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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Remembering Anthony Bourdain. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired June 8, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[23:00:00] ANTHONY BOURDAIN, FORMER CNN HOST: There are things you can't push away or push out or shut your eyes to. I think especially when you're -- you know, when you're a parent, you know the kids will get you every time.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: What was interesting was that he could deliver something that was sad or tragic or very serious and then in an instant use a sense of humor to take you somewhere else. To weave this tapestry of story that only Anthony Bourdain could do.
BOURDAIN: More cracklings. How could that not be good? His is the way so many of the great meals of my life that I enjoyed, sitting in a street, eating something out of a bowl that I am not exactly sure what it is, scooters going by. So delicious. I feel like an animal. Where have you been all my life? Fellow travelers, this is what you want. This is what you need. This is the path to true happiness and wisdom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people try to do first person wander, lost travel work and show you things in place places, but it doesn't really take off. Why? Because you don't really care about what that person thinks about him. But with Tony Bourdain you cared about what Tony thought.
BOURDAIN: I think we learned something here today in Chiang Mai. I can't summon exactly what that might be right now. You know, I was thinking about what Mohamed said, you know, don't tell me what a man knows, or what he said, and tell me where he's traveled. You learned stuff.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Language, is story telling. Language is culture. Language is civilization and he used it to its maximum effect.
BOURDAIN: It is morning in the Arabian dessert. The place the explorer Bertram Thomas called the abode of death. But it's a beautiful place, the kind of place I look for more and more these days. Stark, empty clean sand that stretches out seemingly forever.
AMANPOUR: I was staggered by the breadth of his ability to bring new dimensions to the stories of a world that some of us think we know so well, others don't know.
BOURDAIN: As the evening progresses the bourbon flows and the fire burns down to coals. A late night vape with Joe and the earth seems to shift on its axis. Later stumbling out of my tent I find myself somehow no longer vertical. Looking up, up at a magnificent bewilderment of stars.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: As somebody who spent a lot of years traveling, you know, it takes a toll and it's hard. And it's, you're in hotel rooms and you are on planes and you are away from loved ones. And you're in places, you know, you're far-out on the edge and often it's very lonely. And you're away from your life. And you come back and other people have continued on with their lives, and it's hard to readjust.
BOURDAIN: My rented villa is pleasant enough, but to be perfectly honest, lonely. Is it worse to be someplace awful when you're by yourself or someplace really nice that you can't share with anyone?
AMANPOUR: He was generous in how he treated the rest of the world, how he respected the rest of the world, how he never considered anybody or any country or any ethnicity to be either beneath him or beneath the dignity of having their story told by him.
COOPER: I just turned 51 and I remember thinking, wow, if I could age like he is aging. I mean, he was like what, 61, and, you know, he was getting tattoos and doing jujitsu, and he was just -- he actually -- he actually get -- I was actually thinking about this about two months ago that I looked at him as somebody who actually gave me hope for what one's life could become, you know, at -- could be at 61.
[23:05:00] BOURDAIN: What are any of our hopes and dreams? A roof over our heads, some security, maybe even some happiness for our children. The opportunity to be proud of something. We all have that in common.
LEMON: Everyone has demons, and I'm sure he dealt with them as much as anyone else. Just because he is on television, he is successful and he is famous, it doesn't mean that he didn't have a life that was tough and hard yet fulfilling and happy at points.
BOURDAIN: Where is home? Most of us are born with the answer. Others have to sift through the pieces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he touched on the basic ingredients for all humanity no matter where it exists, and that is why no place was too remote, no people too obscure, no cuisine too exotic. He could make everything familiar. What a gift. What a blessing that was. The tragedy is that it wasn't enough for Tony to know his own self-worth.
AMANPOUR: I hope that our world can take just one more gift from Tony Bourdain and really, really, really try to explore in all its facets the problems of mental health.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Our terrible sad news to report that world renowned chef, best-selling author and award-winning host of Parts Unknown, our friend Anthony Bourdain has died. AMANPOUR: This has to be a moment where we take this epidemic and
this crisis seriously.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN NEWSROOM, ANCHOR: Tony Bourdain is the guy you just want to hang out with like through osmosis you hope to learn a thing or two about life. Losing Tony, losing a member of your family, our CNN family.
BOURDAIN: Another tattoo is never going to make me younger or tougher or more relevant. It won't reconnect me 10 years from now with some spiritual cross roads in my life. No.
