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    Worcester man goes viral for TikTok of TSA searching his bag full of SPAM

    By Emily Spatz,


    Worcester resident Joel Kaimakani Libed's video has been viewed over 5 million times and was noticed by the official SPAM brand TikTok account.
    An aisle at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. Joel Kaimakani Libed

    A Massachusetts man has become a “SPAM-fluencer” after a video of his bag, full of SPAM, being searched by TSA went viral on TikTok.

    The video, which has garnered more than 5 million views and 470,000 likes, shows Worcester resident Joel Kaimakani Libed laughing as a TSA agent unpacks nine cans of SPAM from his carry-on bag.

    “I’m so embarrassed,” Libed says in the video through chuckles.

    The TSA agent seemed to have taken it in stride, asking, “They’re not all regular flavor, right?” Libed says that they’re “special” flavors, to which the TSA agent says that in that case, it’s fine.

    In a follow-up video, Libed explains that he is a performer, singer, and actor who was born and raised in Hawaii. While on tour performing with an Irish band, Libed said, he stopped by the SPAM museum in Minnesota and stocked up on merch like a shirt and mug.

    Liben then shows off his new collection of the canned meat, gifted to him by an employee of the museum, ranging in flavors from maple to teriyaki. But the SPAM enthusiast said he was most excited by the “Hawaiian Collector’s Edition” SPAM.

    “I was on tour, so I lugged all this SPAM with me for about two and a half weeks,” Libed says in the video.

    “By the time I was ready to go home and I packed my bags, and my bag was overweight, I had to take all of this as my carryon,” Libed explains, motioning to the 12 SPAM cans in front of him.

    Libed said that despite the somewhat awkward encounter at airport security, the TSA agent who checked his bag was “really freaking cool.”

    National attention, partnerships with SPAM

    After that fateful day last month, Libed was interviewed by national news outlets and earned himself a follow from the official SPAM TikTok account.

    The brand recently sent Libed a box of merch including a SPAM fanny pack and SPAM flip flops, along with more flavors to try, which he shows off in another TikTok.

    With his newfound fame, Libed has posted several recipes using the canned meat, which is part of the local cuisine in Hawaii. In one video, he walks his fans through a recipe for SPAM musubi, a popular Hawaiian dish that combines the canned meat, rice, and nori.

    In an interview with The Boston Globe, Libed said he may bring a taste of his hometown cuisine to Welly’s Restaurant in Hudson, where he works as a server. Though the restaurant doesn’t have SPAM on its menu yet, Libed is working to incorporate it into a burger.

    “Every day I wake up, I’m like, this is hilarious,” Libed told the Globe. “Honestly thought, it’s been a really nice experience. Everyone has been so supportive, and all my family and friends back at home in Hawaii are like, ‘You’re our hometown hero.'”

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