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Guy Fieri Is Having a Nacho Competition With Bill Murray and Is Also a Truly Wonderful Person?

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 07: Guy Fieri demos Echo Frames at the Amazon After Hours event during CES 2020 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Amazon Devices and Services)

Somewhere along the way, Guy Fieri transitioned from just a television host and food personality into a meme. It was understandable. He was everywhere, from endless reruns of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on Food Network, to restaurant chains and endorsements, and he’s got a distinctive look and brand. He was an easy target. The New York Times panned him, but did nothing to dim his star or spirit.

But maybe joking about Guy Fieri is something we should reconsider. For instance, take this news: Guy Fieri is going to do a live nacho-making competition with Bill Murray on Friday. Just that idea sounds surreal, but let’s look closer. The “Nacho Average Showdown” will stream on the Food Network’s Facebook page on May 15 at 5:00 PM eastern, but most importantly, the event will raise funds for Fieri’s Restuarant Employee Relief Fund.

The fund, organized by Fieri, is doing amazing things to help restaurant workers who are out of a job thanks to coronavirus. He’s already raised over $20 million for workers. All the funds go to $500 grants to restaurant workers, and with eight million restaurant workers in the US in need, Fieri has no plans to slow down this good work, as the Murray fundraiser shows.

“My entire career has been in the restaurant business,” Fieri explained in Entertainment Weekly. “From bussing tables to flambé captain to dishwasher to chef… I have done it all. I’ve also spent the better part of the last 15 years traveling this great country meeting other folks who’ve dedicated their lives to this business, and let me tell you something, they are the hardest working, most real deal workers you’ve ever met… the heartbeats of their communities. But they need our help and with the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, we can serve up some support when these restaurant employees need it most… right now.”

This is truly amazing and kind and good, and the thing is: it’s not new for Guy Fieri. He has consistently been a great human being for a long time, something that we maybe forget when all we see is a meme or the mayor of Flavortown. Here are just a few of the ways he’s used his fame, funds, and brand to help people:

“I’ve been given all these opportunities,” Fieri told Delish in 2018. “Why not share it with someone? If I didn’t, I’d feel like I squandered it.” And it’s that outlook that makes Guy Fieri one of the good guys. He uses his shows to lift up local food and independent restaurants, he supports people in need in the industries that he came from, and he continues to do it all with endless energy, optimism, and vivaciousness that’s perfect on camera.

Recently, several of Fieri’s good deeds went viral on Twitter when they were compiled, and yesterday Scaachi Koul at Buzzfeed wrote that he is “The Last Unproblematic Food Person Left.”

Guy Fieri may be easy to joke about, but he’s doing more to help people than most of us can imagine, and that’s pretty awesome.

(via Entertainment Weekly, image: Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Amazon Devices and Services)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.