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Food Network Humor
August 3, 2011 5:55 PM   Subscribe


 
That Paula Deen portrait should be in the Tate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:58 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have been trying and failing to come up with a good parody/ homage for of Look At Me I'm Sandra Lee.
posted by The Whelk at 6:00 PM on August 3, 2011


I thought your previously was going to be Paula Deen's English Peas.
posted by sweetkid at 6:00 PM on August 3, 2011


For non native speakers of English, " Guy Fieri " is an acceptable synonym for " mid life crisis"
posted by The Whelk at 6:03 PM on August 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


Food Network Humor

2 out of 3 ain't too bad.
posted by DU at 6:10 PM on August 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know it's easy to make fun of Paula Deen and Guy Fieri, but no one seems to understand that the really hilarious Food Network program is Marc Summers on Unwrapped. It's a half hour of Marc getting unbelievably super excited about industrial candy making processes. Seriously, every episode is this. He's really the Pied Piper of the obesity epidemic.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:13 PM on August 3, 2011 [17 favorites]


That photo of Rachael Ray is pretty much a summary of every reason I never watch the Food Network.
posted by blucevalo at 6:13 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marc Summers has a show on the food network about candy wrappers seemed the result of a particularly inspired game of mad libs.
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on August 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


After hanging out with my parent's cable for a month or so, I'm convinced we need a version of this for HGTV - specifically House Hunters and the absurd pools and hardwood floors they all want and somehow get.
posted by Apropos of Something at 6:15 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most of the time, I find FNH to be rather mean-spirited. Not that the Food Network isn't totally deserving of some serious takedown, but her sense of humor needs some work.
posted by briank at 6:17 PM on August 3, 2011


Of course Paula Deen would commission Francis Bacon for a portrait.
posted by Verdant at 6:19 PM on August 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait, Double Dare Marc Summers?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:20 PM on August 3, 2011


Yeah, it's Marc Summers from Double Dare. It's very, very strange.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:22 PM on August 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Anthony Bourdain writes someplace how he asked Emeril how he, Emeril, could live with himself doing all that silly stuff on television. Answer- Emeril has a lot of friends family and employees who depend on his brand's success. If clownery keeps the thing going, he will resort to clownery.

Chastened Bourdain a bit. But then, now he has a child he understands the game rather better than he used to, and the compromises you have to make.

Please remember just what kind of money chefs tend to make for damnably hard work.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:24 PM on August 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


For non native speakers of English, " Guy Fieri " is an acceptable synonym for " mid life crisis

It's the sunglasses on the back of his head that gets me. Really, Guy? You had no other place to put them? You couldn't get a PA to be your sunglasses wrangler? Supposed to make him look laid back and authentic but it's the biggest affectation.

Marc Summers has a show on the food network...

Every time I see Unwrapped, I desperately want to know who's tasked with writing it. Because all I can ever imagine is some "associate producer" standing on a chair in their kitchen, crying, about to put their head in a noose.
posted by PlusDistance at 6:24 PM on August 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


So Alton Brown is the only good show on there? And it's ending? Good luck, FN.
posted by DU at 6:25 PM on August 3, 2011


Yeah, it's Marc Summers from Double Dare. It's very, very strange.

He's a terrible narrator, too. About as charming as the narrators for those sexual harassment awareness videos the boss makes everyone watch to avoid getting sued... he really phines it in, and has none of the wit, charm or life from his gameshow host days. I have no idea why the show is still on the air, except people get really curious about candy, I suppose.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:27 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


So Alton Brown is the only good show on there?

Alex's Day Off is good. She has a flair for metaphor.

DISCLOSURE: I am in love with Alex Guarnaschelli.
posted by Trurl at 6:30 PM on August 3, 2011


How I miss Sarah Moulton. (Actually I haven't watched Food Network in ages -- she's not still around, by any chance? I might have to get cable again if she is.)
posted by trip and a half at 6:39 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know it's easy to make fun of Paula Deen and Guy Fieri, but no one seems to understand that the really hilarious Food Network program is Marc Summers on Unwrapped.

The best part about Unwrapped is Summers' speech patterns. Every sentence...comes in two parts. The first builds up a bit...and the second resolves the tension. It's remarkably like a classical music motif that moves from mediant to dominant...and back to the tonic.
posted by jwhite1979 at 6:44 PM on August 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


standing on a chair in their kitchen, crying, about to put their head in a noose.

