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George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher Explains the Secret to Winning at Claw Machines


Just the other day I was celebrating the fact that I’m #blessed to work in a field where a man goes by the name “Corpsegrinder” and thousands (millions?) of folks refer to him as such without a trace of irony or even a smirk. It is truly a wonderful thing, made all the more precious by knowing that the man who bellows disgusting, throaty growls into a microphone for a living has an extreme passion for finding deals at Target and playing claw machine arcade games.

It’s the claw machine part that we’ll be focusing on today. Corpsegrinder, you see, not only loves playing the classic arcade games in which most people experience nothing but pure frustration, but is especially skilled at winning the prizes therein (I’ve never won a thing in my whole damn life from a cursed claw machine, have you?). Mr. Grinder, or “George” as his parents called him as a youngin’, is a verified pro, regularly scooping up armfuls of stuffed animals and action figures with his carefully honed control of a flimsily constructed mechanical arm. Behold:

George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher Explains the Secret to Winning at Claw Machines
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher Explains the Secret to Winning at Claw Machines

Now, in a recent chat with Louder Sound — the same one in which he referred to his iconic neck as “my money-maker” — Corpsegrinder has spoken at length about his passion for claw machines, revealing the secrets behind how he wins, telling a story about how he once yelled at a kid while manning the claw, and explaining how he donates his winnings to charity.

He began:

“I love claw machines. It could be anything in there – it could be a cartoon character that I don’t like – and I’ll get ’em anyway.

“I saw this YouTube video of a guy who got kicked out of some arcade, and he had a system that to win – somebody had told him where to touch the sides of the claw machine, or a certain area on it, and you will always win. Like the sensors treat it as a test run or something. That‘s like stacking the deck of cards or cheating at Monopoly. You didn’t really  win. I know I have legitimately won every damn thing I’ve got out of a claw machine honestly.”

When asked what his secret is, he responded:

“I play the claw. I’m like a kid at Disney; I’m looking what’s in there, and then I’m looking at how it’s sitting inside of there. Is there something on top of it? Do I have to move that?

“As soon as I see how the claw reacts, I’ll know if I’m gonna win. If the actual hands of the claw are set really loose, or maybe the machine has been used a lot, the sometimes stuff will just slip out.

“If there’s a humanoid figure or a creature with arms or legs, I will try to get the claw in between the legs and the shoulder. If I can’t do that because it’s laying at an angle, then I’ll try to move it to a spot where it will be in the right space. But if I pick up something up and you are around watching me, you are not allowed to say anything. When it drops in the hole and it’s down in the bottom where I grab it, then you can say, ‘You got it!’ But if you say anything while it’s in the claw… that’s when you see me mad.

“I swear to you, I yelled at a kid once. We were in Texas at a claw machine. I picked up this car, it was a Dale Earnhardt Sr, No.3 car. My mother watched Nascar forever, and that was her car. I wanted it for her.

“Anyway, this kid is watching me. I’d told everybody that they couldn’t say anything until it was in that hole. So I get it in the claw, and the machine is picking it up, and he goes, ‘You got it!’ And sure e-fucking-nough, that thing drops.

“I turned to the kid, and said, [malevolent stare] ‘Go away right now.’ He was, like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ I said, ‘I fucking told you, why would you do that?’ [Grits teeth] I’m getting mad again just thinking about it.”

Corpsegrinder had a lot to say on the topic, and continued:

“So one time we were at a Flying J truck stop, and they had Disney characters in the claw machines – it was one of the bigger ones. I swear to you on my children, I won four of them in one shot – it was some UFO one. I walked away and people, were, like, ‘Holy crap!’

“Another time, we were in Walmart around Christmas time. I’d won some stuff, but there was this kid who hadn’t. I was, like, ‘Here, you can have mine.’ The parents were, like, ‘Really?’ The mom was tearing up. I was, like, ‘Don’t do that, you’re gonna make me do it too.’ She was, like, ‘Why would you do that?’ I said, ‘Well, because I’m gonna donate them anyway.’”

On his charitable donations:

“I just like to play the claw machines. I save up quarters, and when I win we gonna donate them for kids for Christmastime or whatever. We played somewhere in Michigan once, and the club we were playing had a sign saying, ‘“On such and such a date, we’re doing a toy drive.’

“So I found out who was in charge of the club and said, ‘So you’re in charge of this toy drive? I got a whole bunch of stuffed animals I won on this tour, I’ll give ’em to you.’  And they’re, like, ‘Don’t you want to give them to your kids?’ If there’s any they might want, I put them in a separate bag, but they have enough stuffed animals anyway.”

There you have it. And now you can add “heart of gold” to Corpsegrinder’s resume.

You can read the full chat here.

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