Celebrity impressions are always good for a chuckle. Rarely though are they good for much more. This one, Cooking with Werner, however, is an exception to the rule. Maybe its because the subject, German filmmaker Werner Herzog, is a such a greenfield of comedic grain ripe for harvest.
You may not recognize him, but you’ve heard this guy— his signature droll narratives dominating his docu-films like Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World. He’s also helmed studio pics like Invincible and Rescue Dawn. And while the actor (Will Maier) playing Herzog is probably about thirty years his junior, his voice is spot-on. Really its a mid-1970’s Herzog.
It beauty is its clever parity, satirizing not only the eccentric filmmaker-poet but this whole celebrity cooking show trend that has a body count over 200 by now. The writing is well-researched, complete with references to a real life bet with doc-maker Errol Morris that ended with Herzog literally eating his shoe. Werner’s guest host, fellow filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, serves as his whipping boy assistant.
Werner: When the script calls for a Butterfinger you do not use a Baby Ruth. Do you Jim?
Jim: No, I don’t, but that’s the only honey that they had.
Werner: Well maybe you should have thought, instead of smoking blunts with the RZA, which I know you enjoy very much.
What started at just a two-part series, along with an auto maintenance episode, is now being taken further, with a recent video promising more Werner soon. Creator Tim Webb and his crew at Sandwich Films recently launched a site for the series, www.wernerherzogeatstheworld.com. And for some fun comparison, take a look at this actual footage of the famed director from Burden of Dreams:
(hat tip to mental_floss)