post. A little. But it seems related, you know?)

    1. DoktorZoom

      EDDIE: What you two don't seem to realize is that inside of me, inside of me, there is a thin person just screaming to get out.

      GRAN: Just the one, dear?

  6. DeeJayKitteh

    Is Ken the official anus burger reporter? It seems like anytime there's a possible story about crap food, he's all over it.

  7. glamourdammerung

    I wonder how much they were getting on disability to help rail against the government trying to help people not die by 29.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      You've made me laugh the hardest so far. Sarah Palin's war against healthy eating takes another victim. Please, lord, make him also a teabagger. I mean the political kind. The other is just–ick–why did I even think about it?

      1. jodyleek

        Thanks, Dusty!

        Thankfully, the Grifter Queen's assault against nutrition is the only peep we've heard from her lately. Sarah Palin has become about as relevant as this guy's nuts past, oh, about the 300 lbs. mark.

    2. Dashboard_Jesus

      "It’s not so funny today. River, 6 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 575 pounds, is dead at age 29"

      well I for one think it's pretty fucking funny (of course I'm a skinny little vegetarian hippie)

    1. genxr

      Dang beat me to it. Do you think they showed him soothing images and played his favorite music while he ate?

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      Det. Thorn (gasping for breath): "You tell everybody. Listen to me, Hatcher. You've gotta tell them! Soylent Green is high in trans-fatty acids!"

  8. CrunchyKnee

    Arizona tea baggers to create a memorial license plate for this guy in 3…2…1…

  9. Extemporanus

    This is good news for Jared.

    [EDIT: Damn, Tundra Grifter, I hate when that "beaten by seconds" shit happens! I'd delete mine, but as I'm sure you can tell, I worked really, really hard on it.]

    1. Tundra Grifter

      X-Man: Leave it up! We can both bask in the glow of shared genius. "Great minds" and all that…

    2. emmelemm

      Fortunately, it's possible to upfist BOTH of you! Everybody wins, like in grade school.

      1. Extemporanus

        More like in the Special Olympics:

        "I've got fist! I've got fist! I've got fist! YAAAYYY!"

      2. Tundra Grifter

        E: Like T-Ball!

        I just figured out what you guys were writing about with all this "upfist" and "downfist." I thought it was some sex thing.

        I'm bummed to be so slow and rather disappointed, as well…

        1. Extemporanus

          I sucked so bad at T-ball when I was a kid that I once got beaned in the head and ended up with a concussion and broken nose.

          I was at bat.

          Oh, and if it helps up the fantasizing factor for you any, use my preferred terms "lovefist" and "hatefist" when referring to one's "p-ness".

          1. Tundra Grifter

            Speaking of P-ness, I think I'm going to be 90 before I hit 90.

            2.0: Well, that worked out well! Wish I'd thought of that before…

  10. baconzgood

    Lard Fries? I know I can snark the hell out of that but *sigh*…..lard fries (shaking my head in disbelief)….

    1. Progressiveinga

      Right up there with deep fried oreo cookies. Makes my gall bladder hurt just thinking about it.

  11. jus_wonderin

    Honey, I wouldn't stand that close to him. He's bound to mistake you for vittles.

  12. not that Dewey

    In all fairness to Mr. River, each inch of height accounts for ~10lbs of weight. So, if he were average-height, he would only weigh about 475lbs.

    Carry on.

    1. PuckStopsHere

      I've always said, "I'm not fat, I'm too short. If I were 8'6", my weight would be PERFECT.

  13. widestanceroman

    Lard Libel!

    I do not want to know what gets done with the body, but I know it will involve a lot of cheese.

  14. SorosBot

    According to Glenn Beck, the "pneumonia" was a cover; he was poisoned by Michelle Obama's Communist-Nazi-Jewish-Muslim conspiracy to support her socialistic "healthy eating" conspiracy.

      1. SorosBot

        Darwin should determine that, but somehow a lot of the obese manage to find other fat folk to fuck and reproduce while still teenagers, young enough it hasn't killed them yet.

