Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and host of PBS’s upcoming world-hopping food series I’ll Have What Phil’s Having seems serious – sort of – about food’s power to unite. “It’s all about expanding your mind a little bit,” Rosenthal told reporters this afternoon at the Television Critics Association press tour. “If those boys from ISIS would sit down and have chocolate cake with me, everything would be okay,” he said.
If comparisons to Anthony Bourdain‘s shows like No Reservations and Parts Unknown are inevitable, Rosenthal doesn’t seem to mind. He said he’s using Bourdain’s production company for his show because “they have all these fixers all over the world.”
Not that he’ll be following Bourdain’s footsteps, exactly. “I watch Anthony Bourdain and I love his show,” he said, “but I’m not going to Beirut and getting shot at. I tell people I’m exactly like Anthony Bourdain if he was afraid of everything.”
“I don’t want to eat insects…I like to to eat things I recognize as food.”
Rosenthal’s show debuts on PBS September 28.
When a reporter wondered whether Rosenthal had reached a “sufficient level of fame” to host his own show, the Raymond writer responded, “I sense from your question that this is a scam I’m pulling?”
“This is the best kind of scam,” he continued, insisting that he wanted to call his new series The Lucky Bastard. “Even though it feels like a scam, this is a mission statement to get you off the couch, to come and travel.When I wrote Raymond I was trying to connect with people. Now I’m connecting in a more direct way.”