July 13th is National French Fry Day — the day we celebrate the independence of the french fry from its tyrannical oppressors. It is unclear who exactly the fries were fighting against during their hundred year war. Some say the British, others insist the Nazis. More than once I have heard that the thinly cut potatoes started battling against broccoli during the horrible and unprecedented pigeon/broccoli alliance (when pigeons — those flying garbage rats — promised to eat every other veggie, man, woman, and child besides broccoli, and the fries defended us all).
Now we spend every July 13th dressing up as french fries, scattering them around the yard for the kids to find in the morning, and having elaborate parades that end in a sacrificial human participant being dipped into a giant, man-sized fryer to commemorate the loss of potato life everywhere. Sometimes it feels as if these traditions have been in place forever, but the history of french fries is actually quite traceable and fun!
Here’s a snapshot of the big events in the French Fry Timeline!
1789- The French Revolution starts. You may say that it’s coincidence that this is the same year french fries were invented. But there are no such things as coincidences. Just like there is no such thing as bears. I’ve never seen one, and so I know they do not exist. They’ve been invented to scare me into putting my food in a tree like a damn fool.
French fries were invented by Marie Antoinette as a way to apologize for the whole “Let them eat cake” thing. But she forgot to invent ketchup and so everyone revolted anyway and beheaded her. Super sad tale. But fun fact: It’s actually why ketchup is red! It’s a gentle reminder of how a crowd could come behead us at any time. This was also the year that Paul Rudd celebrated his 24th birthday.
1802: Thomas Jefferson, noted potato thief, smuggles fries in his airplane carry on from France. That night, he served the stolen fries to all of his important dinner guests in America who had helped form our great nation, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Harriet Tubman, Cleopatra, Paul Rudd, and Mark Cuban. He called the fries, “Potatoes served in the French fashion.” And they were a big hit with everyone, but especially Paul Rudd who does not and cannot age due to a curse put on him by an old woman in the Romanian forest, after he refused to give her a piece of bread.
1832- The events of Les Miserables take place. While the musical is fictional, it is based on a real story about a poor soldier in France who was arrested for stealing french fries. Later, a lot of other things happened with singing and a chair fort!
See, in the 1830’s, people in France ate only french fries and nothing else. That was the law, and as expected, it gave them near constant scurvy induced hallucinations. During these hallucinatory states, there was often great singing and they had lots of spontaneous musical numbers in the streets (as documented in the documentary musical, Les Miserables). The singing was the final sign that all of their bodily systems were about to turn off, and they would soon die. It’s fun to think about how whimsical things were back then. Such classics like “On my own, pretending he’s a french fry” were actually sung on the streets of Paris quite often, just before the host collapsed and sung through one last, dying breath.
French fries continued to flourish in France for a few more years, and the people got sicker and sicker, until finally the rat depicted in the family film, Ratatouille, became a chef and taught people how to get proper nutrition. This is also the year when Paul Rudd took his first acting class.
April 12th, 1861- The Civil War is sparked. Brother turns against brother when Abraham Lincoln declares thin cut fries to be better than steak cut. He also ended the worst institution in the history of human existence, so… pretty active presidency. Lincoln is later assassinated tragically during a performance of Our American Cousin, starring Paul Rudd.
October 29th, 1929- Black Tuesday or the day the potatoes ran cold. Sweet Potato Fries are invented. People, in a blind panic, pull stock out of french fry companies thinking the traditional fry is over. Fry restaurants all over the country close, and the stock market crashes. The Great Depression begins and with no fries to anchor the mounds of salt in the dust bowl, the salt swirls and swirls and ruins crops and lives. Paul Rudd who is working as an adult boy newsie, selling papers on the street, is the first to announce the crash in the streets of New York.
December 7th, 1941- Japan attacks Pearl harbor. A day that will live in infamy after we refused to import french fries to Japan and they launched an attack on U.S. soil. Later, we all felt attacked again when we had to see the movie Pearl Harbor, starring Josh Hartnett. Paul Rudd was not in the film, but he did attend the London premiere in 2001.
[Side note: I recently saw Josh Hartnett in person at an animal hospital in West Hollywood. I’d like to report that he was SHOCKINGLY handsome. Like, I was not expecting how attractive he would be. He looks like a normal guy on film but no…he is like the hottest guy in the world.]
