Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pigs on the Video Bar

Owing to a small household disaster I haven’t been able to cook the last few days. I couldn’t even make coffee. My Bodum thermal French press sat shivering like the little match girl behind sheets of protective plastic while a drywall guy patched my ceiling. The low point in a week that included death (of a kitchen, now resurrected) and taxes (blechk) was served to me in a 12-ounce paper cup: Starbuck’s new Pike Place Roast. If you haven’t tried it yet, well done. One, it’s always better to avoid advertising gimmicks and two, this stuff is no good.

Anyhoo, I spent the free time I accumulated not cooking watching the Swedish Chef. I also included him in the video bar (below, right) for your entertainment. I wrote awhile back about Food TV, namely how it’s failed to captivate me (well, Nigella captivates, but I think she could be hanging drywall under those soft lights of hers and enchant viewers) and asking what it's done for you lately.

If you’ll allow a Muppet digression…doesn’t John Hodgeman, the comedian who plays PC guy on Mac commercials look just like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew the Muppet scientist – Johnny to Beaker’s Ed McMahon?? (Disclosure: I had to Google “Muppet scientist” to produce the doctor’s name, but “Beaker” is burned on the brain.)

photo courtesy American Public Media

photo courtesy Muppet Wiki

The Swedish Chef accomplishes what food TV should: convey to the viewership that cooking is fun (and frequently funny). The Muppet has to have been based on Julia Child who defined food television and helped create the modern celebrity chef. She demystified the professional kitchen and haute cuisine for her viewers and arguably the country. She was likable, funny, and human. Possibly if it weren’t for her I would never have entered the culinary profession. That’s what Food TV has done for me.

2 comments:

Beth said...

Wow those are so much funnier than I remembered, and I remembered them as being pretty funny. But I have to say I'm surprised by the liberal use of guns! I know is wasn't Sesame Street but I have to think this content wouldn't pass muster today.

Katie Fairbank said...

I read about that very point recently - that Sesame Street of yesteryear fails present standards: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/magazine/18wwln-medium-t.html?fta=y It's the opposite of other standards (mild profanity and sexual innuendo are inescapable on network TV) and brings to mind Marge Simpson's observation about the of FOX programming - which is even a bit too naughty to print here.