At this point I think my body is like an old car. Another dent ain't going to make a whole lot of difference. At best it's a reminder that you're still alive and lucky as hell. Another tattoo, another thing you did, another place you've been.
A final long gaze at the river. Take in probably for the last time in my life the slow rhythms of the village. One more thing to do, say good-bye to an old friend.
(NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE)
(MUSIC PLAYING) I took a walk through this beautiful world felt the cool rain on my shoulder found something good in this beautiful world I felt the rain getting colder
LEMON: You've been watching our special programming remembering Anthony Bourdain. This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us. It has been quite honestly a very, very sad day especially for the folks here at CNN who loved Anthony Bourdain, and for the loved ones, Anthony, the ones who loved him he leaves behind, we are thinking about you. For all of us who knew him, who worked alongside him, his fans, those who were lucky enough to become his friends, and for all of you who knew him through his show, his books and through stories he told, Anthony Bourdain was brilliant. The man who started out as a dishwasher became a celebrity chef, a best-selling author and a television star who took all of us on a journey right along with him. That is why this is so devastating. We all loved him. We all wanted to be like him.
[23:10:00] Why wouldn't we? He was smart, he was funny, he was handsome, he is an amazing writer. He was totally rock and roll.
BOURDAIN: We planned to arrive three hours along the coast to our lunch spot, and I ate salty goat innards for breakfast and I refused to wear a helmet or sun block.
LEMON: So, George (inaudible) of previous lives. He was sitting down with the godfather of punk iggy (ph) pop or of all things a healthy meal on Miami or having a beer and a bowl of noodles with President Obama. Tony Bourdain could have all the fine dining in the world, and he did, but would pass it all up for some questionable street food from some random cart in some alley in some part of some city somewhere in the world. BOURDAIN: All of the things I need for happiness, a low plastic
stool, check. Tiny little plastic table, check. Oh, something delicious in a bowl, check.
LEMON: He was a man who lived, really lived every single moment. And that is not a platitude. Real life is about the incredible beauty of the world. Of family, of friends, of food, and hot spices, and new places and new adventures. But real life also has darkness and sadness, and as addictions, it has losses. Real life is wonderful, and real life can be terrible. And since Tony was so real, he was honest about all of it.
BOURDAIN: It's an amazing spot if you think about it. A bunch of knuckle heads working as dish washers and waiters and pizza servers. You know, if we can live on a beach like this, you know, happier stupider times. You know, I can still hear the playlist, (inaudible) and the brother is Johnson. If you put on Marvin Gaye right now I'd burst into tears. What do you do? You're young, you go on the beach, you know, you get laid and you get high.
LEMON: So few people are that honest. And therefore it hurts all the more to lose him. And then to lose him to suicide just days after the death of Kate Spade. And while suicides in this country are at a 30- year high, so many of us are in pain, but we can all help. You should look to the people around you and reach out to them. Let's look after each other. If you see danger signs, if someone you know is talking about feeling hopeless, trapped or being a burden to others, if they're drinking more, if they are sleeping too little or too much, if they're isolating themselves, you should talk to them. Keep talking to them and get help for them. I want everyone to look at the screen and write this down. Take a picture on your phone, do whatever. This is the national suicide prevention line. Call that number. 1-800- 273-8255, 1-800-273-8255.
So tonight we are remembering the life of Anthony Bourdain. And if he inspired you, which I am sure he did, you can live like him to. So get out into the world. Move as he said, open up your mind to a new country, to a new culture, to new ideas, to new comers to our culture. Embrace your friendships, fight battles for your loved ones and tell the truth. The next time you go out to eat order something weird from the menu. He'd say try the organ meat. So his good friend is here. Bill Buford, how are you?
BILL BUFORD, JOURNALIST: Hi, Don.
LEMON: We have a lot to talk about. I have so many questions on these cards, but let's just talk. Shall we?
LEMON: So, I want to say how are you doing? How are you really doing?
BUFORD: It was a tough day.
LEMON: Tell me about it. BUFORD: I don't know. I don't think I can or I'll start weeping
again. Tony for -- if anybody remotely interested in food or travel, I was struck how his name comes up just in my life just about every day. I was talking to a friend about him last night at dinner. I was talking to someone I ran into the street yesterday. I introduced my -- I have 12-year-old sons. They're one year older than Tony's daughter. We are both men who had our first children once we were 50. And I showed them on Sunday night their mother was away, and we stayed up late watching Tony Bourdain on CNN. And, they were, you know, they talked about him all week long. And then to wake up this morning, it was incomprehensible.
