There are cooking shows that, intended or not, make you laugh. Sure, they have great recipe ideas and helpful kitchen tips but still they manage to tickle your funny bone. It could be something about personality or even just the show's format. Either way, these chefs entertain as they educate, make you groan as you stir and chop. These sometimes weird and always unusual cooks add delight to the menu and guffaws to the stew. Some of these chefs will be familiar faces, others you may have never heard of.
The Iron Chef - Produced by Food Network, The Iron Chef is hilarious in its intensity. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about this show. The Japanese version, in particular, is a hoot. The use of dubbing, voiceovers, and subtitles adds to the chaotic humor while chefs battle to prepare their meals with speed and originality. The jackets the chefs wear have become more elaborate and as individual as each chef. Once the secret ingredient is revealed, all bets are off, and the showdown begins. It's quite entertaining.
Come Dine With Me - This British television program is very popular. It pits neighbor against neighbor. It features four or five amateur chefs who host dinner parties at their homes. The other contestants rate the performance of the host. All this is narrated by sarcastic comedian, David Lamb, who couldn't be dryer. It is amazing how cutthroat the contestants can be for a mere 1000 pounds and tons of humiliation. There's even a taxi outside waiting to drive home a drunken contestant. Need I say more?
Close To The Bone - Surgeons And Chefs - This cooking show is almost as ambiguous as it sounds. Created by Dr. Richard Hu who is an orthopedic surgeon by day, chef by night, the show is offered on Canada's Learning Channel. The set of Close To The Bone resembles an operating room. Different surgeons cook different meals related to their medical specialty. For example, a knee surgeon might cook leg of lamb or a hepatologist may make liver and onions. It's bizarre. Every show includes a visit with a butcher who explains the anatomy of the animal about to be cooked. Yummy.
Ace Of Cakes - This Food Network reality cooking show is quite popular. It features Chef Duff Goldman and focuses on the everyday operations of his cake shop in Baltimore, Maryland called Charm City Cakes. His staff consists entirely of his personal friends and he is known for using unusual kitchen implements like blow torches and power saws to make his cakes. He has made cakes for movie premieres and sporting events and his replica cakes are amazing. He once baked a replica cake of the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA.
Two Fat Ladies - Those of you familiar with this cooking show know it is no longer in production but it deserved inclusion and is available on DVD and can be found in reruns in the UK, USA, and Australia. The two fat ladies consisted of Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson who has since passed. These ladies didn't care about fat or calories, drove a motorcycle with a sidecar, preferred to buy ingredients from farms and roadside stands throughout the UK, loved their garlic, anchovies and spices and would burst into song at any given time. They were irreverent, lovable, and quite talented at putting out a huge meal. Worth the effort to find, the DVD was realeased last year.
Bitchin' Kitchen - Bitchin' Kitchen is a hilarious and crazy cookng show sponsored by Verizon V-Cast. The brainchild of Nadia G, this web-based show features episodes with various recipes and themes like "one night stand breakfast" and "break-up brunches". My favorite is her "rehab ravioli" touted to cure any hangover. What's great about this show is while young Nadia G. sashays around her gaudy kitchen with a wiggle and a wink, her recipes are easy and delicious. It is a perfect place for a new cook to learn technique in a relaxed and laughter-inducing atmosphere.
Good Eats- Another Food Network favorite, Good Eats is as inventive and charismatic as its star, Alton Brown. The show is heavy on technique and hints, often citing the history and science of foods and cooking. Where the show really gets creative is when Alton Brown and his colleagues adopt characters and personas to tell the stories of what they are cooking. It's a hoot to see Brown dressed as a cowboy to illustrate his chili recipe or in the episode titled "Give Peas A Chance" as Father Merrin from The Exorcist. This is one of the most entertaining cooking shows on television.
The Best In Australia - The Best In Australia is a cooking competition show which airs on Australia's Lifestyle Channel. It pits rock-n-roller Anne Gare, Irish chef Darren Simpson and Aussie chef Ben O'Donoghue against each other in the kitchen. They are given a main ingredient to work with and each uses their unique style, skills and wits to create a meal. Each week, food lovers are chosen to taste each chef's dish and decide which is best. These very different cooks make the show a joy to watch.
Yan Can Cook - Chinese chef, Martin Yan is a funny guy. The celebrated chef of traditional Chinese food and stir-fry has hosted over 3000 cooking shows world-wide. His shows are aired widely on public television in the USA and on the Food Network in Canada. Yan is a master chef but he believes in infusing humor at every step of the way. His catch phrase "If Yan can cook, so can you!" is often followed by "If Yan can't, then neither can you!".
Bizarre Foods - Andrew Zimmern likes to gross his audience out. His documentary-styled travel and cooking show airs on the Travel Channel. He travels to remote destinations around the world where the show features regional cuisine. Some of these menus include frog ovary soup, water crickets and calf brain, to name a few. Most of the food is unusual, to say the least, and meant to gross out most viewers. Zimmern never hesitates to eat any of it and always ends his episodes with "If it looks good, eat it".
suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on June 12, 2013:
Christina Bridge on October 27, 2012:
Thanks for posting, though I do know some of these shows as a chef/presenter myself, I'm always looking for something that will make me laugh and not groan
Stacie L on September 27, 2009:
I'm familiar with most of these programs and yes, a sense of humor is always appreciated.
i can't watch these cooking shows that take food too seriously!
Deborah-Lynn from Los Angeles, California on September 26, 2009:
Hi Suzycat, I love the cooking channels and Home & Garden TV (HGTV), you reminded me of a couple shows I haven't seen in a while. Great Hub, do you think you might write about other chores that could use some comedy? LOL
Thanks, Deborah-Lynn :)
Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on September 22, 2009:
I don't usually watch cooking shows, but I love to cook.
suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on September 21, 2009:
Thank you all for stopping by. The two fat ladies were a hoot and I think they should revive the show - though it would never be the same.
Chloe Comfort from Long Island on September 21, 2009:
Great hub! Loved watching Two Fat Ladies - they are some spunky gals and Martin Yan is a riot! There used to be a show on with a cajun chef, I believe his name was Justin Wilson - another very entertaining individual. Kudos!
Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on September 21, 2009:
Occasionally watch Come dine with me, but that's about it.Nice hub
Peter Grant from McDonough, GA on September 20, 2009:
Thanks for sharing these. I need to give some time to the cooking channel - laughs and secrets to go!
Nancy's Niche on September 20, 2009:
Great websites on cooking shows and I really enjoyed the video on Bitchin Kitchen...
breakfastpop on September 20, 2009:
I am addicted to the cooking channel and the travel channel when they have cooking episodes. Great hub...