'Good Eats': What Really Inspired Alton Brown's Hit Cooking Show?

If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you know almost every one of its programs. Food Network is the go-to channel for anyone interested in anything food-related. Be it learning how to make a dessert, cooking, or just tuning in for the competitions, there is something for everyone at Food Network.

Alton Brown‘s hit show Good Eats proves this statement correct as the show created a niche for any nerdy foodie. Good Eats combines science facts and cooking to give viewers a wholesome culinary experience. Brown has a reason why most of his shows are unique and entertaining.

According to Delish, Brown reportedly sourced inspiration from multiple sources before choosing his top three inspirational sources to create the cult food show, Good Eats. Read on to find out what his sources of inspiration were and how they factored into his show’s development.

Monty Python

Monty Python or the Pythons are a former British comedy group that rose to fame with their hilarious sketch comedies made for TV. The group was made up of 6 gentlemen, two of whom are now deceased. The group members included John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, and Terry Gilliam.

The group is mostly known for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, aired by BBC from 1969 to 1974. The Pythons were granted creative control from the onset of their shows, which allowed them to push the boundaries of comedy at the time.

After their work in television did exceptionally well, the troupe moved to filmmaking with their most notable works being Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and The Meaning of Life. The comedy group has received various nominations and awards for their work.

Alton Brown borrowed inspiration from the Monty Python sextet in a comedic approach to his shows. Brown is known for providing comedic relief, including incredible one-liners while cooking and that, amongst other things, gives him an edge over the others at the network.

Julia Child

Julia Child was an American author, cook, and television personality. Child’s legacy involves introducing French cuisine to American people and her subsequent TV programs, which were highly watched and recommended.

Child was born in Pasadena, California, as Julia Carolyn McWilliams. She was quite the tall girl growing up, and even played basketball and tennis in her youth. Child’s career began after she published her 726-page cookbook called Mastering the Art of French.

At first, the cookbook was denied publication for its density and complexity but gained favor with the public for its French cuisines and culture. The American public had begun taking an interest in other cuisines, mostly French, in the 60s, and the cookbook couldn’t have come at a better time.

Among her accomplishments, Julia Child is known for her falsetto, and part of that is what Alton Brown took to incorporate in his show, Good Eats. Brown is synonymous with talking and explaining his points quickly in an almost high pitched voice, something which Child did.

Dr. Wizard

Donald Herbert, or as most people know him, Dr. Wizard, was the host and creator of the Mr. Wizard programs that ran from 1951 to 1990. The shows were educational TV shows meant to teach children about science and technology.

Herbert was born in Waconia, Minnesota in 1917. He majored in science and English at the University of Wisconsin and was passionate about the arts and drama. He even tried his hand at acting. However, his dreams of being an actor were short-lived when World War 2 broke out, forcing him to enlist in the army.

Herbert secured a job at a radio station acting in children’s health documentary series when the war ended. At this time, Herbert worked on turning Mr. Wizard from a dream into a reality. NBC accepted his ideas about general science experiment shows, and his first show, Watch Mr. Wizard, debuted in March 1951.

Alton Brown’s show, Good Eats, takes on a scientific approach and explains to viewers the components of their daily meals. His idea was well received to the extent that Brown even got a chance to hold an ‘Eat Your Science’ tour, which provided viewers with exquisite culinary experience paired with music and his trademark fast-paced explanations.

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