Dog or Girl? Padma Lakshmi Stars in Eels Video

Padma Lakshmi has enjoyed one of the more unusual food-themed careers, ascending from a couple of lackluster shows on the Food Network and a rather mediocre cookbook to being the doyenne of Top Chef - and the hatchet-woman, too, whose icy words and placid demeanor often spell disaster for the contestants.

Recently, she was paid to leave the stage at Moth's Cooper Union benefit. And, looking for footage of that, I stumbled on an Eels video she starred in two years ago. It's a song from the album Hombre Lobo: "The Look You Give That Guy."

I saw the Eels in concert for the first time recently at Terminal 5. It was a great show, but frontman and composer Mark Oliver Everett (aka Mr. E, or just E) kind of freaked me out. Sporting a Z.Z. Top beard, shooting strange looks around the hall as he muttered asides, he seemed more like an ax murderer than a rock star.

And this impression is not dispelled by the video. In it, Lakshi arrives by cab at E's house. In anticipation of her arrival -- for which he dons a full suit -- he tries to drink a glass of milk and spills it all over himself.

Once in the messy kitchen, the butler/cook doffs the lid on one of the pans, at which point we realize this is going to be a romantic dinner for two. A wine is selected by the name of Chateau E, and the two sit down. But before the romance can proceed, a bowed-legged beagle meanders in, and E dresses it in a perverse little outfit. Soon the beagle is the center of attention, and Lakshmi eventually falls asleep with the dog in her lap, after ostentatiously flaunting one of her cookbooks.

He wakes her up, puts her in a cab, and walks dejectedly back toward the house. Suddenly the cab stops, Padma hops out, and give E a big juicy kiss. Cut to a bed. E is in his pajamas dreaming of Lakshmi, but wakes up to find himself French kissing the dog.


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