6 Things You Need to Know About Hank Chien, the Reigning King of Kong

HANK CHIEN HOLDS THE CURRENT DONKEY KONG RECORD WITH A SCORE OF OVER A MILLION—but he’s also a successful doctor, humble competitor and all around awesome guy. Earlier in the week I chatted with him at his New York office to find out the top 6 things you should know.

1 He’s Got a Big Boy Job

He’s a plastic surgeon by day and a Donkey Kong champion by night. Having a successful career that allows him to touch boobs paired with a huge gaming honor pretty much makes Hank the man. Hank admits that the boob thing is cool, but “medically when you’re looking at breasts, you don’t think of it that way.”

2 He’s Seen Shit
You can’t interview a plastic surgeon (or a Donkey Kong champ) without asking about the grossest thing they’ve ever seen—so that was my next question, and shockingly his answer had nothing to do with any of Billy Mitchell’s ties. Hank reflects back on a condition he saw in his residency called stercoral perforation. This is a condition that can occur when you are so constipated that your stool becomes rock hard and it literally erodes through your colon and bursts it. It’s hardened crap explosion, if you will. Perhaps it was the inspiration to Katy Perry’s song “Firework”? Either way, Hank manned up and made it through what he says, was the grossest-smelling experience to date.

3 He Killed the “Kong Off”
When asked about the most difficult gaming situation he’s been in, Hank immediately says the Kong Off. The Kong Off was a grueling day and a half of non-stop Donkey Kong back in March.  Hank went head-to-head with competitors while over 300 spectators looked on. Despite the long days, Hank came out on top. Because that’s how he rolls.

4 His Timeline of Awesome
Hank set his first record Hank in February of 2010. Billy Mitchell later took it back in the summer of 2010. Steve Wiebe took the title next a few months later, and then Hank took it back from Steve in December of 2010. Hank later beat his own score in February at Fun Spot with a score of 1,090,400, making him the current title-holder.

5 He’s Not Creeped Out By Billy Mitchell
Anyone who’s seen the popular documentary “The King of Kong” will remember Hank’s colorful opponent, Billy Mitchell. Mitchell’s behavior was so over-the-top that many wondered if it was real. Hank says, “I think Billy’s misunderstood. He has a quirky personality that either you get or you don’t get, but he’s really just trying to be funny. If you don’t get that sense of humor, you’re going to think… well, you’re going to think he’s not great.”

6 He’s Watching His Back
Hank definitely doesn’t take his title for granted. He told me that there are hundreds, if not thousands of people going after his record, especially since  the documentary popularized the game again. He says currently there are a lot of people that can beat his score, they have the skills, they just haven’t had the time or luck to make it happen. “It looks like a three man race, but it’s not.”


You can follow Hank on twitter at @Hank_Chien

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