  15. prommie

    I mentioned this when the republicans reintroduced styrofoam in the congressional cafeterias. They are motivated almost entirely by spite and resentment. There is nothing that they are really FOR, so much as they are against anything that intelligenty, rational, cultured, educated people are for. We say that people should conserve gasoline, they buy V-10 pickup trucks, we say they should eat healthy, they start eating at the Heart Attack Cafe here, and die of fatness at 29. We could use this, we should start insisting on gun safety.

    1. OneDollarJuana

      They already have their knees a-jerkin' to extremely modest gun-safety proposals. Example, we ask simply that gun dealers try just a little bit to keep weapons out of the hands of homicidal maniacs and Arizona passes laws that let anyone carry a concealed weapon just about anywhere. Pure spite.

    2. DustBowlBlues

      Excellent idea. Reverse psychology. Let's start it right here on wonkette–quick, everyone, start an interwebs campaign. We'll call it, say, hey–how about:

      1. SorosBot

        Propose a bill to outlaw sitting in a running car in a closed garage; say it's to save fuel so they don't catch on.

        1. genxr

          to fight global warming we must outlaw by Presidential decree, running a hose from your tailpipe to the driver's seat.

    3. tessiee

      "They are motivated almost entirely by spite and resentment. There is nothing that they are really FOR, so much as they are against anything that intelligenty, rational, cultured, educated people are for. "

      *bows in awe of prommie*

    4. mumbly_joe

      Today's Republican Platform: The opposite of whatever Democrats want, updated daily.

    1. mourningnmerica

      Rockpile – "Seconds of Pleasure" – 1980 – Cut 5

      "You let a knife and fork dig your grave…"

  16. ManchuCandidate

    "I've eaten things you people wouldn't believe. Quituple Anus burgers made from the most disgusting roadkill. I watched pounds of potatoes glitter in the fat in the deep fryer. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die. "

    1. Rotundo_

      Only in place of the dove Roy Batty releases in the movie, the big guy releases a minute long wet fart, and then the bird flies away.

    2. Steverino247

      That was brilliant, Manchu! I'm in the process of watching all the versions of BR on my Blu-Ray player now.

      (Too bad they cut the shots of Sean Young's breasts…)

    1. bureaucrap

      That basically means that he gained 20 lbs per year, every year. Quite a growth spurt. At that rate, I'd be weighing in at around 1000 lbs right now.

  17. fuflans

    the AZ trilogy is just like 'the godfather'.

    only with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

  18. x111e7thst

    The mobility scooter that could carry him thru Walmart has not been made. What a man!

  19. Captain_Quark

    I that hear Jared Loughner is unemployed. Maybe he could be the "other Jared" in a Heart Attack Grill ad campaign to combat those Commies at Subway. He'd need to gain some weight, though.

  20. iburl

    Somehow, I'm sure S___h P___n will find a way to blame this jerk's death on Michelle Obama.

    1. Tundra Grifter

      Actually, I'm waiting to form my opinion about all this until I learn how it impacts the life and times of Duh Gov'Nuh. Like everything else on the face of this earth (and above it and under it, because obviously that's God's plan), it's all about her.

      Let me go see if I have a Tweet from the Twat…

  21. edgydrifter

    1980: "Pneumonia" = AIDS
    2010: "Pneumonia" = Rupturing your stomach with a basketball-sized bolus of cheezgravy and ground skin
    I prefer our old euphemisms, but I'm old fashioned like that.

    1. Ducksworthy

      GOP Senator John East died of carbon monoxide inhalation in his garage in 1986. He did not have AIDS.

    2. OneDollarJuana

      "Pneumonia" also = the predictable result of a lifetime of heavy smoking and drinking while eating ribeye steaks and baked potatoes slathered with butter and sour cream topped with a sprinkle of chives and Parmesan cheese. And don't forget to butter the steak and bring me a fresh martini!

    3. Gorillionaire

      If your heart is stressed to the max every time you stand up and if your diet turns your stomach into a grease pit then every time you lie down you have reflux and your heart isn't strong enough to push the fluid out of your lungs and presto – you've got pneumonia. Fat person aspiration pnuemonia.

