The Mesmerizing Way Danny DeVito Peels a Hard-Boiled Egg

May  2, 2017

In March, Danny DeVito made his Broadway debut in a production of Arthur Miller’s The Price as used furniture dealer Gregory Solomon. It’s quite a demanding role. In one scene, DeVito must peel and eat a hard-boiled egg and still say his lines without choking.

Over the weekend, the Times theater section released this two-minute video in which DeVito walks through how he accomplishes this feat multiple times a week. It’s glorious. He carefully explains how he takes a hard-boiled egg and cracks it with his cane; peels it fastidiously, angling the egg shavings towards his briefcase; and shoves it into his mouth, chewing artfully while still making his lines intelligible.

The highlight of the video, in my opinion, is when he speaks of the egg’s “masticating conflict”—a clever, exciting way to describe an egg’s interiors. Some of us would watch our favorite actors recite the contents of a phone book aloud; well, in keeping with that spirit, I'd gladly watch Danny DeVito eat a hard-boiled egg.

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    Jill Lamneck
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


bellw67 July 28, 2017
I'll bet that egg was cooked in an Instant Pot.
Rhonda35 May 5, 2017
This made me think of several cinematic egg-eating scenes: the infamous egg-eating bet of Cool Hand Luke and DeNiro's super-creepy egg-peeling/eating scene in Angel Heart.
Pisanella May 5, 2017
Great egg-peeling technique!

I personally cannot bear to see people talk with their mouths full; it was funny, though!
chris May 4, 2017
Saw this show-loved it! And loved Danny DeVito in it-the egg scene was priceless and he played it perfectly!
Jill L. May 4, 2017
How long do you cook it? Warm egg, cold egg? Cold water after it's cooked? How long? I've tried every combination without consistent results. The shell membrane doesn't come off with the shell. I've even tried the Ina Garten foolproof method and it fails.
mark W. May 5, 2017
Add about one teaspoon of baking soda to the water when you cook the eggs. After they have cooked (15 minutes), drain the water out of the pot. Gently shake the eggs together, cracking the shell. Run lukewarm water over them while you peel them. Chill.
RoseTex10 May 4, 2017
I saw this online and it works. To peel the perfect boil egg. First you tab each side (top and bottom of the egg), then roll the boil egg on the counter with your palm back and forward....that's it!
Jill L. May 4, 2017
Loved this! I consider myself to be a very good cook but I can't make the perfect hard boiled egg and have the peel come off like this! Help!
Reina P. May 4, 2017
This is adorable :) And...I kind feel like eating an egg now.
Whiteantlers May 2, 2017
This made my day! I love DeVito and detest hard boiled eggs. His egg peeling is a performance in itself. : )