On a lighter, more serious note, one of my true regrets. And nothing to do with food.

Thank you, Todd & Diane the White on Rice Couple—we need to do a video on how to roast a chicken (seriously, that’s not a come on).

If you liked this video interlude, check out these other posts:

© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Video © 2011 White on Rice Couple. All rights reserved.


35 Wonderful responses to “Something To Say: Not Funny”

  • Kanani

    Extemporaneous wit is a rare gift. However, the ability to make people feel comfortable and at ease is perhaps even more important than being able to “be funny.” That’s what you have –which makes you the perfect foil for Bourdain. If you were funny, Bourdain’s career would go up in flames (he’d end up as a judge on Bad Girls). He should live in fear that someday you will be funny. Maybe he should have it written into your contract, even.
    On the other hand, you could just pick up a violin.

  • Andrew Sigal

    Dude, seriously, you’re killing me. You’ve got to test your blog in other browsers. This page displays and runs fine on Safari and Chrome. The formatting is correct in FireFox, but the video wont display. In Internet Explorer (still the #1 browser in the world with over 60% user share,) the video wont display and the title of your blog shows up with “'” instead of an apostrophy because of an erroneous slash “\” in your HTML.

    • Matt

      Everything works fine in Firefox 3.6.14. I know the vimeo video player can be temperamental though…

    • emilia

      Sorry Andy…. I will recheck the links on the PCs in the house. Thanks for letting me know.

    • John B

      Weird, because it didn’t work for me in Chrome 9.0.597.98, but worked fine in Firefox 3.6.13

  • Andrew Sigal

    Oh bugger… in the comment above it was supposed to say
    “…and the title of your blog shows up with “& a p o s ;” instead of an apostrophy because of an erroneous slash “\” in your HTML”, but something turned that into an apostrophe. The point being that the HTML code for apostrophe is showing up in your title instead of an actual apostrophe.

    • Chef philip Geneman

      It is not that important to be funny but to be a powerful speaker and powerful writer. in this case it does not heart to be a powerful cook ether! I love your writing, and I know that you seem to be a great speaker, and a powerful cook! for that I thank you, Ruhlman

  • michael vh

    Trying a little too hard with the F-bomb in the middle of the bit? As someone who makes a living by carefully picking your words in writing, it’s a shame to see it done carelessly on video.

    • Tags

      If I’m not mistaken, he’s riffing on Steve Martin’s famous “Steve, how can you BE so fucking funny?” and not just gratuitously flipping the verb-bird.

    • HR2

      no kidding- if you would just accept that you were not funny, which is true, that would be one thing but the making of the video and the casual toss of the f-word implies that you really do think you’re funny and this whole forum is a self-indulgent way for you to get many people to say “oh, pshaw, ruhlman, you are hilarious or if not hilarious so earnest as to put those actual funny people to shame”. Either way, it looks pompous.

  • rockandroller

    You ARE funny. You’re just more a straight man than the comedic lead. It’s Chevy Chase vs Robin Williams.

    • aaron

      erm, except both those people were actually funny. Neither is a classic straight man and certainly neither one just pontificates about his pet topic continually… sooo? this parallel makes no sense

  • chris k

    Obnoxious self-absorption can be funny. Sometimes. How’s that novel coming along?

  • Susan

    You don’t need to be funny when you look as good on camera as you do. (Oh yes, she said that!) I find that people who feel very strongly about something don’t (or maybe can’t) find much humor when rallying the masses to a different way of thinking or of doing something. As a speaker, they might poke fun at themselves about other things or quip to an audience some one-liner about the situation of being at the speaker’s mercy, but that’s about it for humor in that session! The passionate never find much humor in the topic unless they find it in a situation where they break one of their own rules. They can excuse or laugh that gaff off (privately) but, lord help anyone else who does it and thinks its funny. It’s just hard to muscle people to a way of thinking and poke fun at it at the same time. Not to worry, though, there will always be those who come along and laugh at us anyway, funny or not!

  • melissa

    You saying “I’m not fucking funny” made me laugh out loud. So.

    (although I agree with the comment about you being the classic straight man. It’s one of the reasons I love it when you bring up Tony Bourdain, because imagining you two together is like the best food-related Odd Couple episode in my mind)

  • Carri

    Your funny alright…if you don’t feel funny, just put some bologna in your shoes 😉

    • ruhlman

      wow. i’ve never thought of putting baloney in my shoes. am I alone in this?

      • Carri

        …and I pegged you for a Steve Martin fan…. well, excuuuuuse me!
        sorry. I crack myself up.

  • Kimber

    Ah baloney! ….You have an unassuming situational straight forward not f’ing funny wit that strikes a nice match to Tony Bourdain’s wtf sensibility – make a nice reality food sitcom.

  • Anna

    I have a small technical problem, too. ALL the feeds in my bookmark toolbar reload automatically except ruhlman.com. Unless I click “Reload Live Bookmark” I never get new feeds.

  • Natalie Sztern

    well, michael perhaps you are right…oh boy I better duck now! I sense in you a much more serious and astute personality. It’s who you are and most academics are like that. You approach your work as such and that is why you are the successful writer you are.

    In fact one of the best trio of judges I encountered was a time when you, Donatella and Andrew Knowlton..three serious people in a banter about the taste of the meal they were eating, made for the funniest segment in a long time at Judges table on one episode of America Iron Chef. Your humour shot out then- all 3 of you were so serious that the banter elicited some really funny sarcasm and if I am right you probably remember it too, because it was clear you were having a great time.

    I thought Wow if these three could become a trio then American Iron Chef Judging might actually elicit laughs. Laughs are always a good thing.
    Humour tends to have a bit of sarcasm to it; so when you do your roasted chicken episode just be who you are and say what comes to mind not; and like me; that is not always G rated which is why it is really fun to do….

    • suzy

      well, i and a lot of others found this painful to watch (which is why they changed the judging line-up) because each of those judges (andrew, ruhlman, donatella) is so humourless. That’s also why this website, though useful, often appeals to a limited segment of the population becuase the message is “I’m a humourless stay at home dad that spends my entire day at home shopping for then curing meat”- it is unclear to me that you understand how other people spend their days (as evidenced in the rude awakening when you left the house and then came home to shock- jarred tomato sauce that your presumably working spouse bought-gasp!) but please everyone grow your own lettuce-cure your own bacon!!! whatever, ruhlman!!! (again, this would be easier to take if you were indeed fucking funny, but it just comes off sel-righteous)

  • Carolyn Z

    This is off topic. MR was on Iron Chef America tonight on Food Network. What a treat! It was a program from 2008. Yes the camera is kind to him. He came across as intelligent and full of humor.

  • Allen

    Funny…? You have too many other good qualities that are more important than funny – like kind, smart genuine, good taste. Oh, and funny is on the list too. Fucking “A” right! Cheers!