Alton Brown has issued a Fanifesto on his blog. It's great. This Fanifesto is a set of ground rules for his fans, who he "sincerely appreciates" and is "beyond thrilled" that they like his work.


He says things that will probably tick people off and offend some of his fans, but really, everything he says makes sense. I love it when people make sense.


Why does the author of "Good Eats 3: The Later Years" need a Fanifesto? In his eyes, he fits into the category of "cable-ebrities" that fit into an "ever widening, Warholian spiral of quasi-celebrity" and doesn't have the superstar life. Here's what he wrote:


"Unlike the Liz and Dicks of the world, we live, work, eat, shop, worship, and recreate right alongside the rest of you. We don't have gated mansions, entourages, or bodyguards. We wait in lines, drop off the dry cleaning, and interact regularly with the 'citizens' around us (that's celebrity-speak for non-famous folk). This situation often stretches the very fabric of our society because we just don't have rules for this sort of thing."


If you've ever watched Brown's "Good Eats," you'll know that he's methodical and exacting. He likes to know things like why one chocolate chip cookie comes out cake-like and why another comes out flat and crispy. When he figures those things out, he likes to share it with his audience — his fans.


It seems to me this Fanifesto is right in keeping with all that. He's figured out what rules will make his relationship between him and his fans work, and he's just sharing them. Take a look at them and see if there isn't a single one of his rules that you wouldn't want if you were a celebrity or even a quasi-celebrity. These are my summaries of his rules; the actual rules have more detail and can be fairly entertaining to read.


  • No photos of his family or he will go "freakin' ballistic."
  • Don't ask him to talk to someone on the phone or star in a shout-out video for a friend who is not there. He'll happily sign an autograph for the person who is not there, though.
  • Please understand that he can't respond to everyone who contacts him though social media.
  • No asking for hugs. He doesn't like to spread his or your germs.
  • He won't sign live things — body parts or pets.
  • Don't block his exit.
  • If he's in the restroom and you want to talk to him, wait for him to come out.
  • Understand that if you are a super fan, your heightened level of fandom doesn't put him in debt to you.
  • Don't get upset when he allows families with small children to move to the front of the line at a big signing so the parents can get the kids home at a reasonable hour.
  • Bring a camera, but not your camera phone. Camera phones slow things down.
  • If you're the last person in line at a signing, he'll still be there when it's your turn, but then he's going to leave.

Except for the camera phone rule, none of these rules seem like they should bother anyone. I'd hope that camera phones would still be allowed (even if not preferred) at a signing, since most people going to the signing won't have a copy of his rules before getting there.


What do you think of Brown's Fanifesto? Does it make good sense or do you think he's gone a little far?


Also on MNN:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Alton Brown's Fanifesto makes sense
No hugging, but he'll stay at a book signing until the last person in line has gotten a book (but never a body part) signed. The self-proclaimed quasi-celebrity