Guy Fieri answers to one person, and one person only: Guy Mother Effin’ Fieri. All the think pieces in the world won’t change how this food media superstar lives his life or conducts his business. He’s a walking, talking “Deal With It” meme, except the sunglasses drop on the back of his head, not the front. But despite his DGAF demeanor, the Spiky One has a softer side, too. And on the latest episode of Dan Pashman’s The Sporkful podcast, Fieri opens up about what it feels like to be known by all the world as a hot-rod loving, flame shirt-wearing, joke-cracking culinary daredevil:
I think there’s way too much stereotyping. There’s a picture of me in a flame shirt that everybody loves. I get that picture sent to me when we do fan mail; it’s the picture they send more than anything. And I think people want to love the shirt... ‘cause I hate the shirt. We’d opened a barbecue restaurant — and this was way before even the Food Network — we’d opened a barbecue restaurant, and that was one of the shirts that we had. I don’t know where we got the shirt or what happened. Goddamn I hate that shirt.
But the funny thing is that people want to make a story of what something is when they don’t understand it. Yes, I work hard. And yes, I love my cars. And yes, I love to go to football games. And I love rock concerts. And I love anything crazy — except for jumping out of airplanes, which is a whole other story. But I love all that stuff. So, people are going to say whatever they’re going to say. People are going to go on their own way about, “Oh man, everything’s flamed at his house.” And I just kind of go, “Okay, you know, alright. Well, think what [you’re going to think].” I mean, what do I wear? I wear shorts and tennis shoes and a t-shirt every day unless I’ve got to go to work.
And, yes, a quick scan of Getty Images shows that Fieri has not, in fact, worn that shirt at a public event over the last seven years, even though it is burned in our collective cultural memory thanks, in part, to Bobby Monihan’s SNL impression.
Elsewhere in this Sporkful interview, Guy talks about his intense work ethic, growing his restaurant empire around the world, getting business advice from his pal Sammy Hagar, and staring his own wine label. The Triple D host also paints a rosy picture of his family life in Northern California when the cameras aren’t rolling. “It’s a lot more mellow and a lot more simplistic than I think everybody believes,” Fieri remarks. “I think everyone believes I live on a yacht that shoots off rockets.”
• Guy Fieri Doesn’t Live On A Yacht That Shoots Rockets [The Sporkful]
• All Pop Culture Coverage [E]