  22. SayItWithWookies

    "I believe the memo was titled, 'Cholesterol determined to strike inside aorta.'"

    1. Steverino247

      OK, you've found a pair of jeans big enough to cover your ass. Now, get out of here!

  23. user-of-owls

    The Arizona trilogy beats the living shit out of Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle.

    Rock on Wotan!
    Rock on Fricka!

  24. imissopus

    That actress has a look that says "I'm the understudy, he already ate the first actress who had this role."

    Also, is this one of those small businesses I'm told we need to give tax breaks to? Because I can think of many business plans that don't involve YOUR PRODUCT GIVING MASSIVE HEALTH PROBLEMS RESULTING IN DEATH TO YOUR CUSTOMERS, YOU FUCKING LOONS!!1!

  25. PsycWench

    I'd like to think this will start a conversation about nutrition the way that the suicide of a gay kid started a conversation about gay bullying. But I doubt it.

    1. problemwithcaring

      LouTwat Sarah has spoken: "An individuals actions stop and end at that individual!" Unless they commit blood libel against Trig. Then it's on.

    1. jus_wonderin

      Sadly, they will have to bury him in two plots. Sorry Granny, Bubba needs the room.

  26. MiniMencken

    Not so funny when it's your own spokesmodel, is it, Heart Attack Grill? On the other hand, I have been told by a heroin addict that when news of a death by overdose goes around the user community, the typical comment from the listening junkie is "Where'd he cop?"

    1. Steverino247

      Well, since Karen's dog was allegedly always trying to bury her, I doubt the handoff would have been successful.

  27. chickensmack

    Everything is automated and mass produced these days. What, with your cars for transportation, your boxed mashed potatoes, and Caterpillar hearses/front-end loaders.

    1. iburl

      You could use the body for fueling those liberal elitist northeastern oil heaters and sell his clothes to Quadaffi to live in when he accepts his friend McCain's invitation to move to Arizona.

    2. comrad_darkness

      "Rendering" is the verb you are looking for.

      48 mpg in a diesel with some filtering.

  28. chicken_thief

    Is that "Heart Attack GRILL" or "Heart Attack GIRL"? Anusburger with lard fries, large coke, a pack of smokes and HER would kill most of us. But what a way to go…

  29. MinAgain

    It 's like someone sprayed my keyboard with Snark-Be-Gone, because I'm really struggling to find something funny to say. This is horrific.

    1. baconzgood

      I'm in the same boat. What the fuck? Lard fries? I could usually hit that one a mile away but for some reason it makes me want to weep.

      1. OneDollarJuana

        McDonald's won its reputation for good fries in the days when they were hand cut in the store (I watched 'em do it) and deep-fried in beef tallow. It was the beef tallow essence that they tried to emulate by adding some beef "flavor" to the fry recipe, the one that got them sued by the vegetarians a few years back.

    2. DustBowlBlues

      You're a better person than I.

      I'm about to head out to a beekeepers's conference but WTF? Who is that Martin Bashir guy and why isn't David "You're Welcome" Schuster on at this hour?

      What have they done with my pretend boyfriend? Did he get a gig doing the local weather in Walla Walla, or what?

      1. mumbly_joe

        Jegus McFuck. I mean, look, I'm slightly on the heavy side, being too lazy to exercise, and I've been known to enjoy a good anusburger in my day, but that shit doesn't even look good. And broiling the whole burger in lard? How is that appetizing to anybody, anywhere?

        I think the Heart Attack Grill is possibly the best example of the difference between enjoying food, and enjoying gluttony. I like food, and for that reason, knowing that this place exists profoundly depresses me.

  30. Gopherit

    This poor fat bastard dies, but Rush Limbaugh continues to waddle and pant. There is no real justice in this universe.

  31. ph7

    What's wrong with a culture that celebrates the continued excesses of a man clearly on the path of self destruction? #winning #tigerblood

  32. DoktorZoom

    OK, fuck, I'm convinced. Getting off the computer and heading to the gym RIGHT NOW.

  33. CalamityJames

    Ok, on occasion, I do love to feel completely disgusting and indulge in deplorable food items, generally while as high as Benincasa claims to never be, but what the fuck?!

