Or at least, ONE person is laughing. Long and hard.
I rarely, if ever, look at Parade magazine…you know the thing, right? The kind of kitschy magazine that’s inserted into your Sunday paper? Occasionally I’ll pick it up if I’ve had a particularly poor week absorbing celebrity gossip, or if I’m looking for a reason to continue drinking coffee and reading in bed on a Sunday morning, or if I feel like I need to re-confirm that I have no use for either Ken Jennings and Marilyn vos Savant.
Today, I picked up Parade magazine. The cast of The Chew was on the cover and, while I’m not a great fan of the show (largely because I’m just not a talk show fan), I like the individual cast members and am always curious to find out what Mario Batali is cooking. I flipped to the page for the Chew Thanksgiving recipes (a girl’s got to bring a side dish, after all) and…
God in Heaven.
What. In the world. Is this.
The thumbnail sketches pictured above were done by Riccardo Vecchio, a stylized portrait/sketch artist who has worked for a variety of media outlets. Some of his work is interesting and kind of loosely cubist. These are not those works. I don’t know if Parade contracted him and he forgot about them and put them in as a rush job, or if he subcontracted these sketches to his 11-year-old niece, but they are among the worst of the worst I’ve ever seen. While they’re all dismally bad, my personal favorites (in that “Holy crap! These are awful!” sort of way) are the sketches of Michael Symon and Clinton Kelly.
Celebrity chef Michael Symon is amazingly gregarious. He’s got an open and generous smile and an infectious laugh, loves food and life, is a monster chef and has two insanely successful Important Restaurants in Cleveland.
Hence my lack of understanding for him being drawn to look like a cross between sad-eyed character actor Vincent Schiavelli and Sling Blade.
And Clinton Kelly, the debonair, handsome and all-around fabulous co-host of both The Chew and What Not to Wear (among other things) ought not to be drawn to look like the love child of Jackie Mason and a hobbit.
Maybe I opened the magazine expecting too much on a beautiful Sunday morning. When I initially reacted with shock and horror, a friend tossed out a reality check and reminded me, “Nothing says “It’s the 70s!! Inside, 10 Great Recipes With Cool Whip!!” like Parade.” And he’s right. And maybe I shouldn’t expect anything more than mediocrity from them. But they could at least pretend to have editorial integrity. I looked at them again, and again, and every time I did the needle scratched on the record in my head.
The emperor has no clothes. Riccardo Vecchio is laughing all the way to the bank. The proof is right in front of you.