‘American Gods’ And The Cheesecake Factory Inspired This Fan To Ask Neil Gaiman For The Strangest Favor


The Cheesecake Factory menu is a beautiful treasure of American literature filled with delights of all kinds. So it’s high time that someone celebrated it for the literary masterpiece that it is. And there may be no better person than literary genius, Neil Gaiman, who has committed to reading the entire menu for our entertainment. Provided we raise a measly 500,000 for his favorite charity, of course.

The hilarious idea is the brainchild of comedian and writer, Sara Benincasa whose moment of divine inspiration came last week. She tells Eater, “Last week I watched an episode of the sublime TV adaptation of American Gods, went on a goddamn elegant date to Cheesecake, woke up, drank coffee, and went into some kind of inspiration blackout,” she says. “When I came to, I discovered I’d asked Neil if he’d read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu onstage in exchange for a $500,000 donation to a charity of his choice.”

First of all, a date at Cheesecake Factory is goddamn elegant. She should marry that person. Second, what an important contribution to the field of arts and letters! The Cheesecake Factory menu is longer and, some might argue, more well-written than a Jonathan Franzen novel, so it deserves its place in the sun! Third, amazingly, Gaiman saw Benincasa’s tweet and actually agreed to the arrangement.

For his charity, Gaiman chose UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and so Benincasa set up the fundraising page on the crowdsourcing site, Crowdrise. If they meet their 500,000 goal, Gaiman will read the Cheesecake Factory menu, cover to cover, in a dramatic fashion sometime in the next year.

It’s a silly internet goal but unlike getting a kid free chicken nuggets or watching some dude making potato salad, this is all for a good cause. So you can get your jollies over Neil Gaiman reading a one billion page menu AND give to charity. It’s a win-win. Much like going to The Cheesecake Factory, which is always a win for us all.