“Why did Food Network cancel your show?”
“I threatened to shoot Duff Goldman‘s cat.”
That’s my response and I’m sticking to it.
Six episodes of Crave had already aired. The ratings started strong. Then Dancing With the Stars, Monday Night Football, Neil Patrick Harris and Two and a Half Men all returned to the airwaves during our time slot, rendering us Nielson non grata. Still, the feedback was cool:
“A whole new way of talking about food!”
“The funniest show on Food Network!”
“Someone please tell Bobby Flay to punch Troy Johnson in the throat!”
I was working three jobs as the senior editor for Riviera Magazine, writer-host of Crave and new dad to my daughter. At 1AM I was on the couch solo con boxer briefs, as the Spanish don’t say. I’d just mainlined another coffee. I had to finish writing our episode on SPICY FOOD. The production company was rightly screaming at me. I also had to finish a restaurant review for the magazine.
Over-caffeinated and needing a distraction, I saw this Tweet from Food Network biggie Duff Goldman:
A LEOPARD? BENGAL CAT? I’m not a cat person. So I read this as, “While small, a jungle predator with sharp teeth can and will disembowel some unsuspecting bro in Venice Beach tonight. If you see it, Tweet me.”
I responded thusly:
I expected he and I would share a ROFL and bond over my feline confusion. He’d naturally want to cameo in my SPICY FOOD episode. Then we would ride motorcycles together, with cupcakes and beer in our saddlebags.
Hilarity did not ensue. This did:
Then, silence. Duff went looking for his cat.
The next morning, I received a call from The Network. They were moving the show to a less conspicuous time slot. And canceling it thereafter.
The timing was impeccable. My unintentional cat-whacking threat had been made no less than eight hours prior. Coincidence?
I imagine Duff sitting across from the executive, having just minutes ago stormed into his office yelling, “This psycho threatened to pop a cap in my kitty!”
Late-night dementia notwithstanding, I can’t say I didn’t.