  34. metamarcisf

    One more reason why Arizonans should have the right to carry deadly weapons into public places.

    1. Tundra Grifter


      Ten bucks says hamburgers have killed more Americans than .38's and .45's.

  35. metamarcisf

    Tarzan & Cheetah try to see "Heart Attack Grill" on computer thing but get this:

    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

    Why Wonkette crash server. Palin girl want job there.

    Tarzan, Cheetah & Palin, Attys at Law

  36. donner_froh

    He will be buried in a 20 foot container. The pallbearers will drive Kalmar Heavy Duty Lift Trucks the same model used to lift him from the toilet every few hours. River will be sorely missed by the region's material handling rental industry.

  37. user-of-owls

    Many moons ago when I worked in a grey iron foundry in Easton, Massachusetts (remember those child labor photos with soot-raccoon faces? that was owls!), we had 30 minutes for lunch. There was no prohibition about on-the-job drinking, the assumption being that if you were cool being loaded around molten metal, who are we to argue?

    During those 30 minutes, there was absolutely heroic intake of food (these were Portu-geese whose wives made two-foot long sandwiches; quota: two), beer (lightweights would do two tall boys, men would do up to six) and smokes (it varied, but the grand champion would rip through a half pack of Pall Mall no filters).

    But did they up and die like our lardo spokesman? Well, yes, they did. Vaya con dios Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Manny, Freddie, Jose and Chucky. Oh, and Little Black Joe.

    1. jus_wonderin

      "Jose, Jose, Jose, Manny, Freddie, Jose and Chucky. Oh, and Little Black Joe"

      But their last album together was kick ass!!!

    1. tessiee

      If they said "God Hates Fats", they'd only have to change one letter on the signs they have already.

  38. Weenus299

    This is our attack plan. We can't get them to vote for their best interests, so we feed them everything they want.

    1. DonnyKerabotsos

      Poor kid is probably up to her neck in student loans and it was either this or porn.

  39. PabaBritannica

    Btw, I remember going to the website of this place years ago out of amusement. I mean, I grew up eating shitty food. I ate lard. But I also was forced to help my dad pick vegetables, play soccer, and do chores. What I'm trying to say is that we need to just say "fuck it" to this "healthy diet" stuff and instate universal work camps for all under the age of 18.

  40. Neoyorquino

    It's all fun and games until the myocardial infarction. Then it's hilarious . . . reminds me of the "Especial" at Lute's Casino in Yuma.

  41. GodShammgod

    "an Arizona eatery dedicated to producing the vilest vats of pure grease and fat and sodium available anywhere"

    I thought the entire state of Arizona was dedicated to producing the vilest vats of pure grease and fat. Or maybe they just send them to Washington and/or the statehouse.

  42. Buzz Feedback

    Blair, I served with Walter Hudson, I knew Walter Hudson, Walter Hudson was a friend of mine. Blair, you're no Walter Hudson.

  43. DonnyKerabotsos

    From the Arizona Republic:

    Restaurant founder Jon Basso said he got to know River, first as a customer at the restaurant before working with him after he became the grill’s spokesman.

    “Cynical people might think this (River’s death) is funny,” Basso said.

    No Joe, what cynical people would do is take a dangerously unhealthy person and exploit them in a funny-to-the-guy-who-wrote-it advertising campaign in an entirely unnecessary effort to get Americans to eat even more than they already do.

  44. prommie

    And whats really the saddest, most pathetic, disgusting, and idiotic thing about this is, the french fries cooked in lard. That is sooooo fucking gross.

    French fries are supposed to be cooked in beef tallow. This is 100% true and not at all made up, the perfect french fries are cooked in rendered beef fat, and thats why Macky-Ds were always the best fries, they put a beef flavor extract in their frying oil until just a few years ago when some vegan assholes raised holy hell because there was "meat" in their french fries. Way to fuck it up for everyone, Vegan assholes!

