Oh well, we’re always up for a dumb parody, and this one truly fits the bill.
Co-directed, written by, and starring a hysterical (and hysterical) Kathy Dorn, The Crying Chef is a Chef’s Table parody about an unremarkable-cum-visionary cook whose back-of-the-box recipes are made great by her salty, salty tears.
Despite an obviously low budget, and owing to the mockumentary form, Dorn and her collaborators manage to get a surprising amount of mileage out of one core joke. Talking-head segments featuring Charlie Fay, Matt Newman, Zack Arch, and Reyn Beeler are authentically varied in voice and tone, and the moments with the chef herself are few and far enough between that Dorn’s intentionally over-the-top performance is preserved rather than played out.
Then, there’s the tears. With The Crying Chef, Dorn manages to do something great sketch writers often do as she elevates a simple, clear premise into an absurdist realm (read: specifically dressing different meals with tears from different upsetting, or ebullient, occasions). It’s a trajectory that we as viewers buy because of the solid foundation they’ve laid.
Here, Dorn has laid it, shaped it, and cried it. She’s a true multi-hyphenate, and a welcome addition to the annals of the “This Week in Web Videos” collection of parody shorts that make you toss back your head, rub your palms over your eyes, and go “Ohhhh buhhhhy” right before you share it.