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Weber Cooks is a local cooking show that originally aired on Weber State News, a student-run television station out of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. The show is hosted by Steven Reed and is intended to instruct college students on creating simple meals with a microwave.
The videos were uploaded to YouTube sometime prior to October 31st, 2012, when a GIF animated excerpt of an episode showing Reed preparing chili and cheese nacho dip was posted to Tumblr. Though the original linked version has since been taken down, a duplicate version reuploaded on November 28th, 2012 earned more than 280,000 views in less than a week.
On November 4th, 2012, the same chili and cheese nacho dip episode, as well as a new Rice-A-Roni episode, were submitted to the /r/NotTimandEric subreddit, which prompted a discussion on the resemblance between Weber Cooks and Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s comedic skits, such as Reed’s unkempt appearance, awkward pauses and heavy breathing.
Reed’s videos gained a wider audience after the internet culture blog Nothing To Do With Arbroath shared a LiveLeakversion of the chili cheese nacho dip video on November 27th, 2012. The same day, several Weber Cooks episodes were posted on Gawker, Laughing Squid, Screen Crush and Los Angeles Magazine. Over the next several days, the chili cheese dip video was featured on Reddit, Viral Viral Videos, I Am Bored and MSN Now.
Screen Crush – MEET STEVEN REED, THE GREATEST TV CHEF OF ALL-TIME
Los Angeles Magazine – Weber Cooks: College Education Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong.
Viral Viral Videos – The Most Depressing Chili Cheese Video Recipe Ever