The Toby Young Insult Tracker – Week 2


That’s right, everyone’s favorite play-at-home game is back for a second installment.

After Toby Young’s debut on Top Chef last week, it was clear that we were going to get at least one or two pithy put downs per week.  Well, he didn’t disappoint, with five new entries during this episode.

The rules are the same…we take a look at Toby’s attempts at creative insults, score them on a scale of 1-10 and provide a little constructive criticism.  He managed only a 5.25 last week so he has plenty of room for improvement.

Sit back, put on protection (see #5) and let’s get down to business…

Insult #1
“You’ve heard the expression ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ — this was ‘lamb dressed as mutton.'”

TVFF – 6  I’m not going to lie to you.  I’ve never “heard the expression ‘mutton dressed as lamb.'”  That made me feel dumb, which was probably Toby’s original intention.  One point for that.  The saying is, apparently, about cougars.  One point for that.  He managed to avoid the cliches of “out like a lamb” or “lambs to the slaughter.”  One point for that.  Jamaican and Indian restaurants are the only places in America that serve mutton, thus making the reference meaningless to a large part of the audience.  Minus one point for that.

Insult #2
Pesto is the Big Bad Wolf which has blown this pig’s house down.


TVFF – 4  Meh.

Insult #3
The mint, strawberry, blueberry combination feels as if somebody just drained a Pimm’s and then emptied the contents on top of a crème brûlée.

TVFF – 7  Nicely done.  As with the “mutton” comment above, a suitably exotic reference sure to send many viewers running for Google to look up exactly what he’s talking about.  Fortunately, since I have an affinity for somewhat obscure cocktails and have enjoyed a Pimm’s Cup once or twice, I was already in the know.  Plus, it’s an English drink, and we established last week that any references to British culture and its inherent superiority are a time honored way to insult Americans.

Insult #4
There was something so bloodless and anemic about the pork dish, you know.  When I’m faced with a beautiful, well-reared piece of of meat, I don’t want to stand back and admire it, I want to have full-blown, unprotected sex.  And I didn’t even get to first base with the pork.

TVFF – 6  I was torn on this one.  One one hand, it effectively (albeit graphically) conveys the kind of lust that can be inspired by a good piece of meat.  On the other hand, it undoes years worth of safe-sex campaigns.  And it probably also qualifies as bestiality, thus making it against the laws of…let me check…yes, all 50 states.  And also the laws of nature.

Insult #5
But I don’t think you should let pity cloud your judgment.  I mean, I feel sorry for her too, because she can’t cook.

TVFF – 8  This one is very well done.  It doesn’t worry about fancy allusions or include any gory references for shock value.  It’s a great shot to the gut that is doubly effective because, in addition to criticizing the contestant’s abilities, it also serves as a thinly veiled slam to the other judges for being wishy-washy in their opinions.

TVFF – 6.2 
An improvement over last week’s score, so that’s good.  I think the big thing we’ve learned during the past two weeks is this:  Complicated metaphors and obscure references are a high risk, high reward proposition.  But a well placed and concise acerbic comment at the right time is the best way to take someone down a peg.

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  • salt and pepper January 19, 2009  

    Very nicely done…I’m going to have to add an element of this to the Top Chef Drinking Game.

  • Oxen Cox January 20, 2009  

    Awesome and very funny. He is starting to suck it as bad as Padma. Who knew that was possible? The more he yammers on, the less I have to hear her.

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