America: Wild and Wacky Celebrates the Birth of America...and SPAM

June 9, 2009
News Release

SPAM® America's favorite lunch meat, is turning 72 years old this July 4th. In commemoration of the nation's number one mystery meat (in which three cans are sold every second!), Smithsonian Channel’s comedy series America: Wild and Wacky will feature a SPAM® cook-off in a round up of the many colorful, homegrown celebrations taking place across the country this Independence Day.

SPAM® acquired its name in 1937 from multiple entries in a naming contest, and has since become the phenomenon we know today. It is available in over 31 countries and sold its seven billionth can in 2007. The product, manufactured by Hormel Foods Corporation, has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it a part of pop culture and folklore.

America: Wild and Wacky features the wacky patchwork of America as displayed in hundreds of unique local festivals. From a Colorado coffin race to a Kinetic sculpture race, the show captures the homegrown spirit of our country's festivals in all their glory. The SPAM® cook-off kicks off on the Smithsonian Channel, July 5 at 4 pm.

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Smithsonian Networks (SNI/SI Networks L.L.C.) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. It was formed to create new channels to showcase scientific, cultural and historical programming based largely upon the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features original documentaries, short-subject explorations and innovative and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Visit Smithsonian Networks on the internet at