I’ve never seen Paul Rudd in person, which is good because he doesn’t show up in mirrors, and if you look him in the eyes your nose bleeds and you start having strange, horrible, death-predicting dreams.
July 13th, 2017, A time of endless french fry celebration and choice. We celebrate the amazing innovations of french fries through the years. We have thin cut, steak cut, cajun fries, curly fries, crinkle fries, waffles fries, sweet potato fries, seasoned fries, and frites all living peacefully as one. There have been challenges along the way, tragedy and triumph. But at the end of the day, fries have won out as the food of the people. And today, we celebrate that.
Plus, Paul Rudd has a new Ant Man film coming out.
Fries are amazing, but they aren’t in it alone. What is a fry plain? It’s just a salty potato without the sauce, that’s what it is. But slather some ketchup or ranch on those babies and they are a nearly perfect food. Fries would be NOTHING if not for their dipping sauces. And so, during their special week, we bring you french fry dipping sauces ranked worst to best.
Our rating system today will “The amount of ageless, handsome, sweet-faced Paul Rudd‘s that would show up to partake in your fry dipping party.” Some say there are thousands of Paul Rudd’s out there. But I’ve never believed that. I’ve only ever seen 20 0r 30 in one room at a time.
Mustard is a horrifying condiment, and belongs on nothing, but ESPECIALLY NOT AS A DIPPING SAUCE FOR FRIES. The only time I condone the use of mustard is when you run out of water for waterboarding, in which case it’s perfectly fine to substitue mustard. And look, I get what you’re thinking. Allison? You condone water boarding? But you’re a bleeding heart, liberal, Hillary-loving WOMAN?? That’s all true. But in some cases, waterboarding really is the only way to stop those people. We need to grab them by the beard and make them tell us where they came from and how they infiltrated so many neighborhoods! Otherwise, the hipsters are just going to keep coming.
Rating: One Paul Rudd. Just hanging around craft services, eating fries, and asking you questions about your kids. It’s nice of him to be so interested, you guess. But (and you hate to be picky) the thing is…he’s not even in this movie. And you’ve never seen him move from that spot. He’s there when you get there in the morning, and still there when you leave at night. There are whispers that he’s never even left to go to the bathroom.
Look, he’s a nice guy but….you’re starting to get a little creeped out.
10. Malt Vinegar
Uproxx writer Dan Seitz sent me a message saying that since I was doing fry dipping sauces, I had to include Malt Vinegar because that’s “what Canadians actually put on their fries.” Well, I thought that was preeeeetttty interesting. Why would an AMERICAN citizen be suggesting that I include a Canadian dipping sauce in a list of condiments.
Is he colluding with Canada? Probably. I hacked into his email, and what I found was very interesting.
On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Justin Trudeau wrote:
Good Morning, Dan,
Justin Bieber just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Canada met with his father, Jim, this morning and in their meeting offered to provide Uproxx with some official documents and information that would incriminate ketchup and would be very useful to your editor.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Canada and its government’s support for Malt Vinegar – helped along by Justin Bieber and Jim Carrey.
What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Bieber about it directly?
I can also send this info to your editor via a snarky comment on an article, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
Super handsome dude Justin Trudeau
On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Dan Seitz wrote:
Thanks Justin Trudeau I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Justin Bieber first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?
Rating: Two Paul Rudds. They sat down with you for lunch. And I just said the word, ‘apple’. That’s it, but it really set them off. They started riffing off of it, joke after joke. Super funny at first, and then it got to be a little long, but then you know, it got funny again, for a few minutes. But now they’ve been doing it for hours. It’s not just exhausting to watch, I’m genuinely getting concerned for their wellbeing. They’re sweating and one of them is crying and they…just keep improv’ing. Judd Apatow showed up around the halfway point, and he’s holding a camera up like he’s filming. But there’s no light on or anything. I really think he’s just holding it.
I’m just going to back away, slowly, and leave them there. It’s….getting grotesque.
9. Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet and Sour sauce is so delicious for egg rolls. But it’s just too sweet for fries. I always get it, thinking it’s going to be so great, but it’s kind of a disappointment. A SOUR disappointment. Thanks folks, I’ll be here all night.
