Food for Thought
My food looks funny: Finding humor in the culinary arts, from chef Twitterfights to pole dancing Peeps
Food — the growing of it, cultivating and butchering, preparing, cooking, serving and eating it with loved ones — is an emotional subject.
It can be humbling, heady or haughty.
But is food funny?
Sure, some headlines make you smile. Like the Oreo turning 100 and the Sprinkles cupcake ATM, but they aren’t exactly hysterical. Not laugh out loud funny like the classic video of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory or Saturday Night Live’s Taco Town commercials (again, this is why Americans have weight issues) or any Julia Child skit with Dan Aykroyd as the French chef (you'll need a knife . . . a very, very, very sharp knife). That one always makes me laugh.
Chefs in particular like to throw in some cuss words now and then. Or all the time.
And my favorite funny food show is the BBC’s Chef! that ran from 1993 to 1996 starring Lenny Henry as a scathing chef Gareth Blackstock. You think the Soup Nazi is tough on patrons? See what happens when diners ask for salt from this chef. Heh.
But where is the funny food today?
Well, like so much else in life, it’s on the Internet.
When I’m in the mood for a food chuckle (or just trying to avoid working) I click on the LOL site My Food Looks Funny. People upload photos of odd food — some real, some doctored — and food jokes and videos. Some are hilarious, some only mildly amusing, but the best parts are the moderator’s comments. Like “Thank goodness it’s not fried!” beneath a picture of an oven-baked tarantula.
Yep, that’s a real dish and you can buy it ready to eat and prepackaged from Cambodia. If you dare.
And there’s also Steve Sneeds, a guy in California whose blog TheSneeze.com has a feature called Steve, Don’t Eat It! where he reviews strange food products, and I’m using the word food loosely here. We’re talking stuff like pickled pork rinds and decades old boxes of cereal. This is just a guess, but I think Steve was the kid that other kids always dared to eat weird stuff in grade school.
For sheer puniest it’s hard to beat the classic Peep Show where pink bunnies in G-strings pole dance for an audience of yellow chicks with tiny cigarettes and $1 bills.
And The Food Network has a humor Web site that can be amusing to regular viewers. A recent post on the Ten Commandments of Giada De Laurentiis listed commandment No. 3 as “Thou shalt describe every piece of food as being ‘Nice and crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.’ ”
If you don’t think that’s funny, you’re clearly not watching enough Giada.
And of course there’s always Twitter. Work-wise I follow a lot of chefs, restaurants, food PR peeps and other food writers. You can occasionally fall down the rabbit hole of someone’s rants and, occasionally, you can be entertained with some good, clean food humor.
Or, mostly clean. Chefs in particular like to throw in some cuss words now and then. Or all the time.
I enjoy @TexasHumor, which is not always about food but because he writes about Texas there’s certainly a lot of food to write about.
Here are some examples:
The hardest decision most Texans will make at this time of day is "with or without salt?"
Texas Talk: Happiness is spelled Q-U-E-S-O in Texas.
If it gets chilly outside, we get chili inside.
Hanging With The Peeps
And of course, at this time of the year we get to make fun of Peeps. And yes, Peeps have Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, but they aren’t really that funny. When you think about Peeps and funny you have to think of The Washington Post Magazine’s annual Peep Diorama Contest. Now in its sixth year, the contest has closed for 2012 and the winners will be posted online Wednesday.
How creative are the dioramas? Pretty darn good. Last year’s winner was a Peep replica of the Chilean miners rescue but there were also riffs on TSA agents and the movie Inception. Entries this year are sure to include the sugar coated marshmallow Easter goodies in Occupy dioramas and reproductions of the royal wedding.
But for sheer puniest it’s hard to beat the classic Peep Show where pink bunnies in G-strings pole dance for an audience of yellow chicks with tiny cigarettes and $1 bills.
Considering that I don’t think anyone really eats Peeps, dioramas seem a perfect use for them.
Although calling them food may be a bit of a stretch.