[23:15:13] It was just incomprehensible. And I'm trying to keep it incomprehensible. I've talked about it enough now where I'm starting to a accommodate it, but I think the incomprehension is important, because something very baffling and disturbing has happened. And I don't want to normalize his death. So, I kind a, a bit like you here, I've been keeping it raw. It's a terrible day.
LEMON: So I was not as close to Anthony as you were, but I knew him, I loved him. I would see him here at CNN and we would talk and, you know, bond over our time on the set. And then there's a restaurant here in the Time Warner is going to call Porter House, where kind of everyone goes. And I would see him almost there weekly when he was in town. And I would sort of barge into his booth or table where he was and fuss with the guest and by stuff and I am going to talked to him or at the bar where he might be having dinner, we would have a quick conversation and I'd go back to work.
The last time I saw him I was with two friends and we were sitting and having dinner. And they said, oh, my god, Don, that is Anthony Bourdain over there across the restaurant. Do you know him? Will you please introduce us to him? And so we finished dinner and I walked over and said, Anthony, you know, I hate to bother you, my friends want to meet you. And he, I mean, he spent 20 minutes talking to them. And I kept trying to pull them way away, and he just kept talking to them.
And so tonight I went back and I sat at the same place, where he, the last place I saw him and everybody in the restaurant came up and said I'm so sorry for your loss and CNN was on and we just started talking about him and every single person had a story though in that restaurant as if they knew him personally and they were a close friend. That doesn't surprise you, does it?
BUFORD: It was his great gift -- and it was his great gift as a person, gift as a writer, but particularly his gift as an emissary of television and television reporting, he gave you himself. He gave you -- he was straight, it was funny, it was rude, it was filthy, it was poetic. It was just -- it was him. And I think everybody feels that the person they see on television is the person that he is.
And I think that is true. Now I'm beginning to suspect that actually the person that we see on television is the person that we see in real life, but that person is performing a little bit. And there's clearly a person that we weren't quite seeing, because otherwise that person wouldn't be dead now.
So I'm replaying all these sort of moments, and little glimpses and episodes where I think, oh, there was a much more complex person there than I was realizing.
LEMON: OK, so let's talk about that. Because he was real, so let's keep it real. Did you sense that he was going as we say going through some things recently or did you?
BUFORD: Yes, it was precious to see Tony. I didn't see Tony -- I saw Tony regularly over 20 years. I spoke to him pretty regularly. I e- mailed pretty regularly with him. I don't regard myself as an intimate friend. I regard myself as a friend. But I'm beginning to suspect that he didn't have many intimate friends. He once said that he has a lot of good friends for one week. And I think that is part of his performative self, there's this person who is kind of has to keep busy, because there's another person that maybe he is even hiding from himself.
LEMON: That happens when you're on the road. You know that right? That you have these, I think Anderson put it probably more distinctly than any of us who have been correspondents and who traveled. I was telling a story when I was a correspondent for NBC news, I would come home from a long trip and my doorman would know who I was, and my friends would, they would all come at New York City and they said, oh, you know, they would come and stay in my apartment and the doorman would let them in. I'd walk in and they say sir, I mean who are you going to see?
So, I understand it's sort of an existence you are on the road, you have your experiences with the crew and with whatever story that you're doing and then you come back and everyone's life, their lives have kept moving around you or past you and you haven't been there to experience it.
BUFORD: And he was on a crazy schedule.
LEMON: Do you understand that now when he says he has friends for a few weeks at a time or a few days?
BUFORD: Yes, but I think that it might have been a feature of his life for quite a while. There have been little glimpses. I don't know, in retrospect -- you go back and you think of moments and say oh, there's a kind of vulnerability showing or there's a strange modesty that seems out of proportion to the person that he is become or insecurities that just pop out of nowhere.
[23:10:11] And then allusions to his, you know, his dark days when he was doing drugs and regret that his father never saw him until he was done with drugs. And he seemed to have a relationship to that past the way an alcoholic had a relationship to an alcoholic's past, it is like, you're never not an alcoholic. Somebody has felt that he was never not that person. Now, I mean, at the time, I was kind of curious and I kind of make a mental note of it. But now I'm realizing that there's clearly -- there was kind of a darkness to that enormous, affable, fluent, articulate beautiful man that we all came to adore. LEMON: So, I want to put up one of your tweets. Can we put up Bill's
tweet? You tweeted this. You said Tony had a lot of friends, I was privileged to be among them. But we weren't, none of us, as close as good friend should be. Terrible, terrible, terrible. What did you mean by that?
