Welcome back to TV Topics, where your host Steven Prusakowski, joined by co-host Abe Friedtanzer, walks guests through their TV landscape. One special guest sits in for the entirety of each episode to discuss their relationship with television as well as dig deep into their latest work. For this episode we speak with a very, very talented man who has been entertaining and enlightening us for decades with the television shows he has created, produced, written and now dined on.
You will know our guest star from the 15 time Emmy-winning series he created, the much beloved Everybody Loves Raymond. While his incredible work on that series was from behind the camera, you also may have seen him step in front of the cameral on Curb Your Enthusiasm and other shows. Where his talents have really been able to shine in a whole new fashion, is on his very popular Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil. Of course I am talking about the one and only, a personal favorite of mine, Phil Rosenthal.
Phil sits down on the TV Topics couch as we ask questions about his TV viewing experience – from his favorite primetime show as a kid, to his can’t skip theme songs, to what show he would like to live in (you’ll never guess it) and much more. We then take a break from the TV Topics questions to deep dive into his outstanding and deceiving work on Somebody Feed Phil (which he discussed with Joey here last year).
That’s right, I said deceiving. The series is supposed to be a food and travel show, but that is a lie… it is MUCH more. Phil not only travels the globe meeting new people and old friends while trying some of the delicious food, he also is brings something much more important to our living rooms – empathy. That is why I need to take this moment to unmask Phil Rosenthal for what he really is – the deliverer of joy, entertainment, and empathy… through food. Helping make the world a better place one scrumptious meal at a time.
As I expressed to Phil during our conversation (below), what always struck me as special about Somebody Feed Phil, besides its charismatic and very funny host, besides the it-looks-so-good-you-can-almost-taste-it delectable food, beside the beautiful cinematography which transports viewers to wonderful destinations across the globe (including my own Jersey City) – besides all of that… What struck me as special about the show is its heart. It truly is one of the most positive and uplifting shows that explores what connects us all and our ability to see one another not as foes or different, but as fellow travelers on the shared journey called life. All this while being a highly entertaining, funny, and fascinating show about food and travel.
It was a true pleasure so speak with Phil, a person’s whose work I have enjoy for decades. The conversation covers a lot of topics from The Honeymooners to his terrible poker face to how the loss of his dear parents affected the show and him personally. Listeners will enjoy every minute of it as much as we did.
Surprisingly, what I appreciate most about Phil is not his work, it is his motivation behind Somebody Feed Phil. Listen to our conversation below where his words speak for themself about the subject. I will share this one small piece of wisdom he passed along. On the topic of solving the world’s problem, Phil references the popular idea of building a wall. Rosenthal has another solution. “I always said instead of a wall how about a table?” Brilliant and beautiful. I hope to share a table with him one day to thank him face to face for his mission for good.
Thank you to Phil Rosenthal for sitting down on the TV Topics couch – it was an honor. Be sure to listen to episode 5 of TV Topics featuring Phil in its 32-minute entirety, directly below.
Also, for the heck of it, after watching six seasons of Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix, pick up Phil’s book about the series, here.
Future episodes of TV Topics will feature more of your favorite actors, actresses and artists, who will also discuss their relationship with TV. If you love television and good conversations, you’ll love TV Topics. Our upcoming guests will be announced soon, but just know they will be a lot of fun.
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If you would like to be a guest on TV Topics, reach out to Steven Prusakowski.