The Humor Issue

Published in Gourmet Live 11.02.11
We're laughing at hyperbolic menus, crowd-sourced restaurant reviews, celebrity-chef feuds, and cartoons

Food politics. Food shortages. Food poisoning. There are plenty of serious food matters, and here at Gourmet Live, we’ve covered most of them. But in this issue, we’re taking a break from all that and reveling in the lighter side of culinary culture. We start with comedian and Conan writer Todd Levin’s take on what Yelp reviewers might have to say about Mama Mia That’s Italyen Authentic Food Café in Skaneateles, New York.

From Skaneateles it’s just a short hop to the Adirondacks for “man-camping” escapades with frequent Gourmet Live contributor Michael Y. Park (you’ll never guess what he tried to do with Cheetos). Read on for novelist Geoff Nicholson’s essay on what makes food funny, complete with cameo mentions of cinema’s classic food stunts, from Buster Keaton to Animal House.

Nicholson points out that most food-comedy moments are “way more hilarious when they happen to somebody else than when they happen to you.” That’s certainly the case with a drink thrown in one’s face—just one of the incidents described in Foster Kamer’s rundown of the culinary scene’s spiciest feuds (players include Rachael Ray, Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, and other big names).

Kamer’s article holds many reminders of how ridiculous things can get when food folks take themselves too seriously—for another, see what’s become of today’s trendy restaurant menus, TMI prose poems to the pedigree of every pig trotter.

It wouldn’t be a humor issue without cartoons—we welcome to our pages Lee Lorenz, Charles Barsotti, and Victoria Roberts, three artists New Yorker readers know well.

What are your funniest food moments? Give us a laugh via Twitter or Facebook, email us, or stop by and post a comment on our blog. And be sure to bookmark our online hub at


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