Sunday, March 27, 2011

a closer look: The Frugal Gormet

On KEN P.D. SNYDECAST #38: Running On Empty the boys talked about cooking shows and discussed TV chef Jeff Smith AKA The Frugal Gourmet:

Ken: You what I used to like on PBS?
Dana: What?
Ken: Yan Can Cook.
Dana: Oh yeah.
Ken: Whatever happened to him?
Dana: You what I could never figure out, why he was not brought into the fold of the food network.
Ken: I thought I saw him make a couple of guest appearances. His was the most entertaining show.
Dana: Yeah, but I couldn't figure out why he was never…
Ken: But he was the most entertaining show on the network. Because Frugal Gourmet was just creepy.
Dana: Well yeah.
Ken: Legitimately so we came to find out.
Dana: Yeah, not only is he a pedophile. But even the title of his show… "I'm snooty, I'm a gourmet and I'm f***ing cheap. I'm a cheapskate and I'm snooty. I'm elitist and cheap"
Ken: "and I like kids"
Dana: "so don't even ever want to know me"

Jeff Smith died in 2004. He was remembered as a "food genius" in his Seattle Times obituary. He was a prominent TV chef in the 1980s and 1990s as well as an author of several books.

And as Ken mentioned, he got into a bit of trouble at the end of his career.

Here is how Wikipedia explains it:
His public career came to an end when two of his male assistant chefs brought charges of sexual harassment against him, when they were teenagers. Shortly thereafter, in 1998, seven men alleged that he had sexually assaulted them in the 1970s, when they worked for him as minors. Smith denied the accusations but his alleged actions were the subject of much talk around the city of Tacoma for years. He was taken off the air shortly afterward. Though he was never charged with a crime, he and his insurance company settled with the plaintiffs out of court, and Smith never returned to the airwaves.

Here is a great clip of Smith from the old Late Night with David Letterman program (when Dave was at his best) that gives a good idea of the vibe Smith gave off on TV:

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