Contestants Vie For Couch Potato World Record

Forget David Blaine's recent antics of hanging upside down for 60 straight hours in New York City's Central Park. The real challenge of human endurance commenced yesterday morning about a mile south of Blaine's stunt, in the middle of Times Square. There in a makeshift "plexi-glass living room" for the world to see, eight brave souls commenced a competition to determine who is the world's greatest couch potato.


The Netflix Movie Watching World Championship: The Quest for the Popcorn Bowl
underway in New York City (Credit: Gothamist)

The contest is sponsored by Netflix, and the winner takes home "a $10,000 cash prize, a lifetime subscription to Netflix and the first-ever Popcorn Bowl trophy." At stake is a "new Guinness World Record, for most consecutive hours spent watching movies." The current record stands at 120 hours and 23 minutes and is held by Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India, who is one of the contestants currently looking to set a new record. In order to win, the contestants will need to watch 56 movies consecutively over a period of 121 hours. Their eyes must never leave the screen, except during the 10-minute breaks they are allowed to take between movies.

 EarthCam Times Square Cam 11 last night at
11:20 PM (Credit: EarthCam)

"Guinness World Records rules require the contestants to watch films non-stop without averting their eyes from the screen. Competitors will be given 10 minutes between each movie, or approximately every two hours, to refresh themselves. Eating, drinking, standing and stretching are allowed as long as eyes are on the screen... Medical professionals will monitor the contestants' conditions throughout the event and assess if contestants are truly 'watching' or are simply staring blankly at the screen."

Assuming the competition makes it all the way to its planned conclusion, it is scheduled to end after five days on October 7. The first day kicked off with Iron Man, Best in Show, and Ghostbusters. Several blogs have commented that the first real challenge came last night when the contestants viewed the somnifacient film, The English Patient. Perhaps more challenging for the contestants will be the potentially boisterous and idiosyncratic New York City crowd that could attempt to distract the contestants from their task. It might be difficult to stay focused with the Naked Cowboy (NSFW) serenading them, or with the fear that an out-of-control taxi cab could come careening through the flimsy, temporary building constructed on a small island that separates two of the business streets in Manhattan. For these eight people, New York truly is the city that never sleeps.

Additional information for this news post culled from from Netflix.