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Who is the Food Network Addict? He's the guy serving up the latest news and gossip on your favorite celebrity chefs. From Rachael Ray to Ina Garten, Paula Deen to Giada, he's got you covered. Stop by daily and feed your addiction.

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Tuesday, May 6

What's So Funny?

I'm always kind of surprised when I get comments on here saying I've crossed the line, as I truly don't think I'm ever that harsh with the pictures I use or captions I write. Even when I post items that aren't 100% supportive, I like to think it's all in good fun. Rarely is it not.

Obviously, I like Food Network and am entertained by the shows on it. That doesn't mean I can't or won't comment on things I find odd, funny, insightful, boring, smart, ridiculous, or just plain bad.

So let's get this straight: I REALLY LIKE SANDRA LEE!

I wouldn't watch her show if I didn't. And besides, there are plenty of websites out there already bashing Food Network stars. And they aren't lighthearted jabs. These people seem to really hate the people on Food Network, which I don't.

Someone recently told me in the comments to lay off Sandra Lee, adding: "...has that Michael Chiarello guy come out of the closet yet? Did Emeril swallow a beach ball--what is with that gut? Or do you only make fun of girls?"

Well, to answer your questions:

1) No, I don't think Michael Chiarello has come out of the closet, nor do I think he's necessarily in one. I gather you're asking because you assume he's gay, based on certain aspects of his show or personality.

Outing someone isn't really funny to me. I don't even know what I'd post about it if I had to--maybe a pic of Chiarello with a talk bubble saying "Some people think I'm gay!" See--not funny.

Michael's show is about entertaining and cooking party food, while Sandra's show is admittedly about so much more. Chiarello has the skills to just focus on food, but Sandra adds cocktails and colors and fringe and placecards and kids and Cool Whip. It's like a smorgasbord of hilarity (to me!), so that's why I feel justified in joshing it a bit.

I honestly believe that Sandra Lee--despite being firmly committed to the show's mantra of seasoning packets and Cool Whip--understands there's a campy, kitschy quality to her show. How could she not?

I guess there must be a certain sect of viewers who can sit through an entire episode of Semi-Homemade and never even think anything Sandra did was funny or chuckle-worthy, honestly pondering the idea of matching their kitchen curtains with their napkin rings and tablecloths next time they have a dinner party. I'm just watching for the entertainment value, though.

2) Did Emeril swallow a beach ball? I don't think so. I guess this is a fat joke, yes? Personally, I don't really find fat jokes funny, so that's why I haven't posted anything like that.

As a general rule, jokes about physical traits or unchangeable aspects of a person aren't that funny to me. What I find most humorous are the situations that are unintentionally funny--Ina's shopping trips, Sandra taking cocktails to a kid's little league game, or Giada's inability to say "spaghetti" like a normal Californian.

I also like people who seem to understand their own innate humor and embrace it--people like Paula Deen and Sandra Lee. To me, Sandra Lee's show is supposed to be funny. I watch it for that reason, so that's why I post the things that I do. It has nothing to do with her being a woman, to answer your 3rd question. If Dave Lieberman had a show like Semi-Homemade I'd be posting about it every damn day, too.

You've got to hand it to Sandra and Paula. They don't let big food trends like eating local and eating organic change their show's theme, even when the desire to latch on to the "latest thing" is probably very strong when trying to maintain a good audience. Just look at such extinct shows like Calorie Commando and Low Carb and Lovin' It, both started in response to former diet trends.

As for her Daytime Emmy nomination, if you don't recognize the utter ridiculousness of a tv cooking host making a public statement of: "If this means that my Semi-Homemakers are destined to have more great hair days -- then bless America," in response to her Best Achievement in Hairstyling Emmy nomination, then you and I do not have the same sense of humor.

And that's fine. I still like you.

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At 5/06/2008 3:38 PM , Anonymous Jesse said...

Sandra Lee is like... well, everyone's crazy Aunt Sandy. Everybody loves her, but they might roll their eyes once in awhile concerning some of the things she says. It doesn't diminish the love - it enhances it and makes her an actual human being!

At 5/06/2008 4:01 PM , Blogger Matt said...

Amen, Jacob! I think Sandra Lee is a hoot. She obviously has a sense of humor about the Semi-Ho approach, her league of Semi-Homemakers and how Cocktail Time is the best time of the day. I get that there are people who don't want to cook the way Sandy does, but it surprises me that some of the message boards are so hateful. I'm not using the 70/30 approach to cooking, but I don't feel threatened by Sandy showing people how to cook that way.