BUFORD: Well, I think I count myself among a lot of friends that could talk to him directly, that he spoke to directly about anything, just like he would speak about anything. I looked forward to moments of being with him, I looked forward to being able to have dinner with him. I looked forward to every chance I have to see a man who's very, very busy. But there was clearly something that we weren't reaching.
And I think, you know, of all -- of all his friends I think we're now thinking if there was something that we were missing that we could help. Why weren't we the person that he could talk to in this moment, why weren't we the person to say, well, you know, I had those, you know, the bad years, but actually now I have these bad moments or something like that -- there was a notion with Tony he was so busy because he was chasing something trying to reach something, trying to arrive at something.
And I don't think that is true. I think he was driven by fantastic curiosity and he is excited by the world. And his spontaneous, savvy sometimes vicious always ironic appreciation of the world was just wonderful to see. Wonderful. But sometimes I wonder now if maybe he was keeping really, really busy because not, but he was trying to get somewhere, but he was actually fleeing from something.
His assistant Laurie Woolever, who's worked with him for a long time, I am sure, she has never in her life seen somebody so productive, so busy. He started first thing in the morning and he is going straight on through the day. And he is got his hands in publishing projects. He is got his hand, you know, in a new market he was going to do downtown. He is got a book series that he is doing, and he is writing the script often for these shows. And it's -- there's clearly something that -- that he was probably hiding from himself.
LEMON: Driving him. It's funny that you mentioned that, because the last time, I think it was the last time, he sat here on set with me, he may have been here one other time with Christiane Amanpour. And he had a lot to do, I think his production company produced her series on, when she did SEX. And it was interesting, because, you know, you interviewed Christiane about her special and you know, tease to it because it's airing, you know after her show or sometime later, and he showed up on set and I realized, well, he is got his hands in everything. I mean, he (inaudible) from this, he is putting books, doing screenplays, and on and on and on. He is doing television. I mean, he is just prolific in so many areas.
BUFORD: Which is exciting, because all it was good.
LEMON: But I look at you, you feel guilt. You feel guilty. Why do you feel guilty?
BUFORD: I think anybody that loses somebody to suicide feels uncomfortable. I mean there's a kind of replaying of your whole relationship. It's like a movie that is going backwards and you're sort of looking for things. I don't think he was -- he wasn't showing many cracks. He wasn't letting many people in. But if you can call yourself a friend, how could you have -- I'm horrified by what Eric must be feeling if Eric was a friend and just how could he have gone to bed the next night, gone to bed the night before and find when he wakes up in the morning that his friend is dead.
[23:25:00] It's not guilt. It's just -- it's almost a responsibility as a friend that you should know -- you should know something of the mechanism that would actually drive a person to that. It's, you know -- it's an act of homicide, but it involves the self. It's -- it's what makes all this, you know, if he died in a traffic accident, if he fell out of a helicopter, in that little clip you were showing where he wasn't wearing a helmet, he wasn't wearing a suntan lotion, if the vehicle then flipped that would be the adventure way to go. But this man who gave us so much pleasure and had such a beautiful take on the world, I mean, who brought kind of history and politics and food smarts and humor and honesty -- the person -- regardless of the success and the money, the person who really seemed to like have his life in order, to die like that it's -- it's profoundly upsetting.
LEMON: We bonded because how do you measure success, right? But a certain level of success, he reached later in life, and so did I in my 40's. And when you come to it late you see the humor in it, and you don't really take it for granted. But you still kind of laugh it because you realize it's timing, it's luck. And, you know, it has something to do with you, but sometimes the planets just line up and you feel like the luckiest person on earth or like you got away with robbing a bank. And I think we both kind a got that. And I think you did too, because you said you became a father at 50 years old. You probably never thought that.
LEMON: That would happen.
BUFORD: Yes. Tony talked about the same thing. I'm never going to be a father. I'm going to be a terrible father. Like the antidote of a fortune teller saying one day you're going to be a father, and you're I'm not going to be a father. You are ridiculous.
But wow. What a great thing. What a great thing. And we shared that. I have a small group of friends who became fathers when they are 5o year older and we get a crab together every summer.
