The Cheesecake Factory’s menu is the In Search of Lost Time of the restaurant industry, in that it is far too long and probably includes a madeleine or two.
Neil Gaiman is a very famous author (American Gods, Stardust, Coraline) with a notably soothing British accent, who has nothing to do with the Cheesecake Factory but has been dared to read its convoluted bill of fare anyway.
How’d this happen?
It all began with writer/comedian Sara Benincasa, a self-professed cheesecake addict, whose Twitter bio now reads “Neil Gaiman Will Read The Entire @Cheesecake Menu If We Raise $500K For @Refugees.”
In a Crowdrise campaign launched today, she outlined her mission to coax Gaiman into performing a dramatic reading of the menu ― which, according to Benincasa, consists of at least “8,000 pages,” representing what we feel is a very reasonable estimate.
The campaign states plainly:
I asked Neil Gaiman if he’d do a live reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu if I raised $500,000 for a charity of his choice. And because he’s not just a great artist but a great person, he said yes. He chose UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. I want to hit this goal by World Refugee Day on June 20.
Why? Well, why not?
Gaiman has already agreed to comply with the absurd Cheesecake challenge. If, you know, his fans are capable of scrounging together half a million dollars before June 20. Plus, he’s since upped the ante, offering to read Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks if fans pledge an additional $500,000 ― that’s $1 million total ― for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
So far the campaign has raised just over $17,00, so Gaiman’s readers certainly have some donating to do. Go ahead, make your strange, seemingly arbitrary, Cheesecake-laced (or Seussian!) dreams come true here.
And don’t forget the incredibly necessary hashtag: #neilcake.
This piece has been updated to reflect Gaiman’s more recent charity pledge.