I have the same morbid thought about the dude who hosts cupcake wars.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:45 PM on August 3, 2011


I was watching Iron Chef one time and the secret ingredient was peas. One of the judges was talking about her favored dish and said that it really brought out the "pea-ness," and I laughed like a schoolboy.
posted by invitapriore at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


That Marc Summers show suckered me into running out for tater tots one hungover Sunday morning.
posted by something something at 7:01 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


it really brought out the "pea-ness," and I laughed like a schoolboy

Previously.
posted by axiom at 7:01 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what gets me about Iron Chef? At the beginning Mark Dacascos holds up a beautiful looking pepper, and just before he takes a bite out of it he ditches it for an apple. That pepper looks so delicious. Why not just eat the pepper man? EAT THE DAMN PEPPER!
posted by jwhite1979 at 7:02 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because that was the signature move of the original Iron Chef in Japan.

Eating the Apple means it's the American version.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:07 PM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because that was the signature move of the original Iron Chef in Japan.

Eating the Apple means it's the American version.
Oh, I get it. I've never seen the opening to the original. So are apples more popular in America than in Japan? Are peppers more popular in Japan than in America?
posted by jwhite1979 at 7:13 PM on August 3, 2011


Marc Summers sits in a fake diner for probably 6 hours at a stretch, tapes all the host segments for a season of episodes. Later he goes to a studio and stiffly reads copy. The show(s) will never be cancelled, because they are basically just infomercials for the products they list and describe. They have no plot and are timeless, and therefore will be played and replayed until the heat death of the cable TV universe.

Arguably Marc Summers has accidentally backed into the easiest, cushiest, most perfect job in show business.
posted by penduluum at 7:13 PM on August 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


Every time I see Unwrapped, I desperately want to know who's tasked with writing it

I always assumed it was written by the marketing flacks and small time CEO's at the companies that paid for the exposure.
posted by underflow at 7:13 PM on August 3, 2011


Because that was the signature move of the original Iron Chef in Japan.

To be pedantic, it was the signature move of the original Chairman of Kitchen Stadium in the original Japanese production of Iron Chef.

His Iron Chefs have their own signature poses.
posted by Trurl at 7:16 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


So Alton Brown is the only good show on there?

I haven't been able to watch him since reading that he was on a crazy diet where he mostly ate plain chicken breasts, and he started to look like Nosferatu on various Food Network shows.

I've been enjoying The Best Thing I Ever Ate and yes, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. For me it's more hearing about tasty restaurants and dishes than it is about the people.
posted by booksherpa at 7:16 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's a terrible narrator, too. About as charming as the narrators for those sexual harassment awareness videos the boss makes everyone watch to avoid getting sued

I made this comment a year ago in a thread about circus peanuts. I'm recycling it:
"Unwrapped," is a cable channel program about how various mass-produced foods are made. The host sits on a set fashioned like a 1950's diner and pretends to be enthusiastic about introducing segments on the manufacture of Necco Wafers and stuff like that.

One time I was watching it at four in the morning and after the commercial break he said "It won't surprise you to learn that circus peanuts are born directly from Satan's ass." Then he took a swig strait from a bottle of bourbon.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:17 PM on August 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's the sunglasses on the back of his head that gets me. Really, Guy? You had no other place to put them? You couldn't get a PA to be your sunglasses wrangler? Supposed to make him look laid back and authentic but it's the biggest affectation.

My brother-in-law does this completely unaffectedly. I keep wanting to make Guy Fieri jokes, but I doubt he'd understand why. I'm not defending it mind you, it's still completely bizarre.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:18 PM on August 3, 2011


This post on Heat Seekers nicely conveys why I didn't go back for a second episode.
posted by Trurl at 7:24 PM on August 3, 2011


Sad to see all the hate on Unwrapped. It is such a silly, harmless, optimistic show. I always considered it anachronistic, like it should have been aired in the 1950s - an era exploding with mechanization and American consumerism. This is the picture I get in my head when I watch it.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:36 PM on August 3, 2011


He's a terrible narrator, too. About as charming as the narrators for those sexual harassment awareness videos the boss makes everyone watch to avoid getting sued

Yeah...I guess I think it is so bad, stiff and dated that it is charming - like I am watching a 1950s instructional video - no sophisticated pretense.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:41 PM on August 3, 2011


Please remember just what kind of money chefs tend to make for damnably hard work.

That's for real cooks, not the crap on the food network.
posted by TheBones at 7:49 PM on August 3, 2011


Most Food Network shows are basically the soft core porn of food. It's telling that my wife's two brothers, adult children whose diets consist largely of canned turkey chili dumped on frozen bean burritos washed down with Powerade (seriously this is all they eat every day), and who have absolutely no interest in the preparation or even the tasting of good food, just happen to be huge fans of shows like "The Next Food Network Star" and "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" (what a pointless show).

