A guide to Anthony Bourdain's best cameos, from Archer to The Simpsons
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died this week, CNN confirmed on Friday morning. He leaves behind a voluminous body of work, both in writing (Kitchen Confidential, Hungry Ghosts) and in TV (Parts Unknown, No Reservations). Over the years, Bourdain became one of the most recognizable chefs in the world, but he wasn’t afraid to laugh at his own celebrity image. In addition to his own media franchises, Bourdain also popped up in a handful of other TV shows and movies during his career. Here’s a guide to Bourdain’s best cameos in pop culture.
Archer (season 4, episode 7): ‘Live and Let Dine’
Bourdain developed a persona as a “bad-boy chef” of sorts, and his cameo on Archer was an opportunity for him to poke fun at that image of himself. Bourdain voiced celebrity chef Lance Casteau, who ran his five-star restaurant with an iron fist. In “Live and Let Dine,” Archer and his fellow ISIS spies go undercover in Casteau’s restaurant in order to foil a potential assassination attempt on a high-profile guest, and soon find themselves subjected to Casteau’s ruthless humiliations as part of his reality show Bastard Chef.
The Simpsons (season 23, episode 5): ‘The Food Wife’
After Marge Simpson became an amateur food blogger in this 2011 episode, she started to worry that Homer would inevitably wind up stealing her thunder. Bourdain appeared alongside fellow celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali in a dream sequence illustrating both Marge’s greatest hopes as a foodie, and her fears about competition from Homer. Bourdain immediately poked fun at his global travels: “There’s nowhere I won’t go and nothing I won’t eat…as long as I’m paid in emeralds and my hotel room has a bidet that shoots warm champagne.”
The Big Short
The 2008 financial crisis remains extremely difficult to explain clearly, so The Big Short director Adam McKay recruited celebrities like Bourdain to elucidate particularly complicated subjects in brief cameos. Bourdain appeared inside a restaurant to explain the concept of a CDO or collateralized debt obligation. This bit of financial wizardry involved combining risky mortgage bonds into a bigger package, so Bourdain compared it to recycling three-day-old fish in a seafood stew — “being the crafty and morally onerous chef that I am.” It was also a callback to Bourdain’s first piece of published writing, a 1999 New Yorker essay in which he explained why it’s a bad idea to order fish on a Monday.
Yo Gabba Gabba! (season 3, episode 4): ‘The Doctor’
In one of his rare appearances as a character other than himself, Bourdain showed up in a 2010 episode of the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba! as a doctor rather than a chef. Dressed in a white lab coat, “Dr. Tony” helped Toode and Yo Gabba Gabba! viewers understand that doctors are here to help you when you’re sick, not something to fear.