In 1982, while shooting his film 66 Scenes from America, Danish director Jørgen Leth was able to recruit Andy Warhol as part of what is now an iconic four minutes of footage.
The documentary film, which collects a variety of short scenes with no prominent connecting narrative, was described by Leth as containing “large and small things, events, people, thoughts and feelings” and displays people partaking in normal daily routines and activities.
Warhol’s scene, the longest in the film, plays on his love for all things in a traditional sense of American consumerism shows the iconic pop artist eating a Burger King Whopper burger for four minutes and 20 seconds. “What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest,” Warhol once wrote in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.”
He added: “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.”
The scene of Warhol eating the burger would eventually gain major commercial fame when Burger King picked it up to run it as part of their high profile advertising campaign during the 2019 Super Bowl LIII, airing 45 seconds of the clip for a hugely expensive and slightly surreal move. Coincidentally, during the same run of Super Bowl advertisements, Coca Cola ran with there ‘A Coke is a Coke’ campaign which further added to the Warhol theme.
“I still remember the first time I watched the complete length of the film of Andy Warhol eating a Burger King Whopper, and my head exploded,” Fernando Machado, Burger King’s global chief marketing officer once said. “I was like, ‘Is that really Andy Warhol; why is he eating that? What’s happening there?'”
Below, watch as Warhol unwraps his burger, double checks to make sure there are no toppings, pour out some ketchup and chow down.
“My name is Andy Warhol, and I just finished eating a hamburger.”