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The Rundown: Guy Fieri Is A Very Fascinating (And Very Rich) Creature

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The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE – The richest man in Flavortown

The Guy Fieri thing is relentlessly interesting to me. He burst onto the scene 20 years ago with blonde spikes and chain-related jewelry and people kinda dug it. Then it became a caricature and people kinda mocked him for it. Now, a lot of people have come back around and learned to kinda appreciate him for it all. And the weird thing about it is that he’s just been almost exactly the same dude the entire time. He didn’t bend and flap in the breeze to seek the public’s affection. He just kept being Guy Fieri every day and people eventually were like, “Good for him.” It’s a weird ride. I would read a book about it.

It’s also been a very lucrative ride, as we learned this week when details about his new Food Network deal trickled out. I admit that I gasped a little when I read this.

Guy Fieri has signed a new three-year deal with Food Network, which sources tell Variety is valued at more than $100 million.

This fresh pact means that Fieri retains his title as the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned cable channel’s highest-paid talent and bests his most recent multiyear deal, which closed in 2021 for $80 million.

That is… so much money. I don’t know how much money I thought Guy Fieri made before I read it. It probably wasn’t nine figures, though, even if it does make sense when you think about it for a while. Like, how many other Food Network personalities can you name? Bobby Flay? That’s about as far as I got. Which means Guy is pretty much the face of an entire television channel. That’s a lucrative endeavor.

Add that to other various ventures — restaurants, a new line of spiked Fruit Punch, etc. — and you start to put together a picture of a whole empire, which is another thing I had not considered until recently but also makes sense in retrospect. Guy Fieri could be a billionaire before this is all said and done. Ruminate on that for a while.

And it gets wilder. The new contract wasn’t even the wildest piece of Fieri news that dropped during the month. There was also the thing where he’s holding a two-day Flavortown Fest in Ohio next summer. Look at this blockquote.

The Food Network star announced the launch of Flavortown Fest on Friday. Planned as a two-day festival held in the Arch City, the event promises to “fuse food and funk, bringing to life the one and only Flavortown, embodying Fieri’s larger-than-life energy and charitable spirit every step of the way,” according to a press release.

Although specific talent has not yet been announced, this description touts wild times will be had: “Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Fest will be unlike any other festival. Like Guy, it will be bold, loud, bad-ass and full of flavor with unparalleled surprises, one-of-a-kind programming and Guy-curated curveballs all weekend long.”

Three things here in conclusion:

  • The majority of the proceeds of this sucker are going to charity, because Guy Fieri is a good dude through and through and that’s probably one of the reasons he’s stuck around so long
  • There is a big part of me that wants to drive to Ohio and cover this with a documentary film crew like it’s Woodstock, maybe with Kristen Stewart
  • I need to know what a “Guy-curated curveball” entails

Really just a lot to consider here. Guy Fieri fascinates me. I want to study him like he’s an exotic creature. Maybe I will.

ITEM NUMBER TWO – Yes, I will watch it

This is the first trailer for Griselda, a new show coming to Netflix in January that stars Sofia Vergara as real-life drug queenpin Griselda Blanco. It’s made by the team that made Narcos and the trailer looks cool and there’s one part where she’s just walking around with a baseball bat that she just got done bashing some dude with. Between her and Juno Temple in the new season of Fargo, this is gonna be a big winter for ladies smashing dingers on people’s faces. I support this.

Here is the official description.

From creators Eric Newman, Doug Miro, Ingrid Escajeda and Carlo Bernard, the six-episode series chronicles the life of Colombian-born Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. In 1970s-80s Miami, Blanco’s lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family, leading her to become widely known as “the Godmother.”

Great. Wonderful. Exactly the type of thing I would watch. And I will watch it. My only request is that everyone involved step up their promo photo game before January. I scrolled through a bunch of them and was not blown away, which would be a weird complaint about any other show from any other production team, but not this one. This is the Narcos crew. These are the people who gave us “Pablo Escobar sitting in a cocaine-filled room with a little smirk on his face like Dennis the Menace”…

Narcos Pablo Escobar

… and “a stylish lady Narco in front of a huge truck filled with cocaine”…


… and “a character played by Diego Luna walking away from an airplane with a brick of cocaine in his hands and a look on his face that makes it seem like he just found the cocaine on the airplane and was like ‘well, I guess I might as well sell some drugs now’”…


… and multiple pictures of Pablo Escobar looking like the saddest little boy you’ve ever seen.


I do not ask for much. But I do ask for this. Give me, like, Sofia Vergara on a speedboat in a fur coat. Or something like that. Just one. Please. I need it.

ITEM NUMBER THREE – Tell me more about the sharks

Background, quickly: There’s a movie coming out next year called Anyone But You that stars Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell and is loosely based on Shakespeare and which I have been referring to as Attractive People: The Movie. That’s the trailer for it. It will probably be, at worst, fine, if only because putting very good-looking and charismatic people on a screen together for a couple of hours is a pretty solid place to start. Maybe it will be great! I don’t know! No one does yet! This is, generally, how it works with things that will happen in the future.

More importantly, to me, for now, writer and director Will Gluck talked to Entertainment Weekly about it all recently and revealed that the filming was apparently shark-adjacent enough to be… a thing.

“Initially they wouldn’t give us permission because it’s a huge shark area and people get hurt by sharks all the time there.” That meant every time an actor or stunt double filmed in the water, they had to do so with a huge shark tank around it.

Two things:

  • It’s really kind of funny that they risked maiming via shark to make a silly lil rom-com
  • I would also watch a movie about Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney battling bloodthirsty sharks

Moving on.