Food Network is not about cooking, it's about eating. It's a food advertiser's wet dream.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:15 PM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing that some of you cable TV watchers have noticed that 5+ years ago there were a million home improvement shows airing on a few networks. Now (due to economic circumstances) there is a glut of food shows.

I, for one, am happy about this. Because these shows are what my partner watches in the bedroom while I am cooking and housecleaning and grading papers. Years ago, I was always in fear that she would ask me to build a gazebo or something (as if). A few cooking tips are always welcome. Those 24-hour home makeovers threw the fear of God into me.
posted by kozad at 8:24 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can actually dig Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives because no matter how much he yucks it up Guy still seems to put the restaurant and it's food up as the main attraction.

He's kinda obnoxious in an earnest way. In contrast Bobby Flay just comes off as a tremendous douchebag (even on shows he's intentionally setup for failure like showdown). I also loathe Duff because instead of being obnoxious but lovable he just comes off as obnoxious.

Honestly I don't watch much of Food network channel anymore because they seem to like showing Food network challenge: Stupid Cake designs and Chopped every time I switch to the channel. Chopped is simply infuriating because it's basically let's give chefs ridiculous flavor profiles, a tight timeline and then slam their ass repeatedly. It's simply unwatchable for an entire episode and new fare like extreme chefs only trumps it in stupidity.

In comparison the horrible soft core porn day time shows with butter and Giada's and Rachel's boobs seem like stellar fare.
posted by vuron at 8:34 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I followed FNH on Twitter for a while but quickly got tired with the facile "Guy Fieri's a douche/Sandra Lee's an untalented drunk/Giada de Laurentiis pronounces Italian words with an accent" schtick that could easily be replaced with a bot.

There's much to satirize on that channel these days, but FNH doesn't have the chops to do more than pick the low-hanging fruit. With a socket wrench.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:57 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently Duff Goldman is doing very well through his marketing of himself. Aside from his new Sugar High series, special ice creams for Blue Bunny, he has an entire line of cake decorating equipment that I saw at the craft store last week; fondant, tools, all kinds of stuff with his name on it.
posted by NoraCharles at 9:03 PM on August 3, 2011


There's much to satirize on that channel these days, but FNH doesn't have the chops to do more than pick the low-hanging fruit. With a socket wrench.

When the missus and I gave up cable for the Netflix and the iTunes and the Intertoobs many moons ago, one of the things I lamented most was giving up on Food Network.

If nothing else, FNH helped me understand that I wasn't missing anything.
posted by device55 at 9:09 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Living in Seattle, foodie central, I was beginning to think I was the only person utterly repulsed by food-obsession television, and that I should stay silent lest the pod-people discover I'm not one of them.

I'm glad to discover there's a world of people similarly nonplussed :)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:01 PM on August 3, 2011


I too will watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives because they do feature some neat places making good food from scratch. But god damn it, Guy, pronounce your name FieRi, not "Fietti." We're in 'merica.
posted by janerica at 10:07 PM on August 3, 2011


I always hope for Guy Fieri in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to spit the food out and say "This tastes like shit! I wouldn't give this crap to a homeless dog!" But no, it's always the most totally orgasmic thing he's ever tasted. Here's hoping for an outtake reel.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:34 PM on August 3, 2011


I like Guy Fieri. Say what you will about his personal style, but he's good with people, and I always feel like he respects those he encounters at the places he visits. He does a great job of showcasing the places and the people.

Don't underestimate Marc Summers. The man who introduced you to kids wading through tubs of pudding has managed to have a really successful (if abnomally jovial) TV career in front of the camera and behind the camera as a producer. He seems like a nice, smart dude with some interesting things to say about hosting, Double Dare, and how OCD affected his career.
posted by zennie at 10:51 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


So Alton Brown is the only good show on there? And it's ending? Good luck, FN.

Bourdain went on about this in his last book. Bourdain probably gets too much attention, but I dig his writing style for some reason. Anyhow, he had a chapter dedicated to this very topic, albeit before Alton went away.

The Food Network is not about food. It's about making money. All of the chefs who have actual skill and talent have either been run off of FN or driven into making the cheesy shit that is poured on there. The remaining cooking shows seemingly have less to do with food as it does personalities. Rachel Ray may well be a decent cook, but they have her on because she does well with the middle aged demographic. Sandra Lee couldn't cook her way out of a paper bag. The broccoli pie is the stuff legends are made of. Bobby Flay is an excellent chef, but instead of having him cook he instead cooks versus some hometown "favorite" or judges sham cooking competitions a la Gordon Ramsay. Mario Batali is a great chef who loves food, but instead plays Iron Chef. Alton Brown seemingly loved doing his show, and it was well liked by audiences.

