For the last year and a half, I have watched hundreds of videos of a man stuffing any conceivable food item (or otherwise) into intestinal casings. I have seen kitchen staples of every home cook rendered unrecognizable. I have seen recipes passed down through generations meet the end of their lineage in a cold steel grinder. I have seen beloved fast food items crushed into mush and judged. I have seen base elements of earth, air, fire, and water transfigured into tubes through the alchemy of desire. Guiding these experiments is a singular call to action, squealed with delirium: 


Jump Into The Grinder

By Tago Mago

There is never any question about whether or not something will become a sausage, it is only a question of what the newest sausage will be. Each sausage in its final form is held to the same serving standard: a single bun, adorned with nothing but the tube itself and ranked on a scale of five. Some sausages are made in good faith attempts to manifest deliciousness, like lobster or shepherd’s pie.  Others, like the infamous “water sausage”, are built to fail, bursting from the seams of their tubular prison before they ever meet the tasting table.   

Contrary to the old adage that “you don’t want to see how the sausage gets made,” there is a hypnotic and perverse pleasure that comes with the voyeurism of this ancient craft. The violent unification of the grinder, the grotesque eroticism of the extruder, and the tactile sizzle of the final fry are all elements of consistency in an otherwise unhinged display of culinary curiosity.  

No idea is too stupid or ill-advised for Mr. Sausage, and that’s part of the appeal: if it can fit in the grinder, it can be shoved into a tube.

What I’m describing sounds like the work of a monster, a mad scientist, a gastronomic assassin; but the content creator, known to the internet only as Mr. Sausage, is a modest family man, trapped in an unholy umpire of his own making. This empire is “Ordinary Sausage,” a YouTube channel with humble beginnings as a quarantine experiment in chaotic food creation. In its first 18 months on YouTube, “Ordinary Sausage” has since amassed 637,000 subscribers, 200+ videos, and 81.44 million views at the time of writing.  

Unlike many emerging YouTubers who compete for clicks with a home-cook-as-expert angle, “Ordinary Sausage” has built its viewership on a charming foundation of ineptitude and frivolity. No idea is too stupid or ill-advised for Mr. Sausage, and that’s part of the appeal: if it can fit in the grinder, it can be shoved into a tube. Culinary wisdom or technique is meaningless here. The only guiding ethos is “fuck it: sausage.” Gummy bears? Taco Bell crunchwrap supreme? A whole fish? The breath of god? Fuck it: sausage.

Though chaotic content of this sort is nothing new on YouTube, the displays of male aggression and nihilistic excess found in predecessors like “Epic Meal Time” or “HowToBasic” are fortunately absent from “Ordinary Sausage”. At its heart, “Ordinary Sausage” is an act of creation, not destruction, and even when self-sabotage is played for laughs, the channel feels like an earnest expression of curiosity and joy.

For a while, I thought of “Ordinary Sausage” as an increasingly rare type of user-generated content in a post-monetization YouTube landscape: a passion project shared with the world for its own sake. Even after hundreds of videos, the spirit and the production quality of the channel has remained consistently DIY: a static POV camera pointed at Mr. Sausage’s poorly lit stovetop, narrated out of frame to allow the viewer to see a version of themselves in each video, delighting in the possibility of creation in a time that has left many uninspired.

However, as the channel has aged and grown in popularity, it has taken on some of the characteristics common to many channels that hit a certain subscriber count. “Ordinary Sausage” now has a rigorous posting schedule, consistent gags and catchphrases built into the structure of episodes, and obtrusive sponsored advertisements that can sometimes take up the bulk of a 4 minute video. The chaotic and curious character of the channel is still present, but is it coming from passion or obligation? Though I still watch religiously, I fear a crisis of faith may be on its way.

I don’t want to lament about how something I enjoy has changed. This goes against the very act of transformation that “Ordinary Sausage” celebrates. If I am truly committed to the chaos, I should be willing to accept change, from Mr. Sausage or anyone else. What I can’t accept is stagnation, even from my beloved “Ordinary  Sausage.” Tossed into the cultural meat grinder of YouTube, will the distinct flavour and form of the channel be smoothed out and rendered unrecognizable, like so many of the foods that have passed through Mr. Sausage’s grasp? Will “Ordinary Sausage” become just another link in the chain, and if so, am I still hungry?  

Will “Ordinary Sausage” become just another link in the chain, and if so, am I still hungry?

As I scroll through the endless hours of content vying for my attention, the novelty and joy that I once found in “Ordinary Sausage” feel absent, but perhaps it’s because I am still looking on YouTube. When Mr. Sausage first pointed his camera at the world, he saw in everything a potential sausage, and showed us a new way to see. After 18 months, I can look elsewhere, and as I live anew in the world, I have the only call to action I need: 


By Tago Mago