Average Betty is the online persona of Los Angeles-based freelance artist Sara O’Donnell who combines zany comedy sketches with demonstrations of easy-to-follow recipes in creatively themed episodes. The site started as a personal blog in June 2005 with a grassroots-like appeal: “Who is Average Betty? I am. You are too. We are the girl next door, up the street and down the block. We make decisions. We get things done.” Fast forward one year later to July 2006, and the made-over site features Average Betty as the star of her one-woman cooking show. Thanks to her quirky, look-you-in-the-eye humor and self-professed “punk-rock attitude to home and cooking entertainment,” Average Betty won the Yahoo!Video Award for Best Internet Personality in February 2007.
Average Betty’s hip, entertaining, three-minute episodes feature recipes ranging from comfort foods like barbeque pizza and garlic mashed potatoes to ethnic favorites like Chinese Beefy Noodle. Her genius lies in attaching each dish to a quirky, topical theme that most people wouldn’t immediately associate with the food. Hence, we get episodes like “You Gotta Beefy Noodle?”, in which Average Betty dons one of her many alter-egos (her repetoire includes playing a pseudo-British rocker and a victim of radiation) by becoming a reporter of a “breaking news” segment about the various ways in which two people/entities can have a beef with one another. (e.g. “Starbucks has a beef with reasonably priced coffee”). Somehow, Average Betty always manages to transition flawlessly and charmingly from the comedy to the cooking. (“When life hands you a beef, make beefy noodle!”) Don’t worry if her step-by-step cooking tips go by a little too quickly; the website devotes a detailed section to recipes, instructions and accompanying pictures. The site also features a “Projects” section, in which Average Betty imparts tips on do-it-yourself home maintenance – but it hasn’t been updated since July 2006 and, for now, it seems she’s wisely chosen to stick with food.
The lemon scone episode, “SconeWorld,” cleverly features a hilarious, spot-on parody of Steve Jobs and the ipod. Average Betty becomes “Eve Gobs” and introduces the “iscone.” For a concise and funny recap on other “multiple personalities” of Average Betty, check out her Valentine video.