LEMON: I just want to put this up, I don't know, we don't have to play the thing, can we just show this is you in Leon, France just a few years back and you guys really shared a moment there? And tell us what was going on and about this moment that you are looking at.
BUFORD: Yes. This is the -- in Leon they have a regular right where you gather in the morning and you drink a lot of (inaudible) -- and you eat a lot of pig and drink some more (inaudible) and eat much more pig. And then you drink even more (inaudible) and then you eat just vast quantities of pig and you sing songs. And you behave really quite ridiculously.
This was a society -- there are a lot of societies in Leon. And there are also these societies that do just this, where they just gather often in a workday and they just blow out the entire day. And it was a fabulous thing. And Tony was sitting opposite me. We were both -- I lived in Leon five years. I never went to one of those, because they scare me. I know, I've got it go home the next day, I've got to do some work. I'm not going to drink for nine hours. It's only when he came to Leon that I went. We just looked at each other one moment and we thought this is really gleeful and amazing and wonderful and weird. And it -- in Leon what it captures is something of the spirit of that place, which is that life is lived at the table. Life is never lived better than at the table.
LEMON: So, you started out by holding back tears and you're smiling now. And I think that is what he would want, and I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
BUFORD: Thank you very much.
LEMON: Good luck.
BUFORD: Thank you.
LEMON: Kamau Bell when we come back.
[23:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're remembering Anthony Bourdain tonight, world-traveling TV host, best selling author, chef, and for a lot of us here at CNN, friend -- a friend who will be dearly missed.
Joining me now is Kamau Bell, the host of CNN's "United Shades of America." How are you doing?
W.KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: This a rough one. Yes, I'm all right. Thanks for having me on, Don.
LEMON: You met Tony for the first time, 2017 Emmy, right? Your wife took this picture.
LEMON: So tell us about that.
BELL: I mean, everybody assumed that from the moment I had a job at CNN that I was like hanging out in the CNN cafeteria with Bourdain and you and everybody else. And I hadn't met him before. And so I was sort of -- at the Emmy, I was so honored to be nominated for an Emmy.
I saw him from across the room and looked at him. I sort of started geeking out. My wife knew I was a big fan and he was a major influence before I ever even came to CNN. And he looked over me and just walked over and said he liked the work I was doing, and I was totally blown away. He said we should work together some time, and I was totally blown away, because I just couldn't imagine. I just thought what I did was corny compared to what he did, and I couldn't imagine that he would see anything about it. I also knew that I've basically stolen his idea, but just took out food and edited racism. So --
BELL: I was sort of shocked that he would find something to like in it. So, Yes, he was an amazing person, and he really went out of his way to let me know that I was a part of the family.
LEMON: The same but different because you just added a different ingredient, you know, so and I think he would --
BELL: Yes, yes.
LEMON: What do they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?
BELL: Yes. I mean, he was -- he was -- yes, he was an influence of mine even before I worked here.
LEMON: Yes. You said that he had a huge influence in your career long before CNN. So, what did you admire about him? Why was he such a huge influence?
BELL: Because he took a genre of show that has been sort of played out and been done many times. I mean, on a basic level, it's a travel show, but he made it less about the place and more about the people and more about connecting with the people and getting people to tell their stories.
[23:35:01] And the place just became colorful background to what you were seeing with the people he was talking to. And that was what I took -- you know, I watched that show on TV but long before I was in CNN, before I had my first TV show, "Totally Biased," I was like, I like to do something like that, never thinking that that chance would come.
And so when I -- honestly, when I met with CNN and talked about the idea for doing a show with CNN, the thing that made me feel like it was going to be OK was because Tony was here doing his incredible show, you know. He sort of made CNN relevant in a new way that it wasn't just about the news.
LEMON: You and Anthony shot an episode of his show, "PARTS UNKNOWN" in Kenya and you had never been to Africa before. What was it like seeing it with Tony?
BELL: I mean, I realized I was really breathing rarefied air the whole, like 11 days we were there. That not only I was getting to go to Kenya and getting to go to Africa for the first time, but we were documenting it, and I was with like the greatest traveler in the world in Tony Bourdain. So, and again, he really went out of his way to like bring me in and not make me feel like I was somehow his junior and let me do what I wanted to do in the episode and kept encouraging me. And then on the other side, we spent a lot of time in the car traveling around talking about politics and talking about pop culture.
