It would be hard to explain to somebody who had never been why Waffle House is one of America’s greatest treasures.
“Is it clean?”
“No, it’s kinda like a truck stop bathroom.”
“Is it gourmet food?”
“No, the guy cooking definitely has a few felonies and a meth addiction.”
“Is it the staff?”
“No, they’ll definitely beat your ass if you look at them sideways.”
But at 3 AM, after a night of drinking, nothing tastes better than those smothered and covered hash browns cooked with love behind a greasy counter by a guy with a cigarette and an ankle monitor. And if you ever need to explain to somebody why Waffle House is such a magical place, just show them this video.
Earlier this year, Hank Williams Jr. made a stop in Tampa at the Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater. And after the show, it looks like everybody there made a stop at (where else?) Waffle House.
And in one of the greatest examples of Americans putting aside their differences and uniting together for a common cause that we’ve seen in a long time, the entire restaurant broke out into a beautiful chorus of “Family Tradition.”
British Tourists Try Waffle House For The First Time
Is there anything more American than drunkenly eating Waffle House at 3 AM?
Stumbling through those glass doors and sliding into that hard wooden booth after a night of partying, knowing that your future is about to be filled with smothered and covered hash browns made with love by a cook who may or may not have been smoking a cigarette and wearing an ankle monitor while he was standing at the grill?
It’s basically a rite of passage here in America. A pilgrimage made by millions of drunk college students and other degenerates every single night. And it’s amazing.
I mean, where else are you going to get an entire restaurant drunkenly breaking out into a Hank Williams Jr. song, while also knowing you’re protected by a staff that will literally throw hands and dodge chairs to take care of their customers when shit inevitably hits the fan?
Nowhere but the Waffle Home.
And two British tourists recently got the experience for themselves – and had their minds absolutely blown.
Josh Clarke is a TikTok creator from England who’s built up quite a following here in America, trying all kinds of American foods and learning about all the weird shit we have – and do – over here in the new world.
And he’s currently on his first trip to America to get a look at our culture and our country for himself.
Well of course no trip to America would be truly complete without a drunken trip to Waffle House, so when Josh and his travel buddy Jase found themselves hitting up the WaHo after a night of partying, I’m not sure that they were ready for what they were about to experience.
Hank Williams Jr. Details Pressure He Felt To Be Like His Father
I can’t imagine the pressure that comes with being a famous person’s child.
Especially when the famous person passed away at a young age, and the child is expected to fill the parent’s shoes and continue the legacy, just like Hank Williams Jr. had to do.
As most know, Hank Williams passed away when he was only 29-years-old due to a long battle with alcohol and drug abuse, when Hank Jr. was only three-years-old.
As soon as Hank Jr. turned five, he was pressured by his mother, Audrey Williams, and the rest of the country music world to become exactly like his father, and become the next Hank Williams.
In an ABC 20/20 segment with Barbara Walters back in 1987, Hank Jr. detailed the struggles he faced while always being compared to his father growing up.
“It was always ‘Your daddy went through this stuff, and you’ll have to go through it. We have to go through these things (booze and drugs)’ ya know… depression, that’s a big sport to a lot of these people I think. It was just drilled into me a lot.”
He discussed how he was already playing shows and covering his father’s songs at an incredibly young age:
“I was on the road when I was eight. When they came to see an eight to 10 year old it wasn’t for his wonderful voice, it was because he was the son of Hank Williams.
They were trying to give me a drink when I was 10 or 12, you know saying ‘Hey give ol’ Hank a little drink here,’ the old steel player and everything.”
He was then asked if anybody ever told him he wasn’t supposed to drink and take pills, and he responded:
“No, the road wasn’t ever like that. I grew up quick… I was in the hospital several times, all the way out. The pills, you know, the whiskey, and the whole thing. I was really rolling in it.
I thought I was gonna die a couple times and it scared the heck out of me.”
He also weighed in on the pressure he felt from fans to be like his father, and if it didn’t sound exactly like his father sounded, he would take heat for it:
“They’d be like ‘Sing Hey Good Lookin’,’ and I’d just be like, ‘well I just sang it, you were just so drunk you didn’t hear it or I’m just gonna do this other one.'”
“Oh you little sore, your daddy would have…”
“So that didn’t go over too good… I punched one of ’em, in Salt Lake City and boy that felt good. It was driving me crazy.
I had a psychiatrist tell me he said, ‘Hey you’ve been living, talk like, act like, be like, sing like your daddy, your lifestyles exactly like his, and you’re gonna be gone too.’
I said ‘To hell with this, I’m not putting up with this crap.'”
That’s when he decided at the age of 26 to go a completely different direction with his country music career, and become his own person, transforming into the Hank Jr. we all know and love, taking his influence from the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles.
He began to pursue a different sound that mixed together southern rock, the blues, and country music all into one.
Nevertheless, it truly is hard to fathom the amount of pressure he felt on the daily growing up to become a spitting image of his father… but despite that pressure, he emerged a legend in his own right.