It's Alive! is a New York Cooking Show primarily focused on live foods and fermentation, released as part of Bon Appétit Magazine's YouTube channel and running since October 2016. It is hosted by Bon Appétit's test kitchen manager (until he started focusing primarily on videos), the upbeat and scatterbrained Brad Leone, originally with cameraman and video producer Vincent "Vinny/Vin/Vincenzo" Cross serving as silent POV, student, and caption snarker. Video editor Matt Hunziker builds on their silliness with some truly bizarre art and visual effect inserts.
The series has gained popularity thanks to the combination of Brad's natural humor and charisma with Vinny and Matt's often silly and surreal production. They have also collaborated with the likes of Sean Evans of Hot Ones and Andrew Rea of Binging With Babish.
A more restrained Spin-Off, It's Alive: Goin' Places, began in early 2019 with Brad and crew visiting four different businesses in Texas. Vinny left Bon Appetit shortly after, and he's now cameraman and editor for Babish.
Watch the show here.
Not to be confused with the film, It's Alive, or the Canadian children's variety show.
This series provides examples of:
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Brad gets easily distracted by noises in the test kitchen, many of which the viewer doesn't hear. Vinny and Matt will play with this by inserting random sound effects and/or clipart (breaking glass, an earthquake, a cat, a pickle playing drums) in the direction that Brad is looking.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Amiel Stanek, editor of Bon Appetit's Basically site, occasionally shows up to be weird, dress wild, and give Brad's goofiness a run for its money. But like Brad, he knows his food.
- The Cameo: Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith appears out of nowhere at the end of the Crabbing episode to drop a sweet fish rap and confuse the hell out of Vinny.
- Caption Humor: Alongside showing important information, special emphasis is made on Brad's accent or phumphering, fact-checking Brad matter-of-factly, or inserting Vinny's own sarcastic responses to Brad via the captions.Wourder
- As is the case with most videos on the channel, Brad closes out each video with "Bon Appétit" or "Bon Appétit, baby."
- "Who's better than us, Vinny?"note
- When Brad tastes his dish, sometimes he'll remark, "I've paid for worse."
- Cold Open: Each episode opens with Brad in the middle of cooking, goofing off, or making a mistake before the title kicks in. Sometimes results in a Non Sequitur.
- Cooking Show: The show is primarily based around Brad cooking or teaching about live foods, fermentation, and probiotics, though they occasionally branch out to other subjects like campfire cooking or industry field trips.
- Crossover: First We Feast's Sean Evans and Binging With Babish's Andrew Rea have made guest appearances, with Brad and Vinny also appearing on their channels.
- The Ghost: Vinny generally tries not to be seen or heard, merely acting as the audience's POV and Brad's silent student. Subverted after he is finally heard at the end of the "Camping Outtakes" video, and he makes a couple vocal wisecracks in the crab episodes; he still keeps out of the way, but he's more visible/audible from thereon.
- Hilarious Outtakes: "Brad Makes Mistakes", outtakes from the camping miniseries with Brad goofing off, goofing up, making weird offhand comments, and angrily assembling a tent.
- Hypocritical Humor: Whenever Brad is distracted and goofing off, expect him to jump back into presenting with "Alright, Vinny, enough fooling around!"
- Joisey: Brad's upbringing in Sussex County gets brought up a lot (particularly how much it differs from the urban and suburban parts of the state), especially in the more outdoorsy episodes, and his far-North Jersey accentnote is practically a co-star ("wourder").
- Malaproper: Brad's a chronic word mixer. Greatest hits include "This ain't rocket surgery", "upsize down" (upside down), "basket hound" (basset hound), "suffrage" (suffering), "I've made a couple altercations" (alterations), among others."English has never been my strongest language."
- Nice Hat: Brad usually wears a goobalini, sometimes a backwards baseball cap. When he suddenly isn't wearing a hat in the Campfire Ribs episode, it weirds out Vinny so much that he adds a piece of knit cap clipart onto Brad's head to feel better.
- The Nicknamer: Brad likes to play with Vincent's name: Vinny, Vin, Vincenzo, Vinny bo Binny. He mentions in the Koji episode that he only just learned that he's the only person who calls him "Vinny". He also starts calling Binging With Babish's Andrew Rea "Babby" to Andrew's approval, and he tries to call Matty Matheson "Matters" to less enthusiasm.
- Precious Puppy:
Vinny: "Would you take care of it?"
- Brad gets completely distracted by a tiny puppy in "Brad Makes Chocolate in Ecuador."
- Vinny gets distracted by dogs while filming in "Brad Explores an Oyster Farm."
- Brad is once again distracted by a dog in "Brad Cooks Crabs in Alaska." He then excitedly pitches the idea of him and Vinny getting an It's Alive dog.
- Running Gag:
- Brad's accent, pronunciation and fumbling with his thoughts are transcribed in the captions.
- Brad gets easily distracted by sounds and motion in the kitchen. When it happens, expect a piece of clipart or animation and a sound effect to be added in to make it sillier.
- Several sound effects are recurring, including glass breaking and That Poor Cat when Brad closes a door, sleigh bells when he shakes a container, and train whistles when he mentions the Fermentation Station.
- Self-Deprecation: While discussing how male bees don't do much in the "Brad Makes Honey" episode, a caption pops up saying "Uselessness is a trait males possess in many species."
- Smash Cut: A favorite humorous editing technique, often disrupting Brad before he goes on a long tangent or simply in the middle of a string of gibberish.
- Spin-Off: It's Alive: Goin' Places, a series made for the Bon Appetit streaming app that is much more restrained in presentation.
- Surreal Humor: Sound effects, animations, visual effects, and clipart are inserted into Brad's actions and instructions at any place they might be funny; the more nonsensical the situation it creates, the better. For example, during the Kimchi episode, Brad says hello to staff photographer Alex Lau offscreen. The editing inserts a tiny Lau walking onscreen and eating, saying hello back, and walking back out. A similar joke happens with a small animated T-Rex in the jerky episode, to whom Brad 'says', "How's it goin'? Great work yesterday."
- Trademark Favorite Food: Brad has a special fondness for garlic, dedicating multiple episodes to it and always being sure to tout the medicinal benefits of allicin ("I believe.")Brad (serving Amiel a bowl of miso soup): "If you want, you can drop some garlic in there too."
Amiel (laughing): "You say that about everything!"
- The Unintelligible: Brad will occasionally slip into this when his accent and Motor Mouth tendencies clash. It'll often sound like he's speaking Simlish. Often coincides with a comedic Smash Cut."Buh deh ugh weddle feh whuh dehb-" -Brad Makes Sauerkraut"We'll let this go till Monday. Icky goo ickeh beh ike cugh ickeh-" -Brad Makes Kimchi"It's just uhhh y'know it's a it's within the its-" -Brad Makes Fermented Garlic Honey"Yo g'ho, Vin, you want me to act leig ayge yaik guhh. Likeweactlike you're not here yet?" -Brad Cooks Crabs in Alaska (part 2)