He also gave me a lot of advice "United Shades" that ironically has completely changed how we're going to go forward in future seasons. Like he gave me really good advice for how to make the show work better for me.
LEMON: You went to see "Black Panther" with him in Nairobi?
BELL: There's time in your life, Don, when you realize you're living a singular experience and you are one of the coolest people in the world. That doesn't happen that often. But as soon as I found out "Black Panther" was playing in Nairobi and I started talking it up in front of the crew and Bourdain and he hadn't seen it yet, I had already seen it once, it was like, I like to see it in Nairobi, and he was like, yes, let's do it.
Every time he said let's do it, I sort of told the crew, we should probably get the tickets. And not only did we see it, but they actually paid for a bunch of kids from one of the neighborhoods there who could not afford to see "Black Panther" and they go with us and they got to see it too. So, it was this really incredible experience.
And then I was like, I couldn't just be there and see "Black Panther." I took a silly Instagram video with him in the background. He didn't realize I was doing it at the time. I wanted to document what was happening. I got to sit next to Tony Bourdain and watched the "Black Panther" and hear what he laughed at, hear what he cheered at, hear his thoughts afterwards. It was amazing. I mean, I -- it was amazing.
LEMON: What did he say? Did he like it?
BELL: Breaking news --
BELL: No. He loved it. And he loved it for the same reasons I loved it. The thing about Bourdain -- and I see people -- I would see him post political stuff on Instagram and some of his fans would be like, why are you getting political, and I'm like, what show are you watching? He was very politically aware. He was very curious. And so he got "Black Panther" on the same level like me and my friends got it, like how important the movie was, how good the movie was, and how different it was, and how special it was.
And I think -- to me, it let me know how deep it was just sitting next to him watching the "Black Panther." I think -- the thing right now in this country is we are being led by an uncurious person who is anti- intellectual.
And Bourdain was the opposite of that. A very deeply curious person and intellectual who is also afraid not to take advice or say when he realized he was -- not afraid to reveal his insecurities and ignorance at times. So, he is a very great example for this country. And also connecting with people in an amazing way.
LEMON: Well, kind of forever.
LEMON: For Tony. Thank you, my friend. I'll see you soon.
BELL: An incredible person. Thank you. Thank you very much.
LEMON: Keep -- carry it on, OK. And he passed the torch to you and many folks. So, do him proud. Thank you, sir. I'll see you soon.
BELL: Thank you.
LEMON: Tonight along with Tony's family, our thoughts are with his best friend, Eric Ripert, who shared so many adventures with Tony and who sadly found him this morning. Here they are in better spicier times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): What happens when America's favorite bad boy chef and up right French chef Eric Ripert go to China? Eric has never been to China before, nor is he used to the elevated levels of, shall we say, heat and spice.
ERIC RIPERT, CHEF: This is very sweet and sticky, but I like it a lot.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CHEF: In fact, his delicate system totally can't handle what he's about to get.
RIPERT: Oh, my god. My sinuses are so open, you have no idea.
BOURDAIN: He's so in for it.
RIPERT: Holy cow. Whoa. That spice prevents me to think.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
RIPERT: Ah, spicy. I feel like my face is changing.
[23:40:09] TEXT: There was nobody like Anthony Bourdain. There was no show like "Parts Unknown." A special night of episodes.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANDREW ZIMMEM, FRIEND OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN: Tony understood the transformative power of travel as well as anyone. He almost, you know, created the idea himself. But, you know, as Americans especially, we devour other cultures with our mouths first, right?
We take in and understand and accept other cultures through food, which is why Tony starts with food, which is why I start with food. But what's much more important than food, and Tony knew this better than anyone, are people and their stories and the things that you can learn on the road that transform you.
And then you hope bit by bit to import a little bit of that back into your day-to-day life once you get back home. The things you learned on the road. We're better versions of ourselves on the road. And I think Tony loved the version of himself that was on the road, that struggle that you -- that you talked about.
MICHAEL RUHLMAN, AUTHOR: Everybody would always ask me what's he really like. And the fact is he was exactly like what you saw on TV.
[23:45:00] And I think that's what people loved about him. Anderson, you know this very well. He was a straightforward, a straight shooter, and called things the way he saw it. And I can't believe he's not here anymore. We need people like him. He was so beloved.
He was much more sensitive than people realize because of his bravado, because of the way he ate, and the way he -- you know, his foul language beautifully used, artfully used, his foul language. They don't realize how sensitive he was.
