JOE How do your old coaches at leadership camp feel about that?
ALEX I'm sure they're thrilled. But what's happened is that the show has evolved to where we're able to feature and highlight and access communities in a way — because we're going through the gateway of food — that we otherwise haven't been able to do. We got to show off Fort Kent in a way that clearly, by way of viewership, Fort Kent was super excited about. People thanked us for showcasing their community.
JOEL And also like, we're showing friends having fun somewhere, taking advantage of what that place has to offer. It's not someone taking you on some fake tour — look, this is the creepy little statue — like, whatever.
JOE We're trying to let you in on the inside joke.
THAT'S ONE THING THAT MADE ME — WHO IS NOT A FOOD GUY — START APPRECIATING THE SHOW. I GREW UP HERE AND WORKED —
JOE And you do eat food.
I DO EAT FOOD, IT CANNOT BE HELPED. I'VE WORKED IN RESTAURANTS FOR A LONG TIME AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ANNOYED AT THE WAY MAINE AND MAINE FOOD CULTURE IS PRESENTED IN CERTAIN MEDIA SOURCES IN THIS HYPER-GLAMORIZED, TOURIST-Y WAY —
JOE When they talk about how it's the next San Francisco. It's such bullshit.
— AND I THINK WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE TOURIST'S PERSPECTIVE AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPENT THEIR ENTIRE LIVES IN RESTAURANTS. LIKE JOE, YOU'VE WORKED IN A LOT OF RESTAURANTS . . .
JOE 29 restaurants in 16 years.
THERE'S A HUGE GAP BETWEEN THOSE TWO PERSPECTIVES AND I THINK THIS SHOW IS SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, WHICH IS REALLY INTERESTING TO SEE.
ALEX Well, what has become the litmus test, unofficially, is that we'll go out of our way to feature restaurants that underpromise and overdeliver. And if you overpromise and underdeliver, fuck yourself. We're not interested in it. We're not even that interested in places that overpromise and regular deliver. We try to have experiences with people who are traveling through the town, people who live in the town, and people who don't care one way or another about food, I guess. People who like fun.
JOE Yeah, we're a fun show, not a food show.
ALEX There's a really great interview with Steve-O from Jackass after he got sober —
JOE Sober from heroin or everything?
ALEX Sober from everything.
ALEX Well, he almost died, so . . .
JOE Yeah, but that doesn't stop a lot of them.
ALEX Well, yeah, I know. He's been sober for three years, so good for him.
JOE I'm happy for him. I'm not saying I'm not happy for him.
ALEX There's a great interview in which he talks about how he thinks that they've done the most work in the past decade fighting homophobia in this country because they've essentially shown guys having a good time being not afraid of sexual boundaries —
AND PHYSICAL TOGETHER . . .
ALEX And physical. It's never been preachy, it's always been fun, and it's about just not giving a fuck about what these things are supposed to mean. And for me, that's the best way to access anything. To do it in an unpretentious, friendly, fun way. That quote from a couple years ago has always resonated with me.