    1. mumbly_joe

      Also, fries cooked in duck fat are fucking amazing, but difficult to find outside of the occasional upscale steakhouse. Still, if you have a local grocery with an actual butcher, and want to try this at home, and aren't afraid of coming across as an obnoxious foodie, it's seriously worth the effort.

      I actually think the burgers broiled in lard might beat the fries in the grossness department. Lard does have a culinary place, but it's mostly restricted to Mexican food (and I guess English food, if it weren't for the fact that English food is terrible). And even then, it's mostly used like shortening, not like oil, not that hamburgers need an additional swabbing of either, honestly. Stop being terrible and ruining food, Arizonassholes.

  45. Lazy Media

    Eh, 6-8 guys are like Great Danes. If they make it past 50, it's a miracle, fat or not.

    That said, that joint is disgusting. Here's a tip, fellas. If a hamburger is too tall to physically fit in your mouth, you will regret eating it. Not so much for the eventual heart attack as the immediate acid reflux.

    /The lard fries are OK, though; nothing all that bad about lard in moderation.

    1. __kth__

      ok, whoever downfisted: if you are really, really offended, I do apologize. The object of my snark was the assholes running the Heart Attack Grill, not this unfortunate young man. Sorry if that was unclear.

      But if you are a downfist troll: what do you hope to accomplish by downbumping indiscriminately? I admit that I have little enough to live for that I actually follow that aggregate score next to my handle. But I'm only comparing myself to the other Wonketeers, not participants at other IntenseDebate sites (least of all that archipelago of virtual Superfund sites, So what's your point, exactly?

  46. donner_froh

    Is the health professional with the skin tight vinyl uniform offering the guy a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes as well as the milkshake?

    That would be a serious violation of nurse/hooker ethical standards.

  47. proudgrampa

    If they cremate him, that oven is going to EXPLODE. Assuming they can fit him through the door.

  48. Tundra Grifter

    Of course anyone over 350 pounds eats for free. You think some snot-nosed teenager dragging down five bucks an hour is going to tell a man mountain he has to PAY?

  49. Amo_of_Bogio

    Evolution in action – I pray to Satan he hasn't already reproduced, unlikely as it seems.

    1. ttommyunger

      To do that, someone would have to liberate an erect penis from underneath one or more of those folds of fat….unlikely at best.

  50. mariser

    pneumonia as the immediate cause of death – his lungs collapsed and couldn't get back up.

  51. cheaphits

    Only it's quadruple anusburgers and Faux News –

    Histories repeats itself only worse – televangelists instead of orgies – birthplace of plutocracy instead of democracy, sad, sad stuff.

  52. sezme

    This is one of those times when you're supposed to sniff through your tears, "At least he died doing what he loved."

  53. Seanibus

    Funny that you should say that it is "not so funny today," because it was not so fucking funny yesterday when the big fat tub of goo was still alive.

  54. Gleem_McShineys

    Ok, looks like my idea for opening that "I Heart Tumors" cigarette & uranium store in Arizona was NOT just the pot talking after all!

  55. ttommyunger

    Diners at this Death Emporium can, if they listen closely, hear the Burgers and Fries yelling "Gangway, Motherfuckers!" as they bypass the digestive tract and head straight for the Arteries.

  56. comrad_darkness

    It's funny how the Right is pro corn syrup and trans fat suicide but they'll scream in your face if you insist terminal cancer patients have the right to die.

  57. LINdaLINgle

    Their website says, "jokingly" says, Side effects may include "mild heart attack". Hilarious.

    Can't believe it's still up with him commenting. Almost like he is still with us. (sob)

  58. arihaya

    the Dr Jon fellow in the ad is strikingly similar with Jared Loughner in appearance…


  59. PublicLuxury

    My sympathy for his family and friends. My prayer is that the Heart Attack grill close their doors. What a sick nation.

  60. Walkinwiddaking

    News flash. If you are a fat slob and you choose to live like one, chances are you're going to die at an early age.

  61. Rotundo_

    And in other news, municipal water usage and sewage treatment budgets are projecting in the black this year as usage drops 10% with Blair's passing.

  62. MrFizzy

    He should donate his shirt to Christo – maybe he could drape the Grand Canyon with it.

Comments are closed.