I recently wrote a little spoof about her and someone commented that they hoped Sandra Lee would read it and cry. Really? I hope she reads it and laughs! It was meant as a joke! In any case, I don't think Sandy really cares. She dismisses all the criticisms from the people she calls "food purists" and keeps on working.

At 5/06/2008 4:53 PM , Anonymous Denise said...

My favorite thing about your blog is that even though you poke fun at the shows/hosts, it's pretty obvious you enjoy them. How can anyone watch Food Network and not find something to laugh at?

There's a lot of hate out there for FN. I hate that. But it's pretty awesome to read people's reactions when they're having fun and enjoying the shows. So thanks :)

I was talking to a friend the other day about a band's lyrics. She said she didn't like them and was starting to not like the band. When I told her they were tongue-in-cheek, her view changed. Sometimes people need a little nudge to see that not everyone takes themselves so seriously. If we all had Cocktail Time, I think we'd be happier, better adjusted people.

At 5/06/2008 6:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the TWOP Sandra Lee board, you can tell that there are people that despise Sandra, and people that love her. It's a really thin line, and I've found that I've transcended it and now qualify as the latter.

I think it's obvious that you make loving criticism of Sandra, and how could you not when she says things like "Open bar. Can I say that? Haha!" when asked what the best thing about attending a fundraiser to end child hunger was. There are Shrikes, and there are Fandras. Then there are people in-between. I think that commenter was a Fandra.

At 5/06/2008 7:50 PM , Anonymous Robert said...

While I know people who adore Sandra's kitch factor, it doesn't do much for me. I do adore Paula, though, because she is who she is and makes no excuses for it. In that same category I place Ina Garten. She's gotten big as a house but she and her husband of nearly 40 years are still madly in love (even with his occasional Mr. Magoo-ish quality), she has a fabulous house and fabulous friends (ah, to have some of those fabulous-looking gay friends around me!), and has a fabulous life - and doesn't apologize one second for it.

PS: You're as cute as can be, BTW!

At 5/06/2008 9:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an awesome post!

I think you have a great sense of humor, and I applaud you for not making jokes re: FN chefs and their sexuality or physical appearance. I think it says a lot about you that you don't go there (or even have the smallest desire to go there). Way to go!

I dunno about the people that truly HATE rachael or sandra or whomever. I'm young, but I've seen enough bullshiz in my life to know that tv hosts are at the bottom of my list of people to worry about. I just don't have the time or energy to pour that much hate towards ANYONE, let alone someone from the TV. It sorta sounds silly just imagining people like that, doesn't it?

Anyways, super great post! :)

At 5/06/2008 10:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5/06/2008 10:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog!!!! Don't change it!

At 5/06/2008 11:17 PM , Blogger Tiffany said...

I can't imagine anyone actually cooking any of the Semi-Homemade food, but her show is entertaining as are your posts about her.

The critics should have an Aunt Sandy cocktail and relax.

At 5/07/2008 10:24 AM , Blogger jacob said...

jesse: yes-crazy aunt!

matt: yep, I think Aunt Sandy can laugh at herself. She's apparently laughing all the way to the bank, as she said she has like 9 books already planned and coming out soon.

denise: thanks! I agree. I also recognize that what we see is an edited, tiny portion of who they really are.

catfashionshow: I hadn't heard of "shrike" before, but it's fitting.

robert: Yep--Paula and Ina, despite being rich and living pretty fabulous lives (although I'd prefer ina's over paula's), they still seem pretty real and warm. And thanks, btw:-)

ali: thanks! And, yes, hating TV people is pretty ridiculous.

jessica: don't plan on it. thank you.

tiffany: Exactly. Maybe people aren't drunk enough when she's on at like 10a.m. on Saturday.

At 5/07/2008 1:29 PM , Anonymous Harry Martin said...

OK, I did say, "atta girl" when Sandra was making cocktails at a kid's baseball game. That'll get Mom through that tedious Saturday.

At 5/07/2008 1:32 PM , Anonymous CSB said...

Jesse: LOL

Matt: Definitely!

Denise: Agreed!

catfashionshow: Fitting, for sure!

Robert: Lovin' it!

Ali: Thank you!

Jessica: Fear not!

Tiffany: Hahahaha

At 5/07/2008 1:32 PM , Anonymous CSB said...

Jesse: LOL

Matt: Definitely!

Denise: Agreed!

catfashionshow: Fitting, for sure!

Robert: Lovin' it!

Ali: Thank you!

Jessica: Fear not!

Tiffany: Hahahaha

At 5/10/2008 11:31 AM , Blogger Wine Dine Whine said...

def don't think Michael is gay (seen the episode about what he cooked for his wedding? to his WIFE?). and i'll watch me some Sandy, but man most of her decor is just so effing tacky i wouldn't even consider it.


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