My Beef with Bourdain

February 14, 2011. The day my mother and I wasted $100 to hear Anthony Bourdain speak in Philadelphia.

I think I expected too much. Is an engaging, intelligent, interesting talk too much to ask for, especially from the man who lives by the “I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks” motto?


Tony was mundane. The audience was supposed to think it was an extemporaneous speech, but I could tell the punchlines were carefully calculated. Most of Tony’s stories came straight from his texts or shows. Really Tony? You’re going to tell the story about getting molested by Sandra Lee? I read the fucking book, Tony. I didn’t come here to hear you retell the stories. I have the audiobook. I’ve heard it already. Unfortunately it became clear that Tony was catering to his nearly mentally challenged audience. The people that came to see “that tall guy from TV” speak, who wanted to hear a joke or two about vegetarians being dumb.

Everyone sitting there reminded me of a high school class, where nobody read the assignment but everyone pretended they knew what the teacher was talking about. When Tony did stray from his book stories, his lack of explanation sent the audience into confusion. Discussing Adam Richman and Alan Richman was a mistake, Tony. Most of the audience was confused when he first praised Adam and then called Alan a douche. “But I thought he liked that guy from Travel Channel, why would he call him Douche of the Year?”

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