It all boils down to money. As disgusting as it is, the complete and utter crap is what made the network make money. People weren't tuning in to the cooking shows. Instead they will blankly stare at Unwrapped, Next Great Chef, Giada's Boobs, Bobby Flay vs. Village Idiot, Spikeyhair Goes To The Diner, Orange Lady Drinks Butter and Sandra Lee Gets Drunk and Makes "Food." They changed executive producers years ago and made the Food Network into one of the many crap cable channels. The Food Network now is about food as much as TLC is about learning, History is about history, A&E is about Arts and Entertainment, etc. It's all lower common denominator rubbish getting 500,000-800,000 viewers. Sadly, Alton being gone probably won't affect ratings much.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:04 AM on August 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow, Guy Fieri is real? I thought he was an imaginary character made up by Phillipe from Achewood.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 1:11 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, look at that.
posted by dibblda at 2:01 AM on August 4, 2011


I love blogs like "Project Rungay" that do hilarious wrap ups of popular shows.

Sadly, this blog is not so hilarious.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 2:36 AM on August 4, 2011


Arguably Marc Summers has accidentally backed into the easiest, cushiest, most perfect job in show business.

I don't think he is satisfied with it, though. I used to be an intern for the food producer at Good Morning America in 2002. Whilst going through mail, my boss had received Marc Summers' resume from his agency for a host. First, it blew my mind that being a "host" was a job. I mean, now it's obvious, but I never put it together. Second, Double Dare guy's resume! Cool!
posted by spec80 at 3:26 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cooking Channel is what you used to think FN was. They show the original Iron Chef (but with new dubbing and generic music instead of "Backdraft" cuts), Two Fat Ladies (which make me miss Jennifer Paterson all over again), and Molto Mario (Batali's best tv effort). Their newer stuff is more hipster than it needs to be, though watching Emeril going around the country clowning around with cooks is kind of funny...

But I find an hour of Tony Bourdain every week better than an entire night of FN or CC. This week's episode-a love letter to El Buli's closing-was everything good and bad about the show, and it still was one of the best hours of tv.
posted by Not The Stig at 5:39 AM on August 4, 2011


[Fieri]'s kinda obnoxious in an earnest way.

I used to agree with this whole-heartedly (and still enjoy the show for the dishes), until a friend told us Fieri'd been in town (Virginia Beach) recently, gotten hammered, acted the ass and fired his entire crew during his short stay. Dude, you have a much better life tha tyou deserve. Get appreciative soon.
posted by yerfatma at 6:05 AM on August 4, 2011


This site actually makes me feel bad for Food Network.
posted by Theta States at 7:17 AM on August 4, 2011


The Canadian version of the Food Network is currently way better than any of the American crap, although they keep trying to fit in the horrible shows from the US version in and around the Canadian program.

A lot of the Cooking Channel shows are from Food Network Canada: Chuck's Day Off, French Food at Home (I find Laura Calder so charming), Spice Goddess, David Rocco's Dolce Vita, and Food Jammers (strangely fascinating) are all good.

My pet favourite is Chef At Home, with Michael Smith; I swear, that man taught me how to cook because he appealed to my desire to never follow recipes.

I think that our version is made more successful by the benefits of CanCon rules, as well as by the availability of tax breaks for producing shows in Canada. As a result, a lot of the Canadian shows are about real, local food and how to cook it.
posted by urbanlenny at 7:58 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to confess that I kind of love Unwrapped - there is just something mindlessly soothing about watching artificially colored food products going through an extruder.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 8:27 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favourite Food Network show is Top Chef. Oh.

I've come around on Guy Fieri; I think the guy really is bubbling over with crazy joy. He was great on the recent Food Network star where he was teaching these amateurs how to act on camera. He was gentle, and helpful, and clearly understands his craft. It is obnoxious how every single show with him is identical.
posted by Nelson at 8:46 AM on August 4, 2011


Chopped is our favourite here, by far. I love Ted Allen, and I love seeing each round unfold.
I never thought I would enjoy the English version of Iron Chef as much as the original, but turns out it is the perfect place for Alton Brown.
posted by Theta States at 9:20 AM on August 4, 2011


I maintain that the "perfect place" for Alton is back on his motorcycle doing another "Feasting On Asphalt" series. It's what "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" only wishes it could be.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marc Summers not only narrates Unwrapped, his production company is responsible for many of those terrible Food Network shows including Restaurant Impossible, Dinner Impossible, and Food Feuds. So, I'd say he's doing ok.
posted by jrichards at 7:08 AM on August 5, 2011


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