For every Conan O’Brien who aspired to one day host the Tonight Show like Johnny Carson, there is a Marc Summers, with the same dream, but whose talents were much better suited to networks like Nickelodeon and the Food Network, where hopefully viewers are lulled into a trance where they can endlessly watch children run through obstacle courses or raw ingredients be manipulated by factory machines until they end up as a corn-based snack. Either way, this man has no reason to be giving the commencement address at the Culinary Institute of America graduation. It must be a huge get for the CIA to get Anthony Bourdain, who at least would have some solid advice for students on how to run a restaurant in between the bits where he tells students where to get their leather jackets cleaned and how make an entire television show seemingly based on the intro scene of Apocalypse Now. To credit Mr. Summers, his program Unwrapped profiles a great deal of machines design to extrude corn, and sometimes it is the perfect thing to watch at 2:30 in the morning.
Regardless of my obvious disdain: a critical textual analysis of Mr. Summers’ remarks. Explaining his qualifications to be speaking at such an event- “quite honestly, I’ve been around food for the past 20 years…started off by throwing it at children on (Nickelodeon show) Double Dare.” Throwing food at children as part of a game show does not count as a career in any way related to food. Slime expert, sure.
Why did the Culinary Institute of America post this video with music playing in the background? Isn’t a convocation ceremony with the robes and the hats and everything one of those events where it’s best to just keep things as old-timey as possible? What cooking show host would be best to give a convocation speech?