The Bear's Jeremy Allen White on why chefs are so hot : Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Jeremy Allen White, star of Hulu's The Bear plays our game called "Please Look After This Bear" three questions about Paddington Bear. He is joined by guest host Tom Papa and panelists Helen Hong, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Faith Salie.

Jeremy Allen White on 'The Bear' and why chefs are so hot

Jeremy Allen White on 'The Bear' and why chefs are so hot

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jeremy Allen White Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jeremy Allen White

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jeremy Allen White was barely out of high school when he landed a role on Showtime's Shameless, a show that kept him busy for 10 years. You'd think he'd want a little break after that, but instead he jumped straight into the lead role on the show of the summer, FX's The Bear, a show about the pressures of running an Italian Beef joint in Chicago.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tom Papa: Congratulations on this hit show for the summer... For our listeners, tell us what The Bear is about.

Jeremy Allen White: The Bear follows this young chef, Carmy. He comes home because his brother has passed away, and he inherits his brother and family's sandwich shop, like a very sort of blue collar, beloved, greasy spoon spot. And it's about him and his relationship with the other people that work there.

TP: You really have served the people in this community, in the restaurant business very well. They really feel like you nailed it and you really showed the struggle, the hard work... There was a report on New York One that said that, since your show came out and became so popular, line cooks are having more sex than ever before.

Happy to help.

TP: They're posting on their Instagram of them cooking and stuff. And they're getting so many more responses on social media. Why do you think this is happening?

I don't know, it's weird, you know, we made a show that I think was about family and grief and food. But no, Carmy does not have sex. Nobody has sex. The most kind of sexually charged moment on the show is between a character called Marcus and some doughnuts. There's no sex on the show at all.

TP: Okay, so I want to admit something. I've never had an Italian Beef sandwich before.

Tom, what are you doing?

TP: Hey, I'm not in The Bear, so.

It's beef thinly sliced on a roll. You can do hot or sweet peppers, and then you can really get them wet in jus or leave them dry. And that's the story.

TP: How many Italian Beefs a day should you eat?

I don't know about one a day for your heart, but you could have one a week and do just fine.

Bobcat Goldthwait: What's fascinating about the show, and I would not describe myself [as] a foodie or anything, is how intense it is. Some episodes, it's like watching Goodfellas and I'm at the edge of my seat and I'm like, "someone might not get their sandwich in time?" There was one episode where I was like, "I got to go outside, I got to start smoking." And I'm so freaked out.

It's definitely the way it is in the restaurant world. Yeah. There's an urgency and there's a pressure and there's an aspect of performance every night. So, yeah, it's serious. I mean, it's people's livelihoods, you know, so the pressure is real for sure. But again we are making sandwiches.

TP: And something that maybe a lot of people can't relate to, you and I can probably, women are going crazy for you. They are going nuts. How are you handling it?

I don't know. I feel like I've fooled everybody. I think people are attracted to Carmy. I find his determination attractive. I find his skill, like how good he is at this thing, attractive. And I also, I'll say it, I think chefs are hot. They're taking care of you, right? They're really supporting you, I think. It makes sense.

TP: Jeremy, The Bear is the show that we're all watching this summer, what are you watching this summer?

Oh, man. I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old at home. When my wife and I put them to bed, we don't want to think about anything, so we're into the Housewives, we're into Below Deck. That's our speed right now.

Helen Hong: I thought you were going to say you're watching Cocomelon, that's what you're watching.

Well, certainly during the day, yeah, but once the girls are in bed, we want to turn our brains off.

HH: I love the idea of your character watching the Housewives.

He needs to turn his brain off, too. I mean, he watches Pasta Grannies, which maybe I should get into as well.

This is an excerpt from Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, NPR's weekly news quiz. Have a laugh and test your knowledge with today's funniest comedians. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen on NPR One, and you can find us on Instagram. Want to come out to our live shows at our new home at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, IL or on the road? Just check out