Recently, I had a dream. Luckily, it didn’t involve racial equality or anything too thought-intensive, but instead involved asking my favorite people on the internet a fun Proust-ian questionnaire, except about food, all James Lipton-style to pry into their psyches via their favorite things to eat.
Thanks to the ghost of Martin Luther King, I’m lucky enough to have Rob Delaney, an incredibly funny comedian and writer, as my first subject. He’s the brain behind this amazing “Vice” essay, and the star of the crazy hilarious MA Men video series on Funny or Die. He’s also one of the best Twitter comedians out there, in that he actually tells jokes, instead of just being like, “Hey, I’m gonna be on the Mike and Asshole show in the morning on XM all the time and this is all I’m ever going to tweet about.”
This is going to become a regular thing (hence the Vol. 1), depending on how many people I can rope into this, so if you think of any funnier questions, let me know in the comments.
Hit the jump for the awesome interview!
What is your first food memory?
The first thing I can remember is broccoli on my plate and thinking it looked like a tree and wondering if it could think, talk and feel. It really reminded me of the Giving Tree and the Jolly Green Giant and other big green powerful things.
What is your strongest food memory?
Eating Regina’s Pizza in Boston with my family every Friday night growing up.
If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Regina’s Pizza from Boston. Obviously that wouldn’t be healthy though, so maybe some vegetarian chili from my slow cooker, in the interest of staying alive longer.
What food terrifies you/makes your stomach turn the most?
Wheat grass juice is the most repellent thing I can think of. I think I might even be allergic to it. Even smelling it in a health food store turns my stomach and literally makes my eyeballs hurt.
What’s the best birthday cake you’ve ever had (for your birthday, of course)?
My mom made me an incredibly elaborate Garfield cake for maybe my 8th birthday. It was 3 dimensional; like it looked like it could get up and walk away if it wanted to. She used special pans and dyes to make it. It was INSANE. AND since it snowed on my birthday and school was canceled, she made me wait a day so that I could bring it into school to show off to the other kids! Also, when I was in 7th grade she made me a Danzig cake. She’s amazing, clearly.
Fries or side salad?
Now that I am really good at getting fat, I probably go 50/50. I genuinely like them both.
If you could pick anyone to be on your lunchbox, who would you choose?
In a three-way battle to the death between Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee and Paula Deen, who would win and why?
I don’t know who Sandra Lee is, so her prowess is not legendary enough for to beat Rachael or Paula. I’m sure Paula would put up a good fight, but Rachael is mighty feisty (as all Rachaels are) plus she’s not obese, which I think Paula Deen is (I could easily look up a picture of her, but I’ve decided she’s obese, so in my mind-arena, she loses).
If you were to be slapped in the face with a fish, what fish would you choose?
A nice scrod or cod. I’m from coastal Massachusetts, so that would make the most sense. I would find it bracing and exciting. Please arrange to slap me with a fish.
What kind of food do you think James Lipton saves in his beard?
Probably some sort of dairy-rich pasta sauce that I would hate. I imagine him eating things that are expensive but boring.
Anything else we should know about you?
Just that in addition to writing and performing comedy, I also cook a lot. I love my slow cooker and I keep a vegetarian kitchen, even though I do eat meat when I go out or others cook for me. I just like seeing how creative you can get without meat, and it turns out it’s pretty creative. I also used to live in France, where food is a whole different game.
My current favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, where I live, is called “Forage” and it’s all locally grown and raised food lovingly prepared. It’s not pretentious at all though. It’s honestly opened my eyes even wider to what food can really be. I choose to put most of my creative energies into comedy, but the folks at Forage put all theirs into food and it’s NUTS. But, if I were to be executed by the state for any reason, my last meal request would be a Giambotta pizza from Pizzeria Regina in the North End of Boston.
If people would like to follow me on Twitter, I’m @robdelaney.