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Ken’s Best Wurst Stars In Student Short Film

“I jokingly refer to myself as the collector of the drunk tax,” says the familiar voice of State College’s most popular hot dog vendor. Gorgeous establishing shots of the parking lot he resides in begin an incredible student film on Ken’s Best Wurst. Ken Baumgarten started selling hot dogs to hungry students in State College four years ago. As our own Leo Dillinger wrote last fall, few could give you better stories about the denizens of the drunk tank, or a better conversation in between bites of a “sauzeech.”

College of Communications senior Jack Tumen decided it was high time to commit Ken’s wit to film. The video gives a look into Ken’s life, his struggle with addiction, and his career at the helm of the Best Wurst cart. It also looks at student life and the drinking culture at Penn State, and the connection between the man, the students, and the food. The film is a 10-minute must-watch for anyone who has drunkenly walked through the parking lot behind the Den. Beautifully shot and edited, the feature does justice to a community staple. More than that, though, it proves that no night at the bars is complete without the word of the day, a Wurst meal deal, and some casual conversation with the man behind the cart.

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