He was so an enormously sensitive person which is why he helped so many. He was so helpful. That combined with extraordinary intelligence gave him that bravado. And the combination of that intelligence and sensitivity made him one of the great story tellers of our time.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You know, he was on the road, I can't remember the last time I asked him, when I had a meal with him, I don't know, a month or two or three ago, and I asked him how many days he was on the road a year, and it was something like 200 and something. Did he still love it? I mean, you know, I used to travel not that much and, you know, it takes a toll. It's hard. It's lonely.
RUHLMAN: It's hard. It's lonely. They travel lean and mean for that show. Yes, he was always tired. But I think he loved it. He loved people. And he loved culture and he loved food. And he loved what he was doing.
LEMON: Anthony Bourdain liked to say walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food. And we got a taste of what he meant and his incredible story telling and in season after season of "Parts Unknown" right here on CNN. So I want to bring in now CNN's Fareed Zakaria, host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS." Fareed, thanks for joining us. It's a sad day for not only for CNN but for really the world. Anthony Bourdain was so much more than a famous chef, but a man who found a way to make the world accessible. Case in point, Iran. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: One last thing everyone's been telling me I have to try. Iranian take-out pizza. It comes with a catch, though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think about Iranian pizza?
BOURDAIN: Not bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not bad.
BOURDAIN: We don't put ketchup on pizza, though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love ketchup.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So he went to eat pizza with a bunch of Iranian kids raising American cars in a parking lot. How many Americans could even imagine that scene in Iran?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: He told me about that. And I think that what's extraordinary about that clip and his work in general is exactly what you said, Don, which is that he was much more than a great food writer, a great chef. He was a cultural ambassador. He was somebody who stumbled onto this road of trying to help Americans understand what seems a very foreign and alien world.
America is this vast continental nation with two vast oceans and two weak neighbors. We don't know much about the world. We don't travel that much, a very small percentage of Americans have passports. And part of that is -- the result is then you begin to fear, you're bewildered, and you can easily dehumanize people.
And what Tony did is he really understood that the first challenges to make people understand the other cultures, other people just as human beings, with their own troubles, their own drama, their own sense of themselves. And he did it through food.
But it was -- I think it was a much larger mission. I don't know whether he was doing it instinctively or whether he set out to do it. But he became one of the great cultural ambassadors America has ever had.
LEMON: Yes. You said that much more eloquently than I did when I was interviewed for the special that ran earlier. I said the same thing, how he took food and really transformed it. It wasn't really about the food. It was about the experience. And he taught people like a journalist. Some better than some journalist. He was also fearless. In this episode in Moscow in May of 2014, he ate dinner with Boris Nemtsov, the former deputy prime minister and opposition figure. Listen to this.
BOURDAIN: Critics of the government, critics of Putin, bad things seem to happen to them.
BORIS NEMTSOV, FORMER DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Yes. Unfortunately the existing power represents what I say Russia old 19th century, not of 21st.
BOURDAIN (voice over): Critics of Putin, beware. Oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky accused Putin of corruption and wound up spending 10 years in prison and labor camps. Alexander Litvinenko accused state security services of organizing a coupe to put Putin in power. He was poisoned by a lethal dose of radioactive polonium. And Viktor Yushchenko, the former Ukrainian president, poisoned, disfigured, and nearly killed by a toxic dose of dioxin.
[23:49:58] I'm not saying official Russian bodies had anything to do with it, but it's mighty suspicious.
BOURDAIN: I don't think it would be a conspiracy theory (ph) to say whoever did this very much wanted everyone to know who had done it.
NEMTSOV: Everybody understands.
LEMON: And Fareed, of course, Nemtsov was murdered, gunned down in the streets about nine months after that episode aired, and Anthony spoke out about that after it happened.
ZAKARIA: Yes. It's another great example. Look, I had Nemtsov on my show and I watched the whole interview. Tony is better because he was able to again communicate and reach people by using this vehicle of food which disarms you, which just makes everyone feel that they share something in common. They share a love, a passion in common.
But it didn't stop him, as you showed in that clip, from dealing with some very tough issues, some very hard issues. He dealt with it when he was looking at it into China, with the issue of unexploded American landmines. And I remember The New Yorker reported this when Obama and he had that dinner in Vietnam.