Rating: 3 Paul Rudds. Each has been around since the time of Jesus. We all know the bible passage about them.
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and a Paul Rudd was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Paul Rudd sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But Paul Rudd denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Paul Rudd said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is an actor who was in the movie Clueless.” But Paul Rudd said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Paul Rudd. And Paul Rudd remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, three Paul Rudds will deny me three times.” And the Paul Rudds went out and wept bitterly.
8. Honey Mustard
Honey mustard is better than regular mustard to dip your fries into. But it’s not as good as other dipping sauces. Honey mustard belongs on a ham sandwich. A fancy ham sandwich on expensive bread in a sandwich shop that has NY Times columnist David Brooks in it, and he’s pushing a wheelchair with one of those life sized sex dolls. And he’s explaining all the different kinds of meat to her. But she doesn’t understand because she’s only ever been to high school and that’s a lie because she’s never been to any school, she’s an inanimate object that David Brooks whispers his secrets to night. Still, she does look uncomfortable with being there.
Rating: Four Paul Rudds, time traveling and solving mysteries with their trusty Great Dane out of a van they call the mystery machine! To be fair, they solve every case. But since they’re the ones abducting the hitchhikers, it’s kind of an easy solve. “I know who did it!” The Paul Rudd with the glasses will say, before going through an elaborate scheme involving masks and jewels. And it all seems pretty harmless until they end with their own involvement and pull a head out of a box. They made a children’s show out of it, but…they changed a few things.
Ranch isn’t just for disgusting iceberg salads ordered at truck stops in Montana anymore! It’s also for fries! People like ranch on things. Those people are not people that you should associate with. They are bad people. If you’re one of those people, I’m sorry for calling you a bad person. I guess I just think you make bad choices. And I hope one day, you stop doing so and accept Ketchup into your heart as your personal savior. I pray about it every night instead of praying for earthquake victims or refugees or whatever. Those people don’t need my prayers the way you do. Those people are going to be fine, but you…
Rating: Five Paul Rudds the size of ants, doing whatever superhero things an ant can do. Which is…I don’t know eating crackers at picnics and building dirt mounds?
“Oh who can I call to eat this extra cracker! Help me somebody! Oh great! It’s ant Paul Rudd. Thank you for um, nibbling that cracker and whatever! Ahhh Oh no! That criminal just stole my purse! Ant Paul rudd can you….oh you’re still working on that cracker? Okay. It’s just he’s getting away. No I get it. I asked for the cracker thing first. Right. Yeah, you do have a really tiny stomach. I don’t expect you to eat it all in one sitting. All right…I’ll uh….just leave you to it.”
There is no 6 in this ranking. Because believe me, you NEVER want to see six Paul Rudd’s in one place. Six Paul Rudds is bad news, man. It’s when the birds fall out of the sky and dogs howl in the street. It’s when the dead rise from their graves to consume the flesh of the living and the demons stream through the streets torturing the innocent. Six Paul Rudds. Dear God, let’s hope none of us ever see that.
Number six would have been cheese sauce. Cheese sauce on fries is very good. BUT THERE IS NO NUMBER 6. NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN.
5. Garlic Aioli
Anything with garlic is both delicious and helpful in keeping vampires away. Which is a real win-win. You can dip your fries in garlic aioli and also it keeps you from sleepwalking in the foggy, moonlight to an enigmatic Transylvanian man’s lair, never to be seen again. Look, I hate to be a victim blamer but anyone who can be hypnotized that easily by a 1000 year old vampire is kind of asking to have all their blood sucked out.
Rating: Seven Paul Rudds. The thing about Paul Rudds is that they love french fries. And sometimes that means that Paul Rudds are going to hide in the back seat of your car and eat all of the french fries out of your bag before you get home. This can be frustrating. But please, try to remember that a Paul Rudd simply needs to be taught boundaries. For example, you can carry a spray bottle around for your Paul Rudds and spray them in the face every time they reach for the bag. Or distract your Paul Rudds with shiny objects with Seth Rogen’s face glued on them. Make yourself bigger than him! Speak in a commanding tone! Remember, you’re the Paul Rudd master in your home, and not the other way around! With a few simple lifestyle changes, you and your Paul Rudds can live in complete harmony. Just make sure you have a separate litter box for every Paul Rudd you have and you’ll be just fine.
