André the Giant, the unofficial “Greatest Drunk on Earth”

André the Giant was quite the social drunkard who always wanted people to drink with him and always picked up the check in the end.

André the Giant was quite the social drunkard who always wanted people to drink with him and always picked up the check in the end.

André the Giant (1946-1993) is an absolute legend in the world of wrestling. That’s right, that ‘sport’ where tanned steroids users in tight outfits pretend to hurt each other. In the glory days of André, who was 2.24 meters tall and weighed 240 kilos, it certainly wasn’t all show and people actually got seriously hurt when facing this human monster. But more impressive than his wrestling or movie career were his drinking skills. With 119 beers in just 6 hours André still holds the unofficial title of ” The Greatest Drunk on Earth”.

We can talk a lot about The Giant’s wrestling career and how he battled the famous Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania. Or we can discuss his movie career and how he starred next to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer. But we’d rather tell you about André’s legendary drinking sessions, since they were almost unrealistic.

André René Roussimoff was born in the French city of Grenoble as the son of Bulgarian and Polish parents. A combination that probably already gave him an advantage when it came to handling alcohol. Another thing was that André ‘suffered’ from excessive growth. This acromegaly can even lead to a premature death but in the wrestler’s case it just lead to a lot of pain, especially in his back. According to actor Cary Elwes, one of the reasons André drank this much was because ‘alcohol was his way to deal with the pain’.

However, this certainly wasn’t the only reason. The Giant loved to take groups of people out into town and would always pick up the bill afterwards, a typical social drunkard. Although he was mostly known for his amazing beer drinking, André drank basically everything that contained alcohol. Elwes remembered his co-star on Princess Bride usually ordering a drink called The American, which contained 40 ounces (nearly 1.2 liter) of different kinds of liquor in one pitcher. The born Frenchman would easily drink a few of them a night.

Elwes was less fund of these drinks: “I’ve never tasted airplane fuel. But I imagine it’s very close to what that must taste like. It’s very potent indeed and I remember coughing a lot. But to him, it was like chugging water.” Shooting Princess Bride took a month, in which André treated his co-stars to many hangovers and in the end picked up a bar-tab at his hotel the London Hyatt of 40.000 dollars.

But back to the amounts of beer André the Giant could consume. As said, the wrestler gained his unofficial title of “The Greatest Drunk on Earth” by drinking 119 bottles with 350 milliliters of beer in 6 hours. However, according to other wrestlers, André could drink a lot more. Mike Graham said he saw him drink 156 bottles of 470 milliliters (that’s right, do the math!) in one drinking session. Dusty Rhodes said he saw him drink 127 beers in a hotel bar before passing out in the lobby.

Hulk Hogan toured with André the Giant in Japan when he was just a young upcoming wrestler. He revealed how André would sit in the tour bus downing beers. After emptying a can, he would crush it and throw it at Hogan. And when his case of beer was done, Hogan had to get off the bus and find him a new one as fast as he could. On one of those Asian adventures a sponsor gave André a case of 16 bottles of expensive plum wine. In 4 hours on the bus The Giant drunk them all and then participated in 3 wrestling matches. After which Hogan was sent out to get him some cases of beer again.

Another night André the Giant went out drinking in Kansas City when the barkeeper called the last round way too early for the big man’s taste. The barman told André  he could stay as long as he kept drinking. 40 vodka tonics later it was 5 in the morning and the wrestler finally called it a night.

But we saved the best drunk story for last. One night in New York André the Giant and Dusty Rhodes decided to walk back to the hotel from the bar. But after some time they got bored and thirsty. When the dynamic duo saw 2 horse-drawn carriages they both hijacked one of them, throwing some money at the surprised owners. After that they had a race back to the hotel that lasted 15 blocks. When the cops arrived to the scene they found the wrestlers sipping brandy in the hotel bar, while acting as if nothing happened.

Looking back we must conclude that André the Giant was some kind of a ‘superhuman’. Cause even for his enormous size and weight he drank crazy amounts of alcohol. In 1993 he died of heart failure at the age of 47. Who would  have guessed that an organ other than his liver would stop functioning first, right?! Anyway, let’s cheers to the unofficial Greatest Drunk on Earth.

Micky Bumbar

More drinkers that left their mark on the world’s history.

28 thoughts on “André the Giant, the unofficial “Greatest Drunk on Earth”

  1. He was a dude that is hard to compare against and a really nice guy by all accounts. Too much booze can kill the heart however and along with the liver is the other way of going.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a fascinating individual! Great post, Micky. Dont know how i missed this one.

    while reading this, all i kept thinking about was how he managed to hold all that fluid in and how many times he had to go pee. lol 🙂

    I am not surprised it was his heart that gave out. i have heard that tall people generally have heart ailments. I have a very tall relative and the veins in his feet look really bad and he is only in his thirties. He will need to have surgery for it.

    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right… Without surgery these guys have a high chance of dieing young. I remember an NBA basketball player named Georghe Muresan who had the same. They predicted that without surgery he would die before his 30th birthday. Hope your friend is gonna be fine.
      About the peeing. Guess I would just lock myself in the toilet with a shitload of beers. All that running up and down is just bad for the knees! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • LMAO!! 🙂 what a perfect solution to the peeing problem. Or you could just wear a catheter so u could enjoy some conversation. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • as for my relative, well first he has to try some type of special sock and then the surgery if the sock dont work, which i doubt. He loves to ride his very tall mountain bike and i dont know if that all that exercise is good or not for his heart. He has done 50 and 100 mile bike races.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well some people’s heart fails while they are calmly sitting at home, scared of everything. I believe he is absolutely right to do what he loves best! The doctors might disagree but they also want us to stop drinking like we do. Basically I believe that a happy heart won’t stop ticking.

        Liked by 2 people

      • i suppose your philosophy could be applied to smokers, risk takers, etc. and yeah, we gotta live happily. whatever it takes to make this journey fun…however shortened it may become. as for me, i am one of those calmly sitting souls who will die in my chair, scared to peek out and join the world 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Steph… “while reading this, all i kept thinking about was how he managed to hold all that fluid in and how many times he had to go pee”
      I kinda assumed his bladder was in proportion with the rest of him – i.e., oversized it would work out same as anyone. Right?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Famous Drunks in History | Tales from the Conspiratum

  4. There’s a mis..hmm I guess you could call it a misrepresentation in this post, that says”
    Another thing was that André ‘suffered’ from excessive growth.
    This acromegaly can even lead to a premature death but in the wrestler’s case it just lead
    to a lot of pain,”
    He did indeed SUFFER from excessive growth, no quotation marks. He was too big for his heart. This post also contradicts itself – the note that his death of heart failure at the age of 47 – this was due to the disorder, acromegaly – therefore, it didn’t “just” lead to pain. It led to premature death due to too much stress on his heart.
    I’m not sure what’s up with the phrasing going on in this blog post. Really odd, self-contradictory/


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