The production employed shark consultants to advise on best practices, only to learn that the more activity in an area, the more sharks it will draw. Thus, the longer they shot and the more that was happening in a scene, the more sharks they had to contend with. But no actors (or sharks for that matter) were harmed in the making of Anyone but You — and the only bite we’ll see on screen is the edge that comes with the “enemies to lovers” banter of its leads.

Two more things:

  • Giving us this whole lead-up about sharks and then closing with “but none ever showed up and everything was great” is like spitting on Chekhov’s grave
  • I am so proud of everyone at EW for getting that preposterous last sentence into print

I am glad Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell did not get eaten by sharks.


My beloved Philadelphia Eagles are currently in first place in the NFC East and coming off of a few big wins and my editor is a nice man who will let things like “Brian will use any stupid excuse to talk about his favorite football team in his entertainment column again” slide and so, yes, it is time to talk about the Philadelphia Eagles. And Hollywood. But mostly the Eagles. For two reasons.

REASON NUMBER ONE: Bradley Cooper, star of the upcoming Oscar contender Maestro and lifelong Eagles fan, appeared on the Howard Stern show this week and said, well, this…

“Here’s the big question, and I really want you to answer in a serious manner,” Stern told Cooper. “Sophie’s Choice for 2024. You win the Oscar, not only for Best Director but also for Best Actor and Carrie wins Best Actress. Or, an Eagles Super Bowl victory.”

Cooper didn’t pause even for a second before choosing the Eagles Super Bowl win.

“You’re lying,” Stern replied.

“I don’t think so, bro,” Cooper said.

Two things once again:

  • I respect this greatly
  • I too would rather the Eagles win the Super Bowl than Bradley Cooper win an Oscar

No offense, obviously. But go Birds.

REASON NUMBER TWO: So there was this big auction to raise money for charity and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney kept bidding on this cool green Eagles jacket that was worn by Jason Kelce’s wife and he kept getting outbid and he ended up losing and then he found out who he lost too and explained it all to the Kelce brothers on their podcast…

“I couldn’t believe that someone was immediately jumping on every time I bid, and so my final bid was going to be representing my favorite player on the Eagles, 62. [$62,000], I thought that was a good number,” McElhenney told brothers and football players, Jason and Travis Kelce.

“And then I got a text from somebody I know who said, ‘I’ve been the one bidding against you, bozo.’ And it did not even cross my mind that this was a possibility, and it turned out I live with this person,” he continued, referring to his wife and It’s Always Sunny costar [Kaitlin Olson].

Two notes once again:

  • This is extremely funny and great for charity and I like it a lot
  • I don’t have any facts to prove this but I suspect marriages where the spouses call each other “bozo” last many years longer than marriages where they do not

In conclusion, again, Go Birds



The New York Times did a big fancy piece of journalism about the Cookie Monster this week. That’s a fun thing to say but it’s also true. Look, you can read it here. And you should. But I want to talk about this part of it: the cookies the Cookie Monster eats are actually real food, kind of, but not real cookies. This passage is going to stick with me for years.

The recipe, roughly: Pancake mix, puffed rice, Grape-Nuts and instant coffee, with water in the mixture. The chocolate chips are made using hot glue sticks — essentially colored gobs of glue.

The cookies do not have oils, fats or sugars. Those would stain Cookie Monster. They’re edible, but barely.

“Kind of like a dog treat,” MacLean said in an interview.

I must have one.

I also need Guy Fieri and the Cookie Monster to go on a road trip together.

Maybe they can drop some of these disgusting cookies off at my house on the way.

I must have one.


If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From Lynn:

Brian, I’m curious as to your thoughts on the movie Labyrinth. I searched your tweets and found nothing, but I’m certain you have a strong opinion as it:

– stars David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly
– is Muppet-adjacent
– features a Bog of Eternal Stench!
– has an animated dog riding a real dog like a horse
– brought us the song Magic Dance which is an absolute bop

Please share your thoughts on the original and I’d love to hear your pitch for a sequel.

Wow. I had not thought about this movie for maybe 5-8 years. Then Lynn emailed me and I googled “Magic Dance” and I watched this video 100 times. Look at David Bowie sing with these creepy little fuzzballs.

As to the other part of the question: I really need the world to focus a little harder on putting megastar musicians into weird little musicals with Muppets or Muppet-adjacent creatures. It doesn’t have to be a straight Labyrinth sequel. Give me Olivia Rodrigo and the Muppets in space. Give me Dua Lipa doing a duet with Fozzie Bear on a haunted cruise ship. The people deserve this at least once every four years, like the Olympics.


To Kentucky!

Police are investigating after Big Boy statues were stolen from two Frisch’s restaurants in Kentucky.

Two notes here:

  • A reader named Nick sent this in and I am very grateful and would like to encourage more of you to be like Nick

I need to know more.

The restaurant’s manager said this isn’t the first time the statue has been stolen.

God yes. I’m gonna go ahead and believe there’s a massive black market for these and they get auctioned off at black-tie underground galas where the world’s wealthiest criminals get together and bid on them like they’re exotic animals. You can’t take this from me. I hope there’s a whole episode of Griselda about it.

And police in Georgetown are also investigating, after thieves there made off with another Big Boy statue. Customers noticed right away.

Yes, sure, fine. But I need you to see this quote coming up. I need you to see what Linda said.

“Monday morning, I came in and it was like something’s missing,” Linda Allen said. “And I looked around, and everybody is saying ‘where’s the Big Boy? It was like oh my gosh, somebody took him!’”

This is absolutely the opening scene in the trailer for the movie about the Big Boy statue heist ring that I am quitting my job to write in 2024. Linda talking to the local news reporter about the theft. I’m picturing, like, Kristen Wiig with a menthol cigarette. And now you are, too.

We have fun.