I love fries in a Vanilla milkshake! The sweet with the salty! The hot with the cold! The unidentified eyeballs inside, with a haunted dead look frozen in their eyes! All of it, makes these two the perfect match.
Rating: Eight very sad Paul Rudds. They’re pouting because they don’t want to live forever! “I would love to try gray hair!” Paul Rudd says. “But, alas, I am haunted by my decision to refuse an old woman bread and now I will walk the earth until there is no longer any life upon it. I will walk through deserts and across icebergs. I will walk forever through the hellish landscape, and I will know that I brought it upon myself. With one selfish act in my youth I have condemned myself to endless suffering. I will watch everyone I’ve ever loved die. Though, at least I’ve already lived through the biggest torture I will ever face. Seeing an episode of Two and a Half Men. It’s all uphill from there.”
Poutine is so effing good. But gravy on fries doesn’t just have to be limited to a good poutine. I like to order gravy on the side as a fry dipping sauce, and it’s transcendent. Hot and savory, gravy turns fries from a side dish into a MEAL.
Rating: Nine Paul Rudds. They smile so much because they’re nice guys. So nice. Nice when they’re standing in your driveway waving as you go to work. Nice when you get to work and they stand outside your cubicle watching you type and taking turns getting you water and rubbing your back. Nice when you get home and they stand over your bed to watch you sleep, a big goofy smile on their faces. “Where did you come from?” You used to ask in the beginning. “I’m Paul Rudd!” They’d say in unison, in response to every question, every time you begged for an answer. Eventually you gave up and accepted that the Pauls were with you forever. Always present, smiling, helpful. No one else can see them. Which made you wonder at first if they were there at all. But sometimes when a friend walks through them, they shiver. So you know you aren’t imagining it. The Pauls are there all right. And you expect that someday, they’ll be there to claim your soul as you cough out your last breath. Whether they’re demons or angels, you guess you’ll find out soon. They’ve started pointing at clocks and smiling while sliding a single finger across their throat. “I’m Paul Rudd,” they whisper. With any other ghost actor haunting them and reminding you of your mortality, you’d be downright scared. But Paul Rudd really pulls it off. Darnit, he’s just such a nice guy!
There’s a reason that when you think of fries you think of ketchup! And that reason is that you’re very, very sick. Look around you. You see an office? Other people? There are no other people here. They’re just figments of your imagination that are Beautiful Minding you. Only you’re not a genius and the only cool things you’re coming up with are ketchup related. Those equations you wrote down on the blackboard? There are no numbers there. It’s just ketchup you smeared into the shape of a penis.
Rating: 10 Paul Rudds, and they’re just dancin’ to Ain’t No Mountain High. Sure, they’re ancient, eternal beings that have wandered the earth for countless centuries. But at the end of the day, they like to have a good time. You’ve never truly lived until you’ve watched ten replicas of actor, Paul Rudd, twirling each other and singing into hair brushes like that scene in the wonderful movie Stepmom in which Rudd played Susan Sarandon. And he. was. excellent. There was a lot of backlash when it was announced that the actor, Susan Sarandon, would always be played by Paul Rudd, but no one can say he doesn’t nail it every time.
1. Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce is tangier than ketchup making it THE PERFECT french fry dipping sauce. Like just imagine a pulled pork sandwich with a heaping pile of crispy fries. And the sauce is dripping off the sandwich soaking into the fries. HEAVEN. Now imagine you eat the sandwich and you think, this was so good. You know who I should thank? Allison Sanchez. And so you look up the Uproxx offices, and you get the address. And you send a thousand dollars to her in an envelope. Just imagine doing that, visualize it. And then get up and try it! It’s like what? Your imagination has just become reality. Cool!
Rating: All the Paul Rudds reminding you they were in The Cider House Rules. But were they? You certainly don’t remember them in that movie. You remember there were apples and orphans and Toby Maguire was in it but he wasn’t playing a jockey for some reason. So you really didn’t care for it. Seabiscuit was a wondeful film though. It was about a horse and you just thought it was wonderful. Did you see that new one? War horse. Terrific film. Very long. That horse is a wonderful actor. Really terrific.