The New Yorker reported that a lot of Obama's staff didn't realize the extent of this problem, of American bombs that have been dropped in this country that had not exploded. And it may have had something to do with the fact that the administration then devoted $90 million to helping clean it up. So, there was some real substance there.
LEMON: And Tony talked plenty about food and culture. He wanted to educate. In one episode from Houston, Fareed, he wanted to highlight the diversity there to show a side of the city many don't see. He featured diversity of communities, Vietnamese, Central American, African. He was trying to open people's minds. He did a very similar thing when he did this episode in Bronx as well.
ZAKARIA: Exactly. It is, as I said, the central theme of Tony's work has been make the foreign less foreign. Make foreign people less foreign. Make the culture less foreign. And the vehicle was food. In a way, he was daring you to try to experience it.
If you remember, so many of these episodes, he would try something weird. Something that a lot of Americans would go into a restaurant and not going to try that. I'm not going to try whatever it is, this exotic thing. And he would try and it. And he would relish it.
And his pleasure became contagious and was sort of an invitation to America to say, try and experience the world. Try to understand what it feels like. And you will find all of a sudden it's not that foreign. Their fast food is like our fast food. Their love of cuisine and culture is like our love of cuisine and culture.
It is a very powerful universal humanizing message. It really was something quite profound he was able to do, using this very clever technique of just talking about food.
LEMON: So let's talk about some of your work. He was a big fan of yours. And I'm sure he would really have enjoyed this. You have a fascinating new documentary, "The Two Faces of Kim Jong-un," that premieres on Sunday night. And you talked about the worry that many North Korea experts feel about a nuclear war that could start by mistake. Let's take a look.
ZAKARIA (voice over): There is just one reason North Korea now stands at the center of the world stage. This penniless, isolated, totalitarian state, could start a nuclear war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would explode quickly.
ZAKARIA (voice over): A deadly scenario haunts the greatest military minds. Two unpredictable nuclear armed leaders, just one terrible mistake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just crazy enough from my perspective, and unpredictable enough, that he might use those weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scenarios I worry about are not ones where leaders deliberately choose to start a nuclear war but it is where they stumble into one either through incompetence or just sheer miscalculation.
LEMON: Fareed, I have to ask you. Both men are pretty volatile. What do you expect from this summit?
ZAKARIA: Well, let's hope it is really just a getting to know each other. I think that the danger is one that President Trump has been touting. The whole thing is misplanned in many ways. This is the kind of thing that should happen at the end of a long negotiating and diplomatic process. The two leaders meeting.
There is nothing agreed on yet. It is not even clear that the North Koreans agree with the idea that they should be denuclearizing. They should be getting rid of their nuclear weapons. So, there is a lot of possibilities in terms of miscommunication, misunderstandings. And therefore, a sense of disappointment.
[23:54:58] So, I think the most useful thing would be they get to know each other, they try to communicate to each other what the core values and objectives are. And then say, now we're going to begin a process of maybe months, maybe years to try to figure out where there are areas of commonality.
2 The great danger, and I'm surprised that President Trump keeps doing this, is to hype this meeting because it is quite possible that very little will come of it. Perhaps something comes of it. But President Trump keeps saying this is going to be huge, it is going to be great. I think he wants to do amazing things for North Korea.
The art of deal. He talks about the fact that you don't, you shouldn't look like you want the meeting so much. You shouldn't look like you want success so much. This is sort of negotiation 101. The co-author of "The Art of the Deal" said that Mr. Trump didn't read the book even though he is supposed to have written it. I think he should read his own book. It would give him some very useful tips.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, Fareed, under the circumstances, I think it is important to tell people how do you about them. And I am proud and happy to have you as a friend and a colleague. So, thank you. I look forward to the special. Fareed Zakaria, he revealed the two faces of Kim Jong-un in a new special, CNN Special Report, Sunday night at 8:00.
All weekend, CNN remembers our friend, Anthony Bourdain. We'll look back at some classic episodes of "Parts Unknown" in a special marathon tomorrow night beginning at 8:00. And on Sunday, you can see a new episode set in Berlin. That's at 9:00 p.m. and midnight. Followed by our tribute to the man who for a lot of us was a hero. "Remembering Anthony Bourdain" airs Sunday night at 10:00 and 1:00 a.m.
And if you want to honor the life of Anthony Bourdain, do what he would have done. Eat something delicious, something weird or strange. Listen to some great music really loud. Hang out with some old friends